Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nuno Crespo

Nuno Crespo, in ípsilon, the best 2014

In 2014, there was an insistence on anthological exhibition and a shift of attention in the works for attention on the artist.

Arguably the many levels and this year will be marked by the end of BES and for any consequences that end. In the visual arts the bank's failure brought the end of Avenue 211, one studios and exhibition space with outstanding quality, diversity and where they could watch the remarkable exhibition that hardly find another context to develop.

What prevails is the crisis and in this scenario the question that more recurrently all ask is: how long? And this is not only a question for the recovery of health and dynamism of the art market, but essentially a question by another institutional context in which works, authors and public can relate to a freer way, diverse and risky. And one of the expressions of this lack of risk is the lack of group exhibitions, research, where monographic attention on the authors gives way to the construction of a thought to and from unique works of art.

There are known exceptions in other geographies of art and the world are brought to debate, but in general we are witnessing a shift of attention in the works for attention on the artist and an insistence on anthological exhibition, in affirming the authority of an author, in confirmation of a route.

This is not to diminish the individual authors and the key role that some of them have to get through their works, brighten any time and a generation together with his afflictions and transformations, but it is to note the domain of a typology expository and draw consequences. This is a situation to which all contribute - newspapers and their idea of information, criticism, the directions of museums and art centers and the predominance of the statistical analyzes, their obsession with the public as the main criterion of cultural management and programming etc. - And where predominates the prejudice of success: the exhibition spaces are now places of the success stories of where they are absent experimentation, research, exploratory projects and the risk associated with them.

The first consequence of this transformation is that the art exhibition are today mainly reflects the market dynamics and not expression of the uniqueness of artistic proposals, nor does it materialize lines of thinking about reality, which is questioned, investigates and attempts to change . And often driven by strong financial constraint, it is the market that enables exhibitions, are their agents that through generous sponsorships allow and enable exhibitions, catalogs pay, offer works in return for the promotion and enhancement of certain set of artists. And the exhibits that require more research, more time, greater risks are placed second and forgotten. It is the predominance of the successful artist (where the success criteria are many and varied) and the absence of exposures to think our present condition, i.e. exhibits that without security and without the guarantees of art history, of its established events and away from the main protagonists to risk thinking the paradoxes of everyday life.

In an important text Alison Gingeras, known historian of American art, said a major art magazine, ArtForum, about an artist: as far as thinking about his works, they are immune to all that they say about, because the person who through the mythology about him forged and succeeded, managed to make his works indifferent to any dispute and thereby ensure the history of Olympus a prominent place for all his work. The text of Gingeras is about Jeff Koons, but it serves here as an illustration and symptom of displacement of the attention we have been describing in which the authors put under his shadow his work and thus the eclipse.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Martha Rosler

Martha Rosler, was 20 when the twentieth century came in the 1960s attended the transition from what was left of the modern world and the new contemporary world. Change after change. "If we want some kind of revolution, we have to do manifestations, be out there, to organize ourselves, we devote ourselves." And this is not even activism. It is "citizenship," said to the Portuguese newspaper Público in an interview on the sidelines of the Future Forum in Oporto, where he was guest lecturer.

She began his lecture by explaining that, in the 1940s, when Jackson Pollock was doing his abstract paintings, or the artists or the art public could imagine the intrinsic link between their world and the major international financial flows.

How Pollock worked the screens on the floor, had anything to do with the idea of territory and territorial possession. Indeed, the fact that he give up the perspective - that was what made his painting - binds with the history of land ownership. There is this and the most obvious: the relationship with money, which intensified a lot, because it has become much more visible. Pollock was part of the first generation of artists in the world financial markets had focused in the United States and had become completely hypertrophic. All this and the emergence of celebrity culture weighed much about the abstract expressionists, most of which were part of a culture of bohemian outsider vaguely impoverished.

I think we can say that abstract expressionism was destroyed by his relationship with money and fame. Still say that there is a reason for the transcendence model he proposed can’t legitimately remain in the postwar world: the economy. So we know more [about the relationship between art and money] and the pressure intensified vastly. Everyone who now has something to do with the art world, even at the popular level, realize the connection of this world to the world of finance, especially in the United States. As someone said, we have reached a time when some of the artists are as or richer as their collectors. It's not exactly like that because some of the patrons of art are immeasurably rich, but obviously there are artists who have become extremely rich. The 'financialization' art shot up to the top of the roof [media] that makes the art world. In publications [reference] as the New York Times auctions are so history as [the exhibition] ... It's like professional sports - what you really hear is money, who cost much, who is doing as what the great players got the best contract and how many millions of euros or dollars a year makes.

The art world has become a sort of big annual sprint, the hundred meter hurdles to see who gets the better end quoted market. It is quantification and 'financialization' of anything we considered before being out of the valuation of goods system [whose value depends on the laws of supply and demand] and we now know to be completely inside. This started happening in the last four or five decades. We can’t pretend it is new. But reached an unprecedented point. Let's look at a more popular reference - the movies: nowadays it is thought a movie ticket for their results. If a movie is a ticket success, people did not even bother to mention the fact that whether or not a good movie. Maybe later in the specialized column [in the press], but the big immediate step is always, "No. 1 at the box office."

The painting was an art easel. After it became too big to be on the easel. What Pollock did no one had done before was to make the paint a representation of the landscape but in landscape. And there is a certain irony in the fact that the canvas becomes a territory for action [Action Painting] and this is a good window through which to see the relationship between art and power. The lieutenant’s land can’t set your property without a metric system. Nor can represent the landscape to look real without perspective. Now, the history of painting is the history of the development and the rejection of perspective - because the abstraction is the rejection of perspective, the choice of two-dimensionality, still, ironically, on territory. This is especially ironic in the case of Pollock, because he paints with the canvas on the floor. His canvas is an area where we have come a territory. And even when he, in the end, to put back the canvas vertically [the wall] everyone realizes how there has been reached "meaning" derived from the horizontal. Such as land tenure is the basis of capital accumulation, these paintings also become a principle of capital accumulation. At the time, no one was thinking about it, but I can’t help thinking.

The transcendence model proposed by Abstract Expressionism could not take place in the world and in the post-war economy, because artists depend on the ideas of its patrons. That's why I often speak in the development of the bourgeois public from the late nineteenth century and the theories that link the abstract, symbolism, etc., as a way to escape the issues of realism, which led to the representation of the working classes and militancy of the working class. Of course, the artists did a lot of that, but mainly in the design and engraving. And those who did not turn very well paid for it by its patrons, who actually wanted was to see other images.

The transcendence model corresponds to the fact that the artists show us another world. It was a very important theory. But at the time the center of the art world moves from Paris to New York, in the 1940s... The patronage in the United States never was very interested in intellectual specializations or representation theories, just want things very immediate. As Rockefeller once said about Rothko [Mark's painting] - and I paraphrase, offers a relaxing space to tired businessman. This is perfect! The space of abstraction is a view of another world, without any specifics. But this could not last, because art has become appreciated in a way more massif. When it became a commodity, an expensive commodity, Jackson Pollock appeared in Life magazine cover. Life magazine was practically in every American home! Was in doctors' offices - was everywhere. Defined the image of the world. Before television be in the home of everyone, was there a Life. And in case one day appeared this artist who was dethrone Picasso as the most important artist of the twentieth century. Pollock eventually died drunk in a very short time after car accident and this idea that art is supposed to be about something else, mysterious, transcendent ... It's a little Catholic doctrine, this. I do not know...

The young artists today see themselves as producers of tradable goods. Some project a successful career of about 10 years. It's like the had an idea that was purchased, if reformed and had a happy life somewhere not to do anything that they did not want. This is what many young people think of elite schools, for which they paid a lot of money. They think: make a fortune and disappear overnight.