Archive for April, 2012
How to Talk about Art (H2TaA ) has been The Art Machine’s slowly growing manual for those who wish to master artspeak as practiced by art critics, art educators, galleries, dealers, copywriters, and journalists.
Now, H2TaA has moved from The Art Machine’s umbrella and into the arms of Hyperallergic.com. You can read the first installment at: How To Talk About Art (#h2taa): Jeff Koons Edition by Cat Weaver on April 30, 2012
About the Column:
Originating with the need to validate and describe artwork which was no longer narrative and which relied more and more heavily on inside jokes and academic references, artspeak has grown into its own with a lexicon that is comprised, not only of tropes and catch phrases, but of technical, scientific, and otherwise borrowed terms which have been adapted to its own needs. “Virtual space”, “gesture” ,”intervention”, “appropriation”: these are all words which used to be safely housed in the worlds of aesthetics, dance, psychology, and legal documents and are now used to create press releases for anything from sculpture to performance to collage.
It is my opinion, that many people who feel they can’t talk about art, much less speak TO it, are actually lacking a background in artspeak. H2TaA seeks to span that educational gap.
I also believe that by studying artspeak, one can pull the mask off artspeak-agents and reveal the mechanizations behind the catalogs and pamphlets, bringing to light an artist’s laziness of imagination, or a curator’s dependance on slang and technique, or the general trade tendency to make excuses for work that is overly subjective (or too academic) to be enjoyable. In brief, an interpretation of wall cards can shed light on all of the unnecessary posturing that has led to the elitist view that contemporary art is somehow beyond the ken of the public when it is, actually, beyond the ken of EVERYONE.
Learning H2TaA is just another way to bring art out of the academic tool box and into the light.
It’s been madness from the start. Hennessy Youngman was chosen by curating guest art photographer Marilyn Minter who has been putting together a series of “Virgin” shows in the Massimilano Gioni / Maurizio Catallan pop-up, Family Business.
Called “Virgins” the shows were intended to feature works by artists who have not yet had solo shows.
But Jayson Musson decided to hand his alter-ego Hennessy’s slot over to any and all artists who wanted to drop stuff off before the show, which he dubbed “It’s a Small Small World.”
This, he thought, would be a gesture of gratitude —a way to “give back” to the arts community that has lent so much love and loyalty to Hennessy and his YouTube series, Art Thoughtz.
But as it turns out, Jayson Musson’s generosity has caused the walk-in-closet sized gallery an epic headache: flooded, as could only have been anticipated, by artwork from adoring fans and artists hungry for some wall time, the gallery was forced, today, to close it’s doors. Family Business had been scheduled to accept work through Sunday but the gallery is now saying that they will not take any work tomorrow.
And this is pretty damned sad.
Musson has changed the title of the show to “It’s a Clusterfuck”
Meantime, Musson’s NY debut will take place at Postmasters: “Through a Glass Darkly,” will feature Musson’s “BLM” (Black Like Me) posters and a Hennessy Art Thoughtz video. “Through a Glass Darkly also features work by artists Oasa DuVerney, and Julia Kul.