Thursday, December 13, 2007

People Love Free Stuff

In my Mini Miami Report, I promised to elaborate on the project Jennifer Dalton created for the Pulse Miami art fair. Artforum.com's Linda Yablonsky described it this way:
I thought about the black vinyl bracelets handed out at Pulse by artist Jennifer Dalton, imprinted with the phrase I’D RATHER BE HOT THAN RICH and the complementary white ones that read I’D RATHER BE RICH THAN HOT. If I didn’t know it before, I knew it now: Even after five days in an art bubble, far outside the real world, I’d rather be among art folks than not.
This is the second time Jen has created a bracelet dilemma piece (the viewer gets one for free, but must choose between two extremes). The first one (see installation shot below), titled "Would you rather be a loser or a pig?" was actually inconclusive, as there were both "Loser" and "Pig" bracelets remaining at the end of the exhibition (it was a much tougher choice and someone who shall remain nameless, but whose intials are A.G., started telling folks there was a third choice...to choose neither).


Jennifer Dalton, Would You Rather Be a Loser or a Pig?, 2006, Mixed Media (bisected Plexiglas bin, 500 “loser” bracelets, 500 “pig” bracelets, pedestal), 22” x 22” x 46”, edition of 3

Jennifer has shared a philosophical metaphor about her artmaking with me, saying she believes an artist can be both the prom queen and the valedictorian. That is, an artist's work can be "pretty, smart and popular." This perfectly describes the aesthetic, insightful, and democratic qualities of Jen's work.

What I love most about the bracelet pieces, though, is both the internal debate I go through when presented with the extreme choices (I ended up choosing "Pig" after a short stint with "Loser," and proudly wear my "I'd Rather Be Rich than Hot" bracelet) and the wonderful debates they spur among those trying to decide. Long after the bracelets were depleted in Miami (more on that in a bit), we saw folks wearing them at the Art Basel Miami Beach Vernissage, on the beach, at the parties, etc. etc. In fact, we ran into a few New Yorkers at a holiday party just last night still wearing theirs (and they had never met Jen). And so the debate lives on. You can imagine how much this delights Ms. Dalton...it certainly delights her dealer. Among the comments we heard in Miami was my fave: "If you're rich, everyone's going to treat you like you're hot anyway, so you'll never know the difference."

What was surprising, but perhaps shouldn't have been in the context of a busy art fair, was the number of people who refused to make a choice, taking both bracelets, or (and we saw this a number of times) helping themselves to handfuls of both (despite signage explaining they could take "one"). When we explained the nature of the piece...the fact that it's a dilemma...we were told quite boldly, "Yes, but I want to give these to my nieces as souvenirs." This most certainly did not delight Ms. Dalton's dealer, but led to a fun night of wondering just how outrageous the text could become and still have folks take them. Some of my faves were "I didn't even read what's on this bracelet" and "I love free stuff." The piece was depleted at the opening night preview party.

Yes, people love free stuff (I do too... what can I say?). But enough folks participated in the piece in the spirit with which it was created for me to report that more of the visitors to the Pulse Art Fair would rather be Hot than Rich. We were in Miami, after all.

Labels: ,

119 Comments:

Blogger The Hanger-On said...

Miami being nearly tropical, I take "hot" to mean temperatures in the 90s or higher. So I'll take "rich" any day of the week. I can always buy air conditioning.

12/13/2007 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

This is the reality TV version of a dilemma. It pretends to be important, it pretends to be real. It's a game. It's entertainment. We should enjoy it as such, as did the attendees who snatched them up as souvenirs.

12/13/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I don't think it pretends to be important at all, actually. Its point is the internal questioning and external dialog that spurs. It's intentionally extreme and in that way the dialog is often silly, yes. But the overall experience accomplishes what good art does in that it makes one (me at least, and other folks still wearing the bracelet and talking about the dilemma) look at things in a new light. Also the internal debate is an exquisite sensation.

The suggestion that there's no need to participate in the piece via the artist's intended process, but rather that it's ok to ignore that and simply take what one wants (by one's own asserted authority) strikes me as a license to be boorish. Perhaps an apt metaphor for the times we live in, but hardly something to be praised in my opinion. If one person dumped all the bracelets into a box and hauled them away, would that also be fine? If not, what's the difference?

12/13/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous bnon said...

For artists: Would you rather be good or successful?

12/13/2007 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

The work presumes my emotional depth is so shallow that I would need such prodding.

This work pretends to give me something-a key to my own soul. I don't think it matters how silly or serious is the ensuing dialogue.

When an artist presents us with this sort of dynamic, I genuinely feel they are trying to take something from me. They are trying to garner my participation in a way that satisfies their own needs.

When an artist deals with something herself, and presents us with a communicable version of this, then she is giving me something.


Fair-goers should probably play along and only take one, since they did choose to attend.

12/13/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Your reading of the piece is interesting Carla, but I think you're missing something essential here.

The point is not to prod someone to contemplate something in a vaccum but in the context of the social situation, at the same time as other people, and very intentionally to generate discussion. Perhaps you've done plenty of soul-searching on the issue at hand, but you would hardly, on your own, share your thoughts on this particular topic with a complete stranger who also happened to be in the same art booth or gallery as you (OK, so I don't know you...perhaps you would...but...you wouldn't get the same response as you do when they're also asked to contemplate the issue).

When an artist presents us with this sort of dynamic, I genuinely feel they are trying to take something from me.

I don't get that at all. The gift of this piece, to my mind, is the invitation to share my thoughts on the topic in a socially safe, hopefully meaningful way. The piece also gives the viewer a frame for discussing the issue in other contexts ("What's that bracelet you have on?"). Finally, the notion that someone is taking something from you by offering you a free bracelet can easily be avoided by just not taking one.

When an artist deals with something herself, and presents us with a communicable version of this, then she is giving me something.

The underlying assumption here is that the concept and the choice for text and color and presentation etc. etc. were achieved without dealing with the issue herself and doing plenty of "artist work" in her studio, which I know to not be the case.

In the end, some folks like didactic art where an artist's conclusions are spoonfed to them, others like exploratory/experiential art through which they get to come to their own unique conclusions. To each his/her own.

12/13/2007 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

...an artist's work can be "pretty, smart and popular." This perfectly describes the aesthetic, insightful, and democratic qualities of Jen's work.

Fail. The piece in question is self-evidently not pretty and the potential payoff is philosophical, not aesthetic. They are not the same thing. I understand that you've conflated them into mush (good art makes one look at things in a new light, apparently), but I don't understand how you find the so-called dilemma interesting to think about. It's a garden-variety fallacy of the excluded middle. What you're calling "wonderful debates," from your description, appears to be neither wonderful nor debate, but cocktail-party-echelon banter. And do you really find your internal debate that interesting? That's just... wow.

12/13/2007 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Sunil said...

Of course, this kind of art is possible only with mass produced trinkets. Not that I am deflating the idea - which I think is a cool conceptual one- but not much of the artist's hand/sweat went into the making of any of those 1000 pieces - that bothers me a bit, but then, I like conceptual art - it does engage your mind...

12/13/2007 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous bambino said...

I'd rather to be rich than hot.
:P

12/13/2007 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I do believe this may work well as a social activity. It is possible others find deeper personal insight through group sharing than do I.

I have done zero soul-searching on the issue at hand. Who would outside of this context?

This project is hardly innocent of being didactic.

12/13/2007 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am confused.

Pulse commissioned the work? Paid for it?

Somebody did.

Why should a simple “Pop” dilemma be of ethical or artistic importance? Making a statement in a bracelet, like a t-shirt, is of lesser value than a poster or billboard? Are women and gays the only concerned about these issues?

Like the red ribbon or yellow bracelets specifics matter, why not in this case?

I find these objects just a manifestation of a typical stereotype in our society with no artistic value. Even sexist.

12/13/2007 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Fail.

Hmmm...I didn't realize I was enrolled in your class. You shouldn't expect to approve of my mid-term exam either, Prof. Franklin. Then again, I imagine it's quite time consuming going around handing out grades to conscripted students, so I'll just not hand it in and see if you notice.

The piece in question is self-evidently not pretty and the potential payoff is philosophical, not aesthetic.

I do applaud your fearless belief in the value of critique via jpg, though. Especially where aesthetics are involved. Further, the piece in question is actually the piece in Miami which I'm guessing you haven't seen, but was clearly "pretty" enough that folks wanted handfuls of them and wore them to fancy parties. Tastes vary, my friend. Like most artists, I'm sure Jen will agree that the three aims (pretty, smart, and popular) are guidelines, not strict rules for each and every piece.

And do you really find your internal debate that interesting?

Compared to your tiresome, and as yet unconvincing, war against conceptualism? Yes, it's infintely interesting. ;-P

12/13/2007 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it looks conceptual but among the genre of "free" this is a really bad one.

Sorry, but Artforum's Diary is hardly art criticism.

12/13/2007 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Carla's take on Dalton's bracelet pieces is interesting, and I don't think she's missing the idea that it is activated in terms of a context.

I think it's interesting that she's framing it in terms of reality and reality TV. Modernism bestowed visual art with this specific drive toward singularity. This journey toward the one thing kinda bellyflopped and turned into an attachment to reality.

It makes sense that Dalton is working directly with the viewer's mind, experiences and context--it is arthistorically correct to do so.

What Carla, I think, is saying is not that Dalton is wrong, but that there are side effects to continuing to mine this arthistorical vein.

I think she's saying that it's impossible to get at that "real" experience of having to choose, say, whether you are a loser or a pig. That the gallery show is as much a construct/lens/frame as the TV show, and that this framing or constructing makes something that is inherently unreal.

I would not argue that you would have to be shallow to be moved by Dalton's choice-sensation. I would argue, though, that you have to be pretty generous--even sheeplike--as a viewer.

Why should I give some artist I don't even know access to my deepest thoughts about whether I am a loser or a pig? Do I even care that much about the choice? And even if I do, the piece itself offers no clues about what exactly to do with that little extra bit of existential weight.

(oh, I'm a loser... I'll never get anywhere...)

(Great. I'm a pig. No wonder people I actually respect don't return my calls...

What I don't like about that piece is exactly what Carla is pointing to--its relationship with reality. That relationship to reality creates some lame side effects. It stops down the focus of the piece to very specific ideas about the art market and artists' roles in it. It relies on me taking the bait, and is therefore structurally passive.

It also creates a kind of nasty side effect. It presumes to make itself inside of me, and gives me no other incentive than a cheap bracelet in return. The overwhelming gesture of Dalton's work is awfully rude and presumptuous. That is not a deal-breaker for me, but it sucks that there is no real benefit to enduring this boorshness.

I also think it's great that folks at Miami just took gobs of bracelets and short-circuited the meaning of the piece. It's great proof that artists can't control the context or the understanding of their work to the degree that makes this kind of piece successful.

(I am talking about loser/pig because I actually saw it and took a bracelet. It seems a little more fair than talking about something I haven't seen.)

12/13/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

I didn't realize I was enrolled in your class.

Not that kind of fail. This kind of fail.

I do applaud your fearless belief in the value of critique via jpg, though.

Because if I saw it in person, it would be like freaking Matisse, man.

...but was clearly "pretty" enough that folks wanted handfuls of them and wore them to fancy parties.

Which is all the evidence that one needs for this kind of thing, apparently.

Compared to your tiresome, and as yet unconvincing, war against conceptualism?

I'm willing to bypass that discussion in exchange for finding out why this thing is even good as conceptualism.

12/13/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bypass that discussion in exchange for finding out why this thing is even good as conceptualism.

Me too!

12/13/2007 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Pulse commissioned the work? Paid for it?

Somebody did


The artist paid for the piece.

12/13/2007 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I've made the only argument for why I love this piece I feel compelled to make. It reached a range of other people, most of whom see and buy and critique a great deal of art, some of whom liked it, some of whom may not have but didn't say so to my face, but in the end I'll stand by it, champion it, and suggest those who don't like it are free to say so.

After that, we really are still arguing about the value of conceptualism, though, so let's at least call it that.

12/13/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

(I am talking about loser/pig because I actually saw it and took a bracelet. It seems a little more fair than talking about something I haven't seen.)

Despite your objections to the piece, which are interesting, I'll admit, though, you still participated. Were you thinking perhaps something else would happen after the fact, are you always a self-critical sheep, was there some social pressure to take one?

Despite the ungenerous tone of many of the comments throughout this thread, I think I should let you all in on the fact that Jen loves (and anticipates) this kind of feedback. Her response to the hijacking of the piece in Miami was laughter and a "so be it" sort of acceptance.

12/13/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous joy said...

Speaking of conceptualism... there are so many precedents to Jen's piece -- ever walk out of a show with an Adrian Piper text piece stuffed in your sweaty palm? -- often they are more ponderous, less amusing. I enjoy the fact that the bracelets became a cultural meme at the fairs. to me, they reflect the false choices presented so often by the culture at large, the fact that we are duped into making these choices over and over again; and the specificity of the site, the context of the fairs, made the piece really "happen". the viewer completes the work; context is everything. but isn't that really always the case?
;)

12/13/2007 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous joy said...

PS (for the record): the real challenge is to get rich before you stop being hot.

12/13/2007 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

Jennifer has shared a philosophical metaphor about her artmaking with me, saying she believes an artist can be both the prom queen and the valedictorian.

I'm too much of a contrarian to have a shot at valedictorian, and prom queen just isn't an aspiration most of us straight guys can relate to :)

But I like the playfulness of Jennifer's piece. Even though the rules are to pick just one, I'd have to choose one for the left wrist and the other for the right. Kind of like shoulder angels and shoulder devils.

12/13/2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

PS - I guess if someone collected her work from both shows they could be a rich pig or a hot loser (or hot pig / rich loser). Cumulative choices :)

12/13/2007 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"After that, we really are still arguing about the value of conceptualism, though, so let's at least call it that."

No. Sorry but no, not me. I am clearly saying that this is a mediocre conceptual piece.

12/13/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

Not that I want to challenge the other readings of this piece, but to me, this piece is actually more about syntax and language.
I'll respond to the loser/pig piece:
I agree I didn't plumb the depths of my soul to figure out if I was a loser or a pig and why I was in which camp (both choices kind of suck.) I tended more to think about the nature of the terms "loser" and "pig". Loser is an interesting term to me because of its resonance to 'grunge' culture in the 90's (my salad years) and how the term became empowering (Pig brings to mind many complex meanings.)
I think 'Rich' and 'Hot' were chosen b/c of the context although the terms could take on a variety of subtexts...
To me the piece is more about the slippery nature of words like the work of Lawrence Wiener's.

12/13/2007 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

I've made the only argument for why I love this piece I feel compelled to make.

That's too bad, because it's not much of an argument. You saw this piece, and your mental wheels spun a bit. You had a debate with yourself whether you would rather be rich or hot, as if that wasn't a false dilemma. You saw other people do the same. They talked about it. I go on against conceptualism, but the underlying problem is one of laziness, of taste that hardly demands anything, and then gets it. I see people doing the same thing in their fondness for realism and lowbrow, and I'm sure it exists across all styles. People see the traits they like and they feel happy. This is normal short of the point that they confuse those traits for quality itself. Quality doesn't work like that.

So again, without rehashing the argument over conceptualism, this does not look like a successful conceptual work and nothing you said makes a case to the contrary. The concept is uninteresting if not downright faulty, and the main thrust of the work doesn't look like it was to provoke thought but to get a bunch of wristbands on a bunch of partygoers. Careerism is not more vital or deep in artists than other people.

12/13/2007 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous bigfran said...

This doesn't seem like a rehash of whether or not conceptualism works at all. It's about whether or not this piece works conceptually.

I don't think that it's ungenerous to do so at all. To talk about whether or not the piece works is to engage it honestly. I should certainly hope Dalton loves this kind of feedback. All artists should.

Speaking of honesty, I took a bracelet because I have been through many years of art school and am thereby conditioned to be an extremely generous and patient viewer. It was absolutely my own sheeplike quality that made me take a bracelet.

At least I am being honest about what the Emperor is wearing instead of declaring the experience of a rather easy, binary internal debate "exquisite."

Are you serious about this line? Really?

12/13/2007 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didin't Daniel Martinez already do this piece with his " I CAN'T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE" buttons from the 93 Whitney?

12/13/2007 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Martinez's Man said...

Didin't Daniel Martinez already do this piece with his " I CAN'T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE" buttons from the 93 Whitney?

Didn't he actually do a better job? With ideas that really matter?

This is not about anti-conceptualism. As a conceptualist, I take special offense at lazy art that attempts to pass itself off as conceptual.

12/13/2007 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saved Daniel's. I treasured.

Yes, that is good "free" stuff and good Conceptual art.

A genre.

Newman, FGT, J+R Smith, and others.

12/13/2007 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I am clearly saying that this is a mediocre conceptual piece.

Yes, your anonymous opinion has been duly noted.

As for Franklin or Carla, who at least have the courage to sign their own names to their opinions, thanks for sharing your thoughts. We disagree.

12/13/2007 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

I am finding this conversation fascinating because I find the very nature of participatory art incredibly fascinating (from the Brechtian and Situationist model thru to today's relational aesthetic). Regardless of anyone's opinion of the work itself, the very fact that it has garnered this discussion demonstrates, to me, the power of this type of work- the invitation to the spectator/viewer to use, appropriate, and actively interpret the work in ways unknown and uncontrollable by the author. An artist working in this mode is wise to see the open and democratic possibilities of these strategies.

12/13/2007 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

At least I am being honest about what the Emperor is wearing instead of declaring the experience of a rather easy, binary internal debate "exquisite." Are you serious about this line? Really?

I don't actually like implications that I'm a liar. Seriously and really.

Just because it was an easy binary internal debate for you, hardly means your experience with the piece was typical. Having been raised to consider the lovable "loser" morally superior to the capitalist "pig," but also being a businessman, the internal debate was actually rather gut-wrenching. As I noted, I switched bracelets at a certain point. And yes, the experience was exquisite in that it was acute and ultimately eye-opening. YMMV. That's fine. Not all art will reach all people.

12/13/2007 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Regardless of anyone's opinion of the work itself, the very fact that it has garnered this discussion demonstrates, to me, the power of this type of work...

This huge cliché gets pulled out whenever any work of art gets talked about in an argumentative manner. The discussion doesn't prove anything about the art itself except that people disagree about it.

12/13/2007 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Ok....wow... I love hot (or rich) debates around a single art piece !
Personally I forgive artists for not inventing the wheel because that's becoming pretty hard. I found that the question that Jennifer posed to be, actually.. profund (yes, yes) because when I was a young punk, I remember receiving a big "eureka" when the singer of the punk band Killdozers once said in an interview that in this world, there were only 2 kinds of people: freaks and assholes. That sentance stroke a chord in me for years, because I found it both telling socio-philosophically yet using terms that you'd never dreamed a serious philosopher use. Since I've been taking care of feral cats in my neighborhood for years, I can see this binary world occuring in front of me every day, and the more I look at people, the more I realize there is somewhat of a truth in that terrible sentance. To me, Jennifer is saying the same sentance but with other words, and using a strategy to make people ponder about it, and wrether that strategy failed or not, I would rather believe it is a question that she too got obsessed with for a while, and not question the superfluousness of the issue (in the meantime the punk singer probably completely forgot the sentance as soon as he pronunced it, so that's why you need artists sometimes as they are great trainspotters).

Dalton could have as well quoted Andre Gide, whose philosophy was once described as writting every sentance next to its opposite in his notebook, to better juggle with the inherent truth of any. This methodology is not ridicule, it is the basis of philosophy. And in philosophy you can easily turn the most vile entertainment question into the most existential, so you need to take one foot at a time before venturing into easy criticism. Everything is deserving of thought.


But the most important thing I find that miss Dalton is doing, outside of exploring these binaries which are both limitless in proposals but a little re-hassing of old age proverbials and adages, is the way she confronts the artworld from within, provoking its current state of superfluousness by proposing dilemnas that would appear as equally light, but are actually probably the only proposals that people participating in the artworld are obsessed with these days.

I mean, think if these bracelets were distributed at Oscar's night. A good portion of Hollywood seems to be only obsessed by being rich and hot (you can judge that by their "art"), so the proposal becomes subversive depending on where the bracelets are distributed, and since Basel Miami is one of the place I would least dream of finding myself, perhaps that piece wasn't dedicated to me, but I can see it making sense.


Now I've tumbled over bracelets because the last paragraph was referring to the Hot Or Rich proposal. In large events, bracelets are a recurring form of ticketting, so I would support the aesthetic as being logical to its context: it really was the formulae of choice in the Basel situation. On the street or in a museum, bracelets would probably be less effective. Another way to confront these notions of beauty and ugly is simply to make two bracelets (no writting), one in mundane felt, the other in colorful design to make it look like a Swatch. And look at which one people are picking. It's a game with limitless possibilities.


I personally would have take a copy of each of all bracekets because I consider myself very self-conflictual.

I think most people would pick rich or pig so I would suggest Dalton choose harder dilemnas where it becomes less about struggling her personal ethics as an artist than really about making it hard for the viewer.

Above someone posted a very good question, "would you rather be good artist or successful?" . I would cry if I was popular but hated my art. I would prefer be a good artist. But...really be good, not living myself in the disillusion of thinking I'm good. That's tough !


Cheers,

Cedric Caspesyan
centiment@hotmail.com

12/13/2007 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Ed,

What you didn't mention in this thread is what you noted in conversation: that the rich/hot debate fell pretty much along gender lines. This would certainly seem to be of a piece with Dalton's sociological/artmaking interests.

I'd like to add a personal observation here: "Ungenerous" is a generous way to describe some of the comments on this thread. This is sociology lite (and enlightening) with tongue firmly in chic. Why does every idea on this thread feel as if its being parsed by prosecutors.

For the record, I'm wearing my "rich" bracelet right now.

Cheers

12/13/2007 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Contradicting my earlier assertion that I don't feel compelled to explain what I like about this piece (I do prefer when folks come to these things themselves), I should note, to be fair to everyone involved here, that the original "pig" / "loser" piece was essentially a commentary on the increasingly uncomfortable choices artists are faced with in a hot art market and the notion that, unlike previous, less commerically driven periods, today artists are pushed to either "sell out" and produce, produce, produce or resign themselves to the "irrelevance" of not selling if they carve out more time for contemplation, experimentation, etc. It is, of course, an absurd set of extreme choices, but the fast and furious pace of the dialog had succeeded in boiling things down to one of those extreme choices, and hence, Jen's "dilemma" piece.

Carry on....

12/13/2007 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

I don't think they can be any Chelsea gallerist that is not somewhat a "pig" or "asshole" because it takes gut to place yourself on such a heavytraffic stage.

The gallerist "freak" or "looser" would be the one saying "I'm fed up" and try to do something elsewhere. But the real truth is that these notions of pig or looser fluctuate., and you can have that wink of good or bad luck some day that will you turn into a pig or looser within months.


Generally one would assume pigs are happier, but many in fact are stressed and live in constant pain, while some freaks live very comfortable lazy lives (kind of what I'm becoming, grrr). So, do ponder your choice.

Cheers,

Cedrix Caspesyan

12/13/2007 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Oh my god I completely intermixed Jen's words with Killdozers now.
How pomo.

Cedric

12/13/2007 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I post again, Mattera?


Anonymous said...
I am confused.

Pulse commissioned the work? Paid for it?

Somebody did.

Why should a simple “Pop” dilemma be of ethical or artistic importance? Making a statement in a bracelet, like a t-shirt, is of lesser value than a poster or billboard? Are women and gays the only concerned about these issues?

Like the red ribbon or yellow bracelets specifics matter, why not in this case?

I find these objects just a manifestation of a typical stereotype in our society with no artistic value. Even sexist.

12/13/2007 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Anonymous, ok, you insist on your own personal answer:

And How can a profund artwork have any effects in the artworld being in the state that it's currently in?

Dalton is taking a step back, looking right into the foundations, and question back that artworld by mirroring its effects. I think that work was site-specific.

I don't think it's about Pop at all. Ticketting bracelets are not pop. It's a social formulae. She's playing with that.

Cedric

12/13/2007 04:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Dalton is taking a step back, looking right into the foundations, and question back that artworld by mirroring its effects.

Oooh! You can almost feel the foundations shudder under all that, that, scrutiny.

I'm sorry, but this is seriously lame.

12/13/2007 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

Franklin, you are such an ass!

12/13/2007 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger joy garnett said...

joanne noted:
Ungenerous...This is sociology lite (and enlightening) with tongue firmly in chic.

Art School Confidential, part deux!

12/13/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Near the start, Ed says, The point is not to prod someone to contemplate something in a vacuum but in the context of the social situation, at the same time as other people, and very intentionally to generate discussion. Perhaps you've done plenty of soul-searching on the issue at hand, but you would hardly, on your own, share your thoughts on this particular topic with a complete stranger who also happened to be in the same art booth or gallery as you...

I think that’s a nice take on Jennifer Dalton’s piece, in the context of a trade show, where everything exhibited is part and parcel to a monetary transaction in one way or another. In the crazy social context of this event, Dalton’s, ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ freebie bracelets feel delightfully subversive, derailing expectations, confounding $$ transactions and injecting both a question, a bit of humor and possibly a conversation into the moment, with what is essentially a trade show souvenir.

The bracelets fit nicely into Dalton’s previous interests in examining the art world context, whether or not it was good conceptual art, good art, or even art at all, is something that will be answered within the context of her body of work over time.

I wasn’t there but I liked the idea. Hot is overrated take the money and run.

12/13/2007 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

I agree.
Franklin is an Ass,
no,
an Asshole.

12/13/2007 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Well, there are three kinds of people.

12/13/2007 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

Joseph,
I guess that makes us freaks. Sweet!

12/13/2007 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Enough folks. When it declines into name calling, the party is over. I'll give this thread one last chance to raise the bar a bit or I'm closing the comments.

Intelligent people can debate a piece without calling each other lame or asses. Try harder please.

12/13/2007 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

I am assuming that these are the silicone wristbands that became popular due to the yellow Live Strong ones that were suppose to show you cared enough to donate to cancer research? Then quickly deteriorated into fashion, complete with an illicit urban legend, all of which makes it ripe for contemporary art.

Art that manages to get outside its own pretentious little bubble and acknowledges that there is a world out there and appropriates to its own end is always welcome.

The fact that people use these to associate themselves with a cause, or fly the colors of their gangs, pledge allegiance to their tribe, etc.. etc.. addresses the way people don't define themselves, but are willing to let themselves be defined by association as a member of a larger group without having contributed to the definition of that group. It really just boils down to the two party us and them, republican or democrat, jew or gentile, democracy or communism non-choice, which statistically speaking though a majority of people define themselves as republican or democrat, independents are the overall majority with a little over one third, so depending how it is framed it would look like this

%64 Republican or Democrat (Us or Them)
%36 Independent

or

%32 Republican
%32 Democrat
%36 Independent

although in the Hot/Rich choice
(Hot meaning sexy)

I would say if you're Hot it is easier to become rich(and if you like free stuff, people always want to give stuff to the Hot)

If you're rich ugly is still ugly (no amount of plastic surgery or prada will change that)

and either way if you're an asshole you're still an asshole.

As for Dan Martinez's Pundit this piece blows his away, and aren't his buttons just a conceptual ripoff of Jenny Holtzer?

hasn't it been said here before

A good artist borrows
A great artist steals

12/13/2007 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

I'm glad Mark got the reference to Cedric's post and sorry if the humor was lost on most.

I hope my previous post gets things back on track

12/13/2007 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

my sincere apologies

12/13/2007 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

Really, was Haacke's MoMA poll really that sophisticated? But we teach it anyway, because it is one of the markers of a cultural turn.

The whole bracelet phenomena has been interesting, way more interesting than those ballot boxes. Here, instead of putting in your vote to end the war you get to choose you promotional wear. Cultural identification on a massive scale that began with Livestrong - for the most part an expression of fitness and vanity in the guise of true compassion. This, at the moment that we go to war. What made Americans behave in this way, and at such a scale?

So, to enter a discussion of art historical value - I like the play with Haacke's plexiglass bins, and I admire the lighthearted subversive tone - not preaching to the converted but a party gift for the confused. A bit like the really tough choice to be made between Christina or Britney.

However, instead of perpetually writing up the meaningless of criticism in our administered lives in which being rich and hot is all that counts, can't we find the things that do count? I think Dalton did a nice job of framing the door, but once you've crossed that threshold, what starts to count and why?

12/13/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

In case it wasn't clear, I was calling Dalton's piece lame, not Cedric. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Art that manages to get outside its own pretentious little bubble and acknowledges that there is a world out there and appropriates to its own end is always welcome.

As far as I can tell, this piece is does not get outside its own pretentious little bubble. Asking art-fairgoers whether they'd prefer to be hot or rich is as inside the bubble as one can get. So this fails by Joseph's metric. Art that appropriates to its own end is always welcome? Always? When it works, maybe. This doesn't work.

12/13/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone here remembers the Red Ribbon?

A powerfull symbol created by a collective of gay artists, some HIV positive. (Not by surrealist NY artist Frank Moore, he stole the credit together with Visual AIDS for their own benefit and monetary purposes) It was instrumental in raising awareness and helping all HIV+ and people with AIDS around the world.

It was destroyed by cinics. Very much like the original bracelet has.

A shame.

12/13/2007 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant cynic.

12/13/2007 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

What hububbery!

It's not uninteresting work--I took "pig" myself.

But I think that Franklin is actually spot on when he says this:

Asking art-fairgoers whether they'd prefer to be hot or rich is as inside the bubble as one can get.

Whether it works or doesn't work or is conceptual or not conceptual--I think that's the axis on which Dalton's work should be questioned. IMHO, art gets boring when it's just about art.

12/13/2007 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

Oh, sorry. I was being vague.

What I meant to say is that whether Dalton's work is conceptual or technically successful is not as interesting as its orientation toward the art world.

12/13/2007 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

The artworld is a froth of pretentious little bubbles, take your pick.

It is a fallacy to assume ones personal little bubble is the one and only true bubble. It is also a fallacy to assume that the other bubbles somehow make ones own bubble less important or vital.

Society, via the culture, considers all the various bubbles in due time and some are deemed to be bubbles of the moment, the envelope of some localized truth in a particular moment in time, and we pay closer attention.

FTR, I like Dalton’s piece, that it has little to do with my own practice neither threatens nor disappoints me, more power to her.

12/13/2007 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Asking art-fairgoers whether they'd prefer to be hot or rich is as inside the bubble as one can get.

Kind of the only way for it to be effective, no?

12/13/2007 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

I take it back Franklin isn't an Asshole he is just Ignorant and possesses a closed minded understanding of art, (poor franklin)

.As far as I can tell, this piece is does not get outside its own pretentious little bubble. Asking art-fairgoers whether they'd prefer to be hot or rich is as inside the bubble as one can get. So this fails by Joseph's metric.

The Livestrong wristband which eventually spurred a wide spread fashion where it's original intention was lost, it then took on a life of it's own out there in the world beyond the bubble, Dalton appropriated it and do you think everyone who took one at the Miami state fair, I mean Pulse Art Fair was an art world insider?

I thought people familiar with the general art discourse would understand that when the inside/outside art reference is made it pertains to art that deals with it's own issues, often referred to as meta-art, outside issues would be those occurring in the world in general everyday in people's lives.

for some reason, though it may not be related, I keep remembering the movie Max all the scenes of Max Rothman trying to explain modern art to Hitler and Hitler just won't accept it.

12/13/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

In case it wasn't clear, I was calling Dalton's piece lame, not Cedric.

Again, so brave of you to hand down critiques of works you haven't experienced.

Seriously, though, what do you expect me to do with such callousness? Am I to applaud your insight or frankness? Am I to never dare share anecdotes about work we exhibit again, for fear of subjecting the artist to such horrid cheapshots from someone who has declared his loathing for conceptual pieces, and feels free to dismiss them without first hand viewings? Are you attempting to make me see the light? What?

"Lame" as you're using it is hardly a constructive criticism or even a valid academic criticism. If your goal is education or enlightenment, you might start by understanding how both are incompatible with the frame of mind your potshots create.

Unless you don't really have any constructive to offer and are simply acting out.

By the way, your quote conveys that you were indeed calling Cedric lame:

Oooh! You can almost feel the foundations shudder under all that, that, scrutiny.

I'm sorry, but this is seriously lame.


Cedric noted what he felt Dalton was doing (there's nothing about the piece that demands to be read that way), so by mocking that idea of foundation shaking, you are very clearly calling Cedric lame.

12/13/2007 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Cedric's observation was accurate to the extent that one might as well impart his attributions to the piece. Nothing in the work contradicts that reading. But having accomplished that, it's still doesn't do anything of import, hence the lameness. Scrutiny of some kind of unnamed art market foundation ought to turn up some interesting returns, but I don't see any, and Cedric doesn't seem to expect any himself. I have no opinion about Cedric personally.

However, I think Joseph definitely is calling me ignorant and closed-minded. I gather this from I take it back Franklin isn't an Asshole he is just Ignorant and possesses a closed minded understanding of art, (poor franklin). Let me know if I've misinterpreted that, being as ignorant as I am. The closed-minded bit is an interesting assertion. I'm pretty equal-opportunity when it comes to scrutinizing art and the claims made for it. The good ones don't break upon examination.

In fact, I thought it was pretty generous of me to solicit a defense of this work on the terms upon which is was made. It's no secret that I find those terms ridiculous. You'll notice that we're not rehashing my feelings about conceptualism, but talking about this piece in particular. "Lame" may lie outside valid academic criticism, but "excluded middle" does not, and no one wanted to defend it on those terms. I read your defense of the piece, which described a mental process that looks pretty banal from this end, and I said so. I find the pleasure you derive from those processes all out of proportion to their scope, but to each his own. As you said, we disagree.

You can do whatever you want with this information. I would tend to think that you're in the market for a response, seeing that you have a blog, and I think it would be surprising if every response you received was positive. If you don't want to subject your opinions to examination, close comments.

The repeated cracks about my not having seen this work are just an attempt to shut down criticism. You know as well as I do that this piece is not based on aesthetic qualities, so the idea ought to carry some weight to it, and I have yet to see that demonstrated. Tell me what about this piece I would notice in person that I can't figure out well enough at a distance, assuming there is something.

12/13/2007 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Cedric's observation was accurate to the extent that one might as well impart his attributions to the piece.

You've conflated Cedric's read with the artist's intention here and concluded his read was "lame" ergo the piece is lame. Sorry, but that kind of roundabout critique is useless to me. I understand why you're jumping through hoops to try and escape the fact you called Cedric's response to the piece "lame," but you're not accomplishing it.

However, I think Joseph definitely is calling me ignorant and closed-minded.

I would ask that everyone keep personal insults out of the debate. I don't mind adding, though, that calling a work "lame" is only one hair's breadth away from a personal insult in the context of a blog by the artist's dealer.

I do find it amusing that your opinions here are supposed to be interpreted as objective, but my objection to critiques via jpeg are "cracks." I find it patently absurd that you would choose the phrase "I have yet to see that demonstrated" on the heels of suggesting you don't have to view it to offer such critiques.

12/13/2007 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the loser/pig piece in the gallery, not the rich/hot piece at the fair, and I thought it was pretty lame (and I mean that just as it sounds, a non-academic response to a piece that seems to think it is pointing out something important, or at least clever). Basically I agree with Franklin on many points (I don't hate conceptual art categorically, but most of it is just bad). But I also think Franklin is being rude and using an insulting tone that isn't called for. I've never really "gotten" Jen's work because it seems didactic, simple-minded and poorly made. So to me it fails on two levels: the concept is inconsequential (though basically harmless, not offensive) and the execution is poor. I hope I'm not being rude to say this, but I think Ed did at least imply that, by discussing the piece on this blog he was open to criticism. But let's try to be gentlemanly about it (for lack of a better word), because i think we all appreciate the forum that Ed is generously giving us here.

kalista

12/13/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

As I wrote above, I do think that Dalton's piece steps out of a pretentious bubble. There is something to be said about for reducing a ballot box offered in protest to no more than a party wink, and it's not simply a matter of getting the joke. It's an address posed to the emptiness of the game, an emptiness that the so-called "criticism" here so quickly devolved to.

12/13/2007 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Thanks for that thoughtful comment Catherine. After all the harsh ones, I needed it.

With my sincerest apologies to Jen for subjecting her to the tone of many of the comments here, I am heading off to bed.

In parting, I would encourage the conceptual art detractors to reconsider what the fuck they're doing on this particular blog. Oh, and for the record, sucking up while you're lashing out at something is particularly vile in my book. Yes, I mean you, kalista.

12/13/2007 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

I love the world lame, same for tame, it's all rhyme with fame.


I think Jennifer will or should expect the kind of criticism she is getting here
because 1) there's loads of people who hate conceptualism and find it facile, sometimes with very good reasons, and 2) she is attempting to shake the estate upon which ground she stands, that is, the art community that supports it.

I follow Catherine that I think it's an inside-outside bubble strategy.

As I'm not sure the people inside the bubble are getting as much from this as people looking at it from the outside, that is, people who never touch the bracelets in the first place. For people inside they will probably only read the statement, giggle, and choose as is requested by the work, but not necesseraly question why it's done at Basel, what it means that she offers this to people there, etc, while I think the latter is all the point. There's a glimpse of resistance in this piece and there is very little of it from within the market.


Edward:
>>so brave of you to hand down critiques of works you haven't experienced.

Ok, let's not exaggerate, we do can sooort-of-get-a-rough-velvety feeling of how the piece functions,
unless you meant we haven't seen close-ups of the bracelet threads of videos shots
of people's reactions (of which you gave ample descriptions). As said above the piece also
functions with the distance, which we actually share with the artist: there is an obvious
distantiation occurring from her part there. As someone else mentioned, kind of bringing
things back to the real.


Is it lame? It's easy to find her project blunt and words on a bracelet are not really a sophisticated medias.
But I don't think the work is about the bracelet itself, or even holding one yourself. It's the Beusyan social sculpture that's she's dealing with. It's a snapshot of a social experience. It's like a yellow marker that underlines something in the social sphere. It's blunt but it's incisive and it does what it wanted to do. Not that many artists yet has achieved to make everyone at an art fair look ridiculous, is it?

Nah..I've said it: Invite her to the Whitney Biennial. Give here a chance, she's a starter, she's on to something. These critics might only help her. Her media is not "bracelets", I've read about her other works and am getting a sentiment of what's she's about.

Cedric Caspesyan

12/13/2007 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't hate conceptual art. Never have. Why is it that if I don't like this one in particular it means I don't like all of the other out there?

I just know when one particular object fails. Period.

12/13/2007 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Edward, red in flame, about to burst:
>>>In parting, I would encourage >>>>the conceptual art detractors >>>to reconsider what the fuck >>>they're doing on this >>>particular blog.

Hmm...From what I'm getting you present all sorts of stuff, especially a lot of paintings. I never caught you as being specialized in conceptual but that's my 2 cents.



>>>Oh, and for the record, sucking >>>>up while you're lashing out at >>>something is particularly vile >>>>in my book. Yes, I mean you, >>>>kalista.


I'm not sure I understand. You are angry cos she critiques one your artist, yet pretends she loves the blog? Those are very different things. Maybe you can close this thread as it puts you in the sensible position of having to defend your artist. That critique (or lack thereof) should have happened elsewhere.


Cedric Caspesyan

12/13/2007 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Anony:
>>>I just know when one particular >>>object fails. Period.

You failed to convince me, as I guess I failed to convince you.

Boy that thread is one bouquet collection of failures ;-)

Cedric

12/13/2007 10:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

You've conflated Cedric's read with the artist's intention here and concluded his read was "lame" ergo the piece is lame. ... I understand why you're jumping through hoops to try and escape the fact you called Cedric's response to the piece "lame," but you're not accomplishing it.

So you're saying that Cedric's interpretation of the piece is incorrect?It didn't sound unreasonable to me. I don't have a lot of investment in separating my poor opinion of the work in question from my poor opinion of Cedric's warm response to it, so think what you like, but a lame response would have misinterpreted the piece, and I don't believe he did so.

...calling a work "lame" is only one hair's breadth away from a personal insult in the context of a blog by the artist's dealer.

I appreciate your loyalty to your artists. Otherwise, I don't think the drama will de-escalate the discussion to your liking.

I do find it amusing that your opinions here are supposed to be interpreted as objective, but my objection to critiques via jpeg are "cracks."

Supposedly my comments are "potshots."

I find it patently absurd that you would choose the phrase "I have yet to see that demonstrated" on the heels of suggesting you don't have to view it to offer such critiques.

I have yet to see it demonstrated in your defense of this work that the idea in it carries weight.

I would encourage the conceptual art detractors to reconsider what the fuck they're doing on this particular blog.

I'm here for the thrill of seeing my opponents' severed heads strewn over the fields of reason, but I only speak for myself. In this case I was interested to see what you would say to the self-identified conceptualists who didn't think much of this work, whose side I more or less took here. I wish they would sign their names, as you do, but clearly this is not convincing some of them, on their amenable terms, not my hostile ones. I'm curious too whether someone can make a case for concepts being good in the way that form can be good. Well, it's not over yet.

12/14/2007 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Cedric is right in noting that having to defend my artist in the context of a post that was a light-hearted follow-up to my report on Miami (not a press release, and not an indepth review) is a losing proposition on a blog, especially while I'm unable to give it my full attention.

Franklin in particular has revealed that this is a hostile blood sport for him, which is fine on his own blog, but has never been the goal of this one. A forum for ideas expressed with civility and the barest minimum of viciousness (if that's ever necessary) is what I've tried to offer here. Once blood is drawn, however, the vultures will follow and I feel that's what has happened. The notion that because I discussed a piece by one of my artists I willingly invited the blatant hostility of comments like "lame," "banal," and "simple-minded" demonstrates a total lack of consideration for me in my opinion.

It's an easy sport to lash out at any artwork with insults and biases. Serious, objective critique is hard, but none of the detractors has offered that here (which is why I haven't bothered with a more rigorous defense...there's nothing on the negative end of comments of any substance to respond to, just totally subjective blasts).

Indeed, they can be categorized as clearly subjective wholesale rejections of the genre (which amount to pet peeves given the history of such work) and generalized declarations of superior mental capacity, which are neither measurable nor relevant.

Still, I recognize when my penchant for loyalty has begun to interfere with my ability to tolerate antagonism, and so I'm closing this thread.

12/14/2007 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

'm here for the thrill of seeing my opponents' severed heads strewn over the fields of reason, but I only speak for myself.

What hubris. Your so called ‘opponents’ don’t know or care that you exist, at least to any degree which can change the direction of art going forward.

While I can allow for and will defend your right to have an opinion, I can only suggest that if your intention is to effectively communicate an alternative path for art, the results are pedantic and boring at best. In thirty years of making art, I cannot recall a single time where whining about a mode or style of art making ever changed anything.

Things change because artists can provide a fresh and interesting alternative to the status quo. This is certainly not what you are offering.

12/14/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

original comment deleted and reposted here with embarrassing number of typos reduced

Ah screw it. Despite not trusting the motivations of those demanding a defense of the piece, I love this work too much to just back away from this. Let the chips fall where they may...if it's blood you want, it's blood you shall have. The comments are reopened. Here's my defense:

Jennifer Dalton's dilemma pieces expose the ridiculous extreme of the "with us or against us" rhetoric of our age. Like Headline News, or sound bites in lieu of real political debate, or the mind-numbing pointlessness of bumper sticker sentiments, her take-away trinkets reflect the shallowness of our lazy age of entitlement and speed, even as they record our own complicity with it (the bracelets in the bin serve as a real-time bar graph for subsequent viewers, and knowing instantly which piece is more popular automatically feeds into your own decision process).

The text on the bracelets is but one level of the exploration, providing two simultaneous choices (to take or not, and if so, which one and why). Rejecting the internal thought process (i.e., not really taking the time to consider what it means to brand oneself as a "loser" or "pig" or "hot" over "rich" or vice versa) and merely sheepishly participating or merely snapping up one because it's free is as valid a response to the piece as discussing your choice or ignoring it as well. The bin becomes a watering hole in that way, with some folks simply drinking and leaving and others joining in the dialog, which very rarely stays on topic, and becomes a constantly meandering stream of collective consciousness. Aesthetically, the choices reflect the transparency of grocery store bins designs, connoting the sort of "plenty" that leads to foolish complacency and the mass-produced bland plastic bracelets that have gone the way of colored ribbons in losing their meaning via ubiquitousness.

The brilliance of the piece, in my opinion, and the improvement over other take away works that end up being framed (Gonzales-Torres) or require some explanation when encountered individually (to anyone other than a total insider) to understand them on any level (Martinez) is their viral potential via their self-contained content and portability. "Loser" will continue to convey a significant chunk of the original decision in any future context. "I'd rather be Hot than Rich" will being comprehensible on some level without any explanation of what the other choices were. Creating the piece such that it will live on in that way, spreading the dialog, was a stroke of genius in my opinion.

I don't care to convince anyone whose mind is made up by any of this. I simple feel I owe it to Jen to explain more fully why I truly love this work.

12/14/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

Very nice defense of the work. I do see the portability aspect in her work that perhaps isnt there in FGT's. However (in defense of my hero) I have to say that, to me, the very fact of the un-portability of his work is what makes the work so strong. The fact that a blank piece of paper can end up as a surface for a child's drawing, or a piece of candy gets lost in a drawer and thrown out for spring cleaning is a metaphor for the lives lost only but for our remembrance of them. The fact that his work relies on our memory may mean he eventually gets lost to the dustbin himself, but even that fact is incredibly moving to me.

12/14/2007 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Thanks for that comment Mark. I didn't mean to suggest FGT is anything less than a god in my opinion. It's merely on this one aspect of the viral potential of the take-away objects and their ability to convey some degree of the original content in the absence of a fuller context that I feel Dalton has added something significant to the genre.

12/14/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

agreed

12/14/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I was intially not aware that Jennifer is one of your artists, and would probably have phrased my comments differently. It is your blog.

If I may make one more attempt here though. I don't believe this project was intended to spark a serious internal debate about choosing between one of two possible identities, at least it's not set up to do this, so I have to assume it's no one's intent. It's about how/if you choose to respond to a false dilemma, as is the dramatic action of reality TV.

That response may have meaning, within the given context.

I'm suggesting you're leaping context, just as the souvenir grabbers are.

12/14/2007 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Something I'm not getting here in this debate is that...well...you see, to me, all arts are conceptuals.

I think want Franklin means is that he hates art when it is stripped bare to its concept, and see this sort of action as a betrayal against those artists who used hard work to envelop or embellish whathever they meant to
say. But though I'm a big promoter of aesthetic research and form exploration, the means and methods that one chooses in these endeavours are always impregnated by concept.

So..being detrimental to conceptual art doesn't make sense to me. Maybe, Franklin, and I know this is another topic, but you probably mean that you dislike anti-aesthetic works.

As a form itself, regardless of the beauty or uglyness of the trinket (I'm learning a word here.."trinket"..), I don't find the work inexplorative because instead of being a plank stacked on a wall (I'm harsh with painting..I know), the work is actually a free multiple that people carry, in fact a multiple attempting to divise public's participation (and perhaps even, response).

Ok, there's other forms that could be more explorative but I'm sure 90per cent of what was shown as Basel wasn't as explorative.

In the meantime if the trinkets had been designed a la Art Deco in orange-tinted Ivory with encasted jade by Cartier, would have they been more interesting? Is art always a question of attractiveness?

Or would you have hoped for something deeper written on this bracelet? Like a quote by Lacan or Derrida? Isn't it its superficiality that's supposed to provoke you, probably even make you hate it? It's a possibility afterall that part of Dalton's intention was for people, at least some, to hate this work. Call it the strategy of the punk. Behind all the laughs this work I find to be sort of gloomish. Kind of like it's whispering "hey, did you know..the joke's on you".




Cedric Caspesyan
centiment@hotmail.com

12/14/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Protect me from what I want.

I chose to be a pig, but I didn't take a bracelet.

Isn't it ironic?

I thought the "little brown bag" "takeaway" piece at Macy's was pretty good. It pointed out the supermarket choices we call freedom (as does Dalton) as well as showing us that you can only buy so much, while highliting the fact that there are always bigger bags. Maybe I'm reading too much into it though.

Good art makes you feel smart and funny and clever and sexy and happy. Bad art leaves a cold hard lump where your soul used to be. Art is not medicine, but neither is it a hairshirt to be worn by a Penitente - except perhaps ironicly.

Live strong, fellow Cimmerians.

12/14/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved. I am quoted again by the boss.

You see I don't need so many words like most here.

Free posters, candy, buttons, postcards, sculptures, all are objects, the idea behind it is what is important.

When the idea fails or is lame and the object as well, the work is a weak conceptual piece of art or just more stuff.

12/14/2007 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

A forum for ideas expressed with civility and the barest minimum of viciousness (if that's ever necessary) is what I've tried to offer here. ... It's an easy sport to lash out at any artwork with insults and biases.

Someone in agreement with you likens my capacity for art appreciation to Hitler's, and you respond with a display of umbrage to the effect that "lame" directed at this work of art will be taken as a personal insult. I've been pointing out item by item that this work is not accomplishing things that its defenders have claiming for it, and what it is accomplishing is not interesting. To you this isn't criticism, but "lashing out" and "insults" and "biases." Your response to Kalista was atrocious; even Cedric didn't understand the problem. You can do all this if you like, I just want to note that I'm not fooled into thinking that this is a more reasonable forum than it is. I've seen a lot worse, and I've seen a little better.

So to recap, If you pick the Rich bracelet, it's a valid response. If you pick the Hot bracelet, it's a valid response. If you pick neither bracelet, it's a valid response. If you pick both bracelets, it's a valid response. If you ignore it, it's a valid response. If you think about your thought process while deciding what to do, it's a valid response. If you grab up a bunch without thinking about it, it's a valid response. The piece was good because people talked about it. The only invalid response was expressing my low opinion of the work to its dealer.

A great truth lies herein: strong negative criticism is one of the few taboos in the art world. We can have any kind conversation about Dalton's work except one that characterizes it as fatally flawed, conceptually unsuccessful, and aesthetically not even on the ball field. The penalty for doing so will be insults to one's character, intellectual gifts, and manners. This has been going on for years against people who share my opinions, I suspect, and I'm the thick-hided mutant who persists in this environment. Think of me as a product of natural selection.

12/14/2007 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

ok now, whenever i want to write my respond close to the end of it i would give up and say screw it. let it be.

but this time i want to write to last franklin's comment. and correct me if i am wrong.


So to recap, If you pick the Rich bracelet, it's a valid response. If you pick the Hot bracelet, it's a valid response. If you pick neither bracelet, it's a valid response. If you pick both bracelets, it's a valid response. If you ignore it, it's a valid response. If you think about your thought process while deciding what to do, it's a valid response. If you grab up a bunch without thinking about it, it's a valid response. The piece was good because people talked about it. The only invalid response was expressing my low opinion of the work to its dealer.

You say the piece is good even thoug people grab a bunch of bracelets without thinking about it, right? I would totally respect that and I did. But I wonder how would that person talk about the piece to to other people, suggesting them to go there, and grab bunch of them as well, or the person who listened and learned about piece and picked one (did choose one), would tell some other folks about the piece.

12/14/2007 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I've been pointing out item by item that this work is not accomplishing things that its defenders have claiming for it, and what it is accomplishing is not interesting.

No. You've been pointing out that in your self-declared biased opinion the work is not accomplishing these things. Despite never having experienced the experiential piece. There's a considerable difference.

I actually missed the Hitler line, but you're overstating your case here as well, as the likening was to someone's inability to get something, not to the horror they unleashed on the world, and it was never a directly stated parallel. All the same, you're correct that such statements (because they can be misunderstood) are not civil, and I'll ask folks to refrain.

To you this isn't criticism, but "lashing out" and "insults" and "biases."

Terms like "lame," "banal," and "simple-minded," in the context of a blog by the dealer who represents the artist are indeed insults. If you disagree, we're much too much from different worlds for us to achieve any meaningful mutual understanding.

Your response to Kalista was atrocious

Kalista's comment was repulsive, and quite frankly creeped me out. It read to me as "thanks for providing this place where we can freely insult you and your artists under the pretense of taking you up on your offer of an open forum." Cedric tired to separate out criticism of the art from support of the blog, but he didn't convince me the intent wasn't passive aggressive or exactly how I read it. Even if it wasn't, to pair terms as harsh as "simple-minded" with supposed compliments makes the compliments about as welcome as a warm bucket of spit.

The only invalid response was expressing my low opinion of the work to its dealer.

Conflating again, Franklin. Having a low opinion of the work is one thing. And it's certainly not an invalid response. Phrasing that low opinion in terms that led others to conclude you are an ass is another thing, and an abuse of the tone of the dialog in general here. You may not care for the lapses in reason here compared with other blogs, but it's more important to me that folks aren't squeamish about reading the comments for fear that someone will be hurling insults at someone else, in the service of "seeing [your] opponents' severed heads strewn over the fields of reason."

A great truth lies herein: strong negative criticism is one of the few taboos in the art world.

Concluding that from this thread is weak. We've seen precious little that qualifies as "criticism" of the work here, just a good deal of personal preferences.

We can have any kind conversation about Dalton's work except one that characterizes it as fatally flawed, conceptually unsuccessful, and aesthetically not even on the ball field.

Again, untrue. Had those been the terms you used originally, we wouldn't have been having this discussion. Early up the thread I thanked you for sharing your opinions and simply noted we disagreed, but that didn't prevent you from proceeding to get increasingly more belligerent. By the time you turned super sarcastic with "Oooh! You can almost feel the foundations shudder under all that, that, scrutiny. I'm sorry, but this is seriously lame." you had succeeded is hijacking the thread and turning the point of the discussion away from the original post and onto yourself, which I begin to suspect was the idea.

The penalty for doing so will be insults to one's character, intellectual gifts, and manners. This has been going on for years against people who share my opinions, I suspect, and I'm the thick-hided mutant who persists in this environment. Think of me as a product of natural selection.

Your opinion of yourself is rather impressive, I must say. The modern martyr thingie is a bit much though. Turning the tables when someone accuses you of bad manners is a typical conservative ploy, but with its constant use by the current administration, we're all aware of it now, so you might want to find a new tactic there as well.

12/14/2007 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Verbose or the love of verbosity in the art world: A Fact."

Comming soon!

12/14/2007 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Franklin,

Your responses lack any sense of grace or etiquette.

You said, A great truth lies herein: strong negative criticism is one of the few taboos in the art world. This may or may not be true, but if it is their might be a reason beyond the obvious one of money. Regardless, I feel that constructive criticism, even when negative is more effective, more useful to both the audience and to the viewing audience. The negative harangue becomes just that, and is ignored by the parts of the audience one wants most to reach.

In your comment you are implying that what you are offering us is strong negative criticism of Ms. Dalton's work. While this forum has been the venue for several heated debates in the past, I feel it’s in poor taste that you are so insistent on writing your criticism on an artwork you have not seen, on this blog. You have your own blog, why aren’t you writing your criticism there? After you have seen the exhibition of course.

In my experience, the collective viewing audience is not that dumb, as a group they get the picture even when they cannot express it. I think that the viewing audience ‘gets’ Ms Dalton’s piece just fine and most likely in the manner intended, a bit of provocative thought, maybe some introspection, a bit of humor or entertainment injected into their day, and something to wear home, how fun is that?

If you view this argument as a stake in the ground, a line in the sand (poetic huh?) against conceptual art, well watch your flanks, you are going to get trampled.

12/14/2007 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Anyone going to the Modern Language Association dealio this year? It's in Chicago, not Miami. Cold is semioticly linked with seriously.

Can you feel my "draft?"

ba dump bump.

I hate conceptual art in general, Beginning with Duchump and ending with pits dug in floors.

How inane. How tepid. How USELESS.

12/14/2007 04:25:00 PM  
Anonymous George said...

to fix typo in my comment above:

Regardless, I feel that constructive criticism, even when negative is more effective, more useful to both the artist and to the viewing audience.

12/14/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, let's tone this down a bit. A lifetime of experience is needed here.

Dears, to think that each and every art work by an artist is "good", "great", "a success" is a myth, phalacy, and a simple lie. You learn with time which ones are good and the best together with a lot of failures in most cases. This time, the bracelet could be a failure but that doesn't mean everything the artist does is bad. That's the road Ed should take. For some people that post here it is a failed work, period. Giving more context by the persons in favor of it helps too. None was done here.

In my opinion, both bracelets fail because I have issues with "Pop" or pseudo social and art world criticism and the destruction of legitimate symbols with facile cynism. Why and what for and in the context of an art fair? And it reminds me of all the fake surveys, tests and stats Cosmopolitan mag published in the 70's and 80's. Simple.

We just say what we think and wait for the next work. But we all remain in the kitchen no matter what. The artist shouldn't worry about a thing, keep going.

12/14/2007 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

I hate writing too. I also hate placeholders for writing. I also hate sets of writing that contain no content. I hate sets of no content and self referentiality without egress. I also hate text adventure games, Jenifer Dalton's unmitigated hubris (i am smarter, probably), Julian Schnabel's affected pajamanisme, Shark tanks (unless it's just a shark in a tank, then I love it)anyone who ever tried and failed to leverage fame in one area into a creepy mediocre creative endevour, miami's so called "culture" and the Chuck E Cheeze's themed restaurant chain.

I also think you people are dancing around the issue(s) at the expense of Jenifer Dalton and my patience.
It verges on anti-intellectual. At best there is some serious failure in vision about what art is and can be. I mean we are (we are!) talking total social transformation (aren;t we?) and here we are (we are!) making MERE satire or comedy (low or high I forget) about work that deserves an honest critical analysis (not just faint praise), if only because it is the most (the only!) institutionally critical thing to be reported out of Art Tererium Miami (ATM) that I know of. (Pathetic as that may be).

12/14/2007 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Anon,

What! are yolu suggesting we take a broader view of all this? Hurumph, been there done that ;-)

12/14/2007 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

i hate toothless institutional critique as well.

12/14/2007 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Zip At best there is some serious failure in vision about what art is and can be. I mean we are (we are!) talking total social transformation (aren;t we?)

Total social transformation?

I thought we were making luxury goods for the wealthy.

12/14/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No dear, I am not saying that....

But, something else came to my mind and let me add...

If you are out there with your work and you don't get any hits like this one once in a while and more, it means a few things...

You are buying your way to the top with PR and $$$...

You live in a bubble of friends and contacts....

You have created your own scene devoid of true art criticism like you see with the new Miami artists...

and a few others...

12/14/2007 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

You know the spearhead
Always breaks off
When you twist it
What is a luxury?

12/14/2007 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

At best there is some serious failure in vision about what art is and can be. I mean we are (we are!) talking total social transformation (aren;t we?) and here we are (we are!)

Oh, no. I just fell in love with Zipthwung.

12/14/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Actually, the opposite, Bambino - that paragraph is a reduction of points in Ed's most recent defense of the piece in this thread. I don't think it constitutes a sound aggregate, because I doubt anything could be seen as an invalid approach given that attitude. If no possible responses are invalid, we're looking at an elaborate foregone conclusion, and if the only invalid response is having the temerity to voice criticism in the approved fashion, then we have a whole different kind of problem.

George, I'll be happy to direct you to several Artblog.net threads made overlong with your flamebaiting and name-calling if you have a problem with my etiquette.

Your opinion of yourself is rather impressive, I must say.

This, from Mr. Insult My Artists' Art, Insult Me.

Turning the tables when someone accuses you of bad manners is a typical conservative ploy, but with its constant use by the current administration, we're all aware of it now, so you might want to find a new tactic there as well.

This comment is really a shame, not because I care if people think I'm a conservative (I'm libertarian, for those just joining in), but because you think I'm too dense to see through this and respond in kind. Shall I compare thee in turn to the We Have The Right To Not Be Offended contingent of Islam, which answers cartoons with death threats? Call it out as a genetic fallacy? Maybe characterize your maneuver to tarnish my arguments with charged political language as "Rovian"? No thank you. Good day.

12/14/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

It has never been more apparent to me, the drawbacks of pluralism...

oy vey...

12/14/2007 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Maybe characterize your maneuver to tarnish my arguments with charged political language as "Rovian"?

How ironic...I stopped just short of calling your martyr appeal "Rovian."

We are clearly from different planets.

12/14/2007 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

F.

Irony I'm home :-)

12/14/2007 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

Honestly oy vey....

:P

12/14/2007 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous pp said...

This kind of art is a viagra for generating discussions

12/14/2007 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

In defense of Franklin I did call him ignorant.

and I did liken his closed mindedness to Hitler who called modern art ugly and perverse (as oppossed to ugly/perverse;)..)

I have noticed in this thread Franklin is the narcissist du jour, evident in the constant assumption on his part there is some absolute out there he holds the rule book to and he is the keeper of the law and get's to tell everyone what is and isn't art according to his interpreting this veritas.

in his own words
In fact, I thought it was pretty generous of me to solicit a defense of this work

interpretation "I was generous in letting you know why you are wrong"

anyone who uses a phrase like
I'm here for the thrill of seeing my opponents' severed heads strewn over the fields of reason
can hardly know what reason is.

Ed I'm sorry I used the Hitler analogy, it's so modern, I guess the better comparison would be to like Franklin to Bush's gangs arrogance and inability to acknowledge that their policies aren't working, and worse yet that unaware of the consequences of those policies. They are the type of people who would cut their finger off to get out of href"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_handcuffs"chinese handcuffs

I'm glad Cedric finally pointed out that all art is conceptual, why people insist on singling out what really is minimalism as conceptual and then rejecting it really just shows to me their own limitations of understanding what art can be.

when people bring up the

great truth lies herein: strong negative criticism is one of the few taboos in the art world.

to defend their arguments they always fail to realize that they are failing to make a strong case based on reason why someone besides them should adopt their views, and inevitable they stoop to trying to bully everyone into agreeing with them.

The best critics have never been able to convince anyone someone isn't a good artist, they are best when they act as a shaman in showing there is art in places we didn't at first see it, they usually have a keener insight and an ability to express that insight, and it is a real pleasure in its self to have art pointed out in a way previously overlooked.

Saying the emperor has no clothes works only when indeed the emperor has no clothes.

12/14/2007 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Ok Edward and Franklin...Big Hugs... Kisses...Slurps...

It's funny, I'm usually the big bitch that everyone hates (or maybe I just wish).

I did said bad comments about a previous artist from Winkleman at some point (that we won't name here). I think the subtle difference is that when I critique I always leave an opportunity for the people to decide, and accept the doubt that I might be fooling myself.

I will say "I find this work lame", but not mean it in a way that I mean "it's lame and that's it period, your opinion has no value". Or does that mean that the people who don't share my views are lame? ;-) .. I generally respect artists that I hate but that receive a lot of public attention. Yes, Celine Dion, that also includes you! And though I will be less forgiving when I feel this respect is artificially being pushed up by a precise artworld microsystem that is not mirrored by any public response (I need more than a bouquet of curators to convince me that an artist is important), I will always take a step back, shut myself, and exile if I see that the majority are disagreeing with my opinion.

Now don't paranoie, it isn't the case here at all, it doesn't seem like there is any winning side, but it's important to understand that both people who hate or loved Dalton's work have a right to be respected for their opinions. And so, I understand, it is difficult sometimes to talk passionately about our interpretation of a project while keeping in sight that they are thousands different ways and views to see the world, and that these views could be as worthy from a different angle. In fact I would even argue that each work of art ever is at the same time equally lame or great depending on the angle you are viewing it. Or at least that is my philosophy. I recently trashed a few non-winkleman artists in these threads, and didn't quite receive (yet) vehement critical opposition (except for Rembrandt, lol), but if there was, say, about 5 to 8 people claiming that they liked what I did not, then I'd have to admit that, sometimes things just aren't your bag, and things are not so much about absolutes in Good Taste. For example many people adore painting, while other find it's too much of an old cliché medium. These are just two different views that can be as valid depending on the arguments.

Your arguments that you found the work lame counts. On the contrary to what Edward thinks, I believe you did gave a few interesting reasons that the artist herself could even benefit from reading ('"hmmm....how can I make a work that Franklin wouldn't find lame"...You know maybe there's a challenge in that! But others have expressed as many valid comments that the work is original, quirky, different. In the end it's the public who decide, and public taste take a long time to jauge.


Cheers,

Cedric Caspesyan
centiment@hotmail.com

12/14/2007 11:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Joseph, so far you've called me an asshole, ignorant, closed-minded, resembling Hitler in my appreciation of art, a narcissist, resembling Bush's gang in my arrogance and lack of contrition, prone to self-mutilation (?), limited in my understanding of what art can be, and a bully. One question: what have I written about you?

12/15/2007 01:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Walker said...

Brian Sherwin did an interview with this artist at www.myartspace.com/blog

12/15/2007 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

that's really all just one thing if you had the brains to understand it, which I doubt you do, and I'll explain it this way, I have nephews who know I'm an artist and I answer question they ask about art the same way I would answer them if a friend asked, being children with underdeveloped brains and limited experience they cannot grasp the appreciation of the more contemplative ideas I explain. I, as an adult, know their brains will develop and they may or may not learn how to grasp abstract concepts, and how they are enjoyable.

As an adult I can look at children and know for a fact, because I was once a child, that they are at a stage of development behind mine, that their growth is at a point I have grown beyond.

when you grow up maybe you will understand art isn't about elitism, art isn't imposing your own narrow minded strict adherence to dogmatic doctrine on others, it's not an inquisition, its being liberated from the shackles.

now why the people who insist on being anti conceptualism are so vehement in attacking it is beyond me, the greatest failing of any work of art is a weak concept especially in painting, without a strong concept it's just a still life, and a bowl of fruit no matter how expertly painted is just a bowl of fruit, not to mention I don't think this is a conceptual piece, it has a concept behind it, but it is more a social experiment.

when ever there is an attack that attack is an aggression an attempt at trying to control what others like, its trying to impose your views onto others by force.

regardless of whether you wrote anything about me, I am critiquing your methods, if you had the capacity for self reflection, you might realize that you are a bully,
that the methods you implore are no different than any invading force, not different from China marching into tibet and and destroying monasteries and killing monks, not different from Saddam Husein marching into Kuwait, and not different than the US crossing the line from liberating force to occupation.

then you have the gaul to claim to be a victim when you are confronted, you are the type of person who after being sprayed with maice by someone you are assaulting would think they have been victimized.

I also doubt you can grasp the metaphors properly, which is why you hate conceptual art, you lack the mental facilities to understand it and probably feel left out. So as Edward put it you you have the need to act out, no different than my nephew who when something gets to hard for him to understand, throws a tantrum.

what it boils down to is you can't really give a reason why this work fails so you attempt to attack or dismiss the reason's people like it

not only that you do so by misinterpreting what they write and frame it in a way to try and make it seem as if they are absurd to write it

and if that fails you attack the person or attempt to dis-credit them

so to answer your question

what have I written about you?

I'll quote (more like paraphrase) the mighty JC and say

"that which you do the least of them you do unto me"

12/15/2007 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

ah Joseph,

your previous comment was on point and a reasonably fair assessment, but your last one, including likening yourself to JC, goes a bit too far.

Everyone: discussing someone else's mental capacity is strictly off bounds here. Thanks for your understanding

12/15/2007 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey sorry I'm late to the discussion here. What did everybody think about Jennifer Dalton's black vinyl bracelet piece?

Eric

12/15/2007 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Likening unkind remarks about art you enjoy to the invasions of Tibet, Kuwait, and Iraq is "on point and a reasonably fair assessment" and only goes too far ("a bit"!) when the speaker likens himself to Jesus?

12/15/2007 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Franklin, I asked him to refrain from furthering the hostility here. I'll ask you to do the same. Time to tone it down.

Thanks for the head's up Walker. Here's the full link for that interview between Jen and Brian.

12/15/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm shocked at Ed's response to my comment. He found it creepy and repulsive? Thought I was sucking up while insulting? I meant to neither suck up nor insult. I do appreciate this blog, and I did find the loser/pig bracelet piece to be not successful. Can't those statements both be true? I guess the argument had already heated up to the point where my saying that I found the work "lame" was perceived as just adding to the hostility. Excuse me if that was insensitive of me, but out of all the insults and harsh words flying back and forth, you found my remarks "repulsive"? Ed, I do love this blog, and I generally think you are very reasonable in your responses to criticism, but in this case I think you've gone over the deep end. It seems to really gall you that I agree with (many of) Franklin's views on Jen's work, but that I don't agree with his hostile delivery. I don't feel the need to suck up to you, nor to insult you or your artists. I respect you and don't feel we should be insulting each other here. And I don't feel the loser/pig piece was successful. Is that repulsive?

kalista

12/15/2007 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

let me see if I can make this clear:

I very much appreciate that artist X joins in the dialog here. His/her feedback is always insightful and a welcome addition to the forum. It's unfortunate that artist X's work is lame, simple-minded, and poorly made. But I'm glad he/she comments here.

Now imagine you're artist X.

Do the compliments taste good or bitter?

Seriously, Kalista...who would you expect to accept "simple-minded" in any context as anything other than intentionally insulting? Maybe that word means something less caustic to you, but where I come from it's pretty damn mean.

12/15/2007 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it wouldn't taste good to hear that about my own work, but that's one of the risks an artist takes by putting her work out there in the world. And I didn't say she was a moron, or that she is a bad artist, or you should be embarrassed to show such work. I'm sure I've read much harsher words than "simple-minded" in reviews.

Reading your defense of her work clarified it a bit for me, but that very fact, that the intent (and how the piece supposedly functions) needed to be clarified by a written statement is almost like more evidence that the work itself, without such an explanation, was not successful. Ok, the word "simple-minded" is a little mean, and if I were writing a full-scaled criticism of the piece I probably would have chosen other words. But this is a blog; comments are casual, off the cuff, not measured and prepared in advance.

I really think you are taking this way too personally, and I'm still surprised that of all the comments posted here (besides the mini-war between Franklin and the anti-Franklins) you chose mine on which to focus your anger. Even if took my words as completely insulting and mean-spirited (which I think is a stretch), I made a point of saying that I appreciated the blog and the discussions we have here and that combination seems to anger you the most. I stand by my dichotomy.

kalista

12/15/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps Your hypothetical scenario:

I very much appreciate that artist X joins in the dialog here. His/her feedback is always insightful and a welcome addition to the forum. It's unfortunate that artist X's work is lame, simple-minded, and poorly made. But I'm glad he/she comments here.

is not really apt because nobody is talking about the artwork of people who comment on this blog. We were talking about artwork that is displayed, for the public to see (and presumably for the public to have responses to and opinions of) at galleries and art fairs. When my work is shown publicly, I have to endure what critics, and even obnoxious bystanders, say about it.

And I didn't say that I anyone's comments are always insightful, etc. (Some comments are indeed lame.) I said I appreciated the forum you provide.

kalista

12/15/2007 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pps

I didn't say anything nearly as mean as repulsive, vile and creepy.

k

12/15/2007 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In upstate New York it is now 2:45 pm on Saturday December 15, 2007. It is supposed to snow 10-12 inches overnight. I plan on drawing all day and doing the laundry. Happy holidays to all of you.

Eric

12/15/2007 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

And with that warm and lovely thought, this thread will end.

12/15/2007 03:16:00 PM  

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