Sunday, November 23, 2008

"A Real Life Experience"

I haven't looked at Sculpture Magazine for a while. Now I know why.
This quote from the article on Michael Amy, Sculpture magazine, June 2008 is why I hate artspeak.The artist isn't just divorced from reality, it looks like a nasty divorce. His language and thinking are what is so dreadful about much contemporary art, seeing itself as above and apart from life.

Best if read out loud!

"It took me a while to understand my direction.
Artists try to separate themselves from society in order to offer a reflection upon the world in which they live.
I got in touch with the Dutch Army Museum in Delft Holland has a lot of war museums, and they still send artist out to war zones.This tradition goes back to the age before photography: you send an artist out with the troops to show people how it is out there. I read letters written by soldiers during the First World War l- they had a huge impact on me. I became interested in this war because it was the moment when traditional warfare made way for chemical weapons - the results were so much more dramatic. (That's one way of describing gas warfare...)
Anyhow, the Delft museum offered to send me to Eritrea in Africa to offer my perspective on war, and I thought, "This is an opportunity to have a real-life experience."However, I quickly realized that getting into the midst of a war would not allow me to keep the distance required to place it in a larger context. That is when I understood that I needed to keep a safe distance from war and death- that remove would allow me to make connections between those subjects and religion and culture.
I thanked the war museum's committee for its offer and returned to my studio. I believed that it was better for me to live these things in my head- in addition to reading about them and studying them -rather than be confronted with them in reality."

"Art for art's sake makes no more sense than gin for gin's sake." said Somerset Maugham.
"Amen," say I

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The interview you cite was conducted by Michael Amy and the artist you quote is Folkert de Jong. For another take on this interview, please see: