Saturday, May 9, 2009

Art and Culture

Judging by this cartoon I did in the late 1950's, there were quite a few things affecting my psyche. None of them, if my more mature judgement is correct, were leading me to produce any great art.

Well, I am still looking around and reflecting on what ideas and influences might inspire me to greater heights.

One of the fascinating things about memes (ideas passed from one generation to another and dispersed in a variety of ways) is that, like genes, they can have surprising origins.

We often accept our notions as original because they seem so right. For example, I am very keen on the idea that art is only completed when the viewer participates in it. Now I find that there is an art movement called Relational Aesthetics, whose proponents pushed this notion to its limits in the 90’s.

The fellow credited with recognizing and promoting exhibits of examples of this Relational Aesthetics is a Frenchman named Bourriaud. I suspect that his writings are rather like a good speech at a Toastmasters Club. They simply articulate better what you might be contemplating anyway. All credit to hime, however, for being a mover and shaker.

Bourriaud has now proclaimed the latest art “Ism”, even though the label he uses “altermodern”, does not end in “ism”. Altermodern is the new art of the post-economic apocalypse, he claims, arising out of negotiations between different agents from different cultures and geographical locations.

Like most people, I guess, I hope that in the long term the current economic crisis is a going to be a mere blip on the radar, but anyone, let alone an artist, would have to be culturally brain-dead not to have noticed it and be somewhat affected by it . That insidious beast Globalisation with its godfather Economic Rationalism is also bound to get a bit under your skin too, so thoughts about it are likely to be expressed in Art in a variety of ways as well.

Here is an example of "Altermodernity"Bare: Aleph Null Head by Charles Avery

If you want to know more about Altermodernity and see some more images of its expression, I suggest you follow this link.

Comments are welcome.

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