Art Without Baggage: Nowhere to Go?

Is it considered conceptual art If it can’t be hung on a  living room wall . Is there a valid difference between a  Damien Hirst painting which will have no value in 150 years and a the most kitschy wooden duck  hanging over the living room fireplace mantle.Where can modern art conceivably progress to from Conceptual Art. There is a temptation to say nowhere and we are living at the end of the line for modern art. But, people have said that in the past about other art movements from abstraction to minimalism et al.

The art world as it presently exists, says the Conceptual Artist, must be totally destroyed, and it is this thinking that has led him to create works that, because of their ephemeral nature, can’t be hung in museums or purchased by collectors. The value becomes in the documentation.Call it art of the negative object. This avoids the misconception of thinking that you have to create something in order to contribute to art. To create without creating anything. An art without history, indeterminate in time and perhaps inaccessible in locale. What remains is the experience, and underlined by the belief that art is only memory, that becomes over time, an invisible ethereal idea. It is anti-object art, or anti-fetish art. If all art were to mysteriously vanish overnight, Conceptual art would still be with us.

Bruce Nauman, Portrait of the Artist as Fountain

Bruce Nauman, Portrait of the Artist as Fountain

Much of conceptual art is so irrational and difficult to understand, so seemingly downright crazy, that one is led immediately to wonder if the movement is not a put-on. The early day of the 1960’s were exemplary for testing the uttermost limits; when De Maria filled three rooms in a Munich Gallery with three feet of dirt, Iain Baxter urinating on a field inside the arctic circle, and Rafael Ferrer dragging hundreds of pounds of ice onto the entrance ramp of the Whitney Museum to let it melt. An dall these activities are called works of art. Is conceptual art an anti-joke, or merely Impossible Art, since it can’t be bought, sold or exchanged easily.

Vito Acconci, ,''Trademarks'', 1970

Vito Acconci, ,''Trademarks'', 1970

In the first place, the Conceptual Artist firmly believes that the traditional forms of art, like paintings and works of sculpture, have reached a dead end. And, moreover, that they’re anachronistically irrelevant in an age of computers, space voyage, video telephones etc. Secondly, the Conceptual Artist believes that art has, for too long been boxed into museums and reverently worshipped, as though paintings and works of sculpture were the holy objects of some oppressive and humorless religion. Its the big box theory of retailing. From Walmart, to Lowe’s to Museums, to even Auschwitz as museum. A religion where the artist has been exploited, not only by museum directors, gallery owners, art collectors and art critics but also by those who merely passively file through museums like sheep to gaze with blissful reverence and hushed awe at the works upon the wall.

The art world as it presently exists, says the Conceptual Artist, must be totally destroyed, and it is this thinking that has led him to create works that, because of their ephemeral nature, can’t be hung in museums or purchased by collectors. it is work without a market.  In short, the purest Conceptual Artist, who angrily wishes no longer to see reputations and fortunes made by others from the work of artists, is the anarchist of the art world who would not be unhappy to see all the parasites and every museum in the world blown up.

Dennis Oppenheim, reading Position for Second Degree Burn

Dennis Oppenheim, reading Position for Second Degree Burn

If an anonymous individual  thinks about creating a work of art but has no idea what it would be – the idea that he might soon have an idea- is in itself considered a work of art.It is an abstract creation, reducing art to its most pure form and also its most idiotic. But, does it make more sense to lie on your back for four years, and ruining your posture, to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Ceratinly,vague concepts of unknown concepts are at the outer limits of coneptual art. Thus,  the idea itself, even if not made visual, is as much a work of art as any finished product. This is the basis of unrealized conceptual art.

If the conceptual artist does not have to realize his concepts, one can perplexedly wonder, does he have to possess any particualar talent for art in the traditional sense such as mastering a brush stroke and drawing a straight line?. No. Post Object Art in a material, mercantile driven world, or art as an idea, is a quantum leap in doing away entirely with the visual object in art, which is likely the conclusion, though irrational and absurd, of where modern art will end up. Art would be reduced to an articualtion of language, which would mean writing.

Youni Me</p><!-- Either there are no banners, they are disabled or none qualified for this location! -->-Jaschin

Youni Messen-Jaschin

To those who believe that art is a substitute for something lacking in life, a religion, a sublimation of a desire that is not directly satisfied, it seems logical to suppose that in an ideal world, art will cease to exist and dissolve. A great pioneer of abstract art, Piet Mondrian , expressed this when he said, ”art will disappear as life gains more equilibrium”. Mondrian and the art utopians of his time, felt that the arts would no longer be separate from each other or from science. Art in an ideal world, would be collectively created and for collective delectation if we can fathom an appreciation for the unrealizable, an abandonment of materials altogether to turn out proposals for projects that aren’t intended to be realized.

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