Andre Wallace

Monday, August 31, 2015


The values of Dismaland have pointed up a real problem with the status of fine art.

All art is vulnerable to new media techniques and exploitation by savants whose value systems are non-existent. The results are usually harmless and meaningless. So this post is a list of media links to sites where historical art is abused by the present to create mildly interesting dross. In a visual diaspora where art is no longer required to engage with meaning in images this is the sort of thing that some people find rewarding.  Miley Cyrus for instance can be found performing in fine art all over the net.
Banksy specialises in this one line joke, and there are literally thousands of great masterpieces used as the basis for photoshopped manipulations such as an entire genre of Mona Lisa's. Then there's the opposite, attempts to render ordinary snaps as works of fine art such as with legions of images on this website. Even the Daily Telegraph has got in on the act as here, but no-one considers the deadening effect that this crudity has upon the real devaluing of the original image and the despoliation of cultural capital and meaning that results.

Is this the future for all art schools? God help visual culture, if this is the future model for making a career in art. Take the time to read the online comments, and reported less than 5% of students who have completed the courses have found relevant employment - which isn't surprising considering the intensely practical nature of art education. How can anyone teach actually art processes online?

Unfortunately the UK now has a perfect storm in state education as a direct result of government policies.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dismaland Dystopian Depression

If you believe that conceptual art is of as much intellectual significance as any fairground attraction, then you will be pleased to know that proof has arrived at Weston super Mare where today sees the grand press opening of Dismaland, a conceptual art fairground based in the old decayed Lido. All the usual suspects and other "artists" are showing there under the overall supervision and invitation of mystery local Bristol boy Banksy. The local TV channel has termed Banksy as the apostle of urban regeneration  - if this is any form of urban renewal then the future's untenable.  Totally depressing how local councillors have swallowed the idea that this is some sort of urban renewal and regeneration because it will not be open for too long? Why are the British so keen on self-deprecation?

"The Julie Burchill 'Punch and Judy', the riot torn village, the 'magic castle' with a paparazzi and Disney centrepiece and, of course, an exit through the gift shop. Fun for all the family? No. Something Britain's seaside has never seen before? Yes." 
What does this all mean and why pay £3.0 entry to be depressed?
Waldemar Januszczak on Dismaland - he has apparently been quite a fan of Banksy's career!

Lastly an unintentional public art event when a big red ball broke free and went for a spin!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Anish Kapoor and stolen ideas.

Anish Kapoor is furious because the Chinese have absolutely no respect for anyone's intellectual property and he says that they have stolen his Chicago Bean sculpture. Comparing the two it seems that the surface finish of the Chinese version leaves something to be desired, amusingly their justification is that whereas Kapoor's original reflects the sky, their version reflects the ground which is to say the least, completely and utterly dissembling.  China's attitude is such that literally everything is up for grabs and the concept of originality is redundant.

Then there is this gentleman in Florida who had unauthorised copies of a sculptors work made in China and then installed them all over his real estate properties. He ended up paying the sculptor a six figure sum as compensation. However the billionaire who had the work copied has previous;
This isn’t the first time public sculpture shenanigans have landed both Olenicoff and Raimondi in court. In 2014 sculptor Donald Wakefield was awarded $450,000 after six unauthorized copies of his work, also produced in China, turned up at Olen Pointe and Century Centre. And earlier this year Raimondi sued the Palm Beach Opera for allegedly removing his bronze sculpture “Spirit Ascending” from its grounds and selling it for scrap."

Then there is this thoughtful post on the Asia Times discussion lines explaining why the Chinese find innovation problematic.  They also seem to be focussed upon stealing technology for various economic reasons.  Even the Harvard business review thinks that it is a big problem.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

True attribution of that urinal

This week brings the news that some very serious conceptual chickens are coming home to roost and with a vengeance! It would be easy to overlook the very serious implications of this Edinburgh Festival exhibition, but it is profoundly serious as it undermines the legitimacy and the validity of the work of thousands of conceptual artists from Joseph Kosuth onwards. 
If the urinal was not a Duchamp readymade but actually Ms Loringhoven's idea (and it seems that the real evidence of Duchamp's letter to his sister proves it wasn't his idea ) then all conceptual art is founded upon an untruth. It can be proven that thousands of art students over the past thirty years have been indoctrinated into an invalid conceptual art cult. This is to say nothing of the legitimacy of the entire contents of some Post-Modernist art galleries throughout the western world that have also been founded upon and promulgate a total falsehood. 

The master narrative that Duchamp was the originator of the readymade is invalid, and the conceit that art can be made from anything that the artist selects as art is a also therefore invalid because the art condition does not and has never resided simply with the choice of the artist. If as Spalding and Thompson have stated the first readymade was not Duchamp's and he lied about the truth, then Kosuth's entire justification of the art condition that all conceptual art is actually art, is completely invalid.  

The art condition refers directly to Joseph Kosuth's philosophical proof that the artist's choice is all and everything that is needed to prove any object is art. This can no longer be held to be true or valid - if indeed it ever was!

Having just trawled through all the weekend art critics press are not surprised to note that there is not one so called critic who has reviewed the Edinburgh Festival exhibition above, which says it all! - probably the most important revelation of the truth about post modernism by any art exhibition of the past one hundred years and it doesn't even get a mention!  Such is the power of art as investment.

Anyhow if you want to examine the consequences of the above and judge your own sensibility suggest that you try running this Buzz-Feed and check out your score?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Richard Long

Brian Appleyard gets to interview Richard Long in this weeks Sunday Times. The interview concerns the opening of Long's exhibition in Bristol at the Arnolfini. For once Appleyard does a good interview, getting as close to the heart of Richard Long's work as it is possible to achieve. He is notoriously difficult to interview as he doesn't discuss his work with journalists or critics, he says in the text that the work should speak for itself which is exactly true.

Waldemar Januszczak sings the praises of the newly rebuilt Manchester Whitworth gallery in the Sunday Times of the 19/07/2015. He hopes that the new gallery will not loose sight of its scholarly responsibilities to the past as Tate Britain has done. He lets slip that Mr Nicholas Serota will retire in 2016?

In Saturday 25th July Gruniad there is an article on the row concerning Tracey Emin’s planning application for the building of an ugly modernist studio complex in the East End. The East End preservation society are disappointed by her proposal the replace the much loved grade 2 listed public house with an ugly functional studio.

Jonathon Jones comes up with another sublime piece of political correctness arguing that the nations art galleries are not the NHS so they should not be free admission. Seems that the article is mainly internet click bait because he has the gall to assert this:
If you look at the cultural history of Britain it is clear that until very recently we did not care much about visual art compared with, say, France or the US. Right up to the 1980s Britain was a country that preferred theatre, literature and football to visual art. The fact that our museums were free actually reflects this old British attitude that art is not really worth much, that it’s a second-rate cultural attainment."

He is obviously just out to provoke a response here, he wasn't around in the sixties so he really does not know what he is sounding off about.