Blog powered by Typepad

« Those days, those nights | Main | How I Saved My Life »

January 30, 2011



Where did you have this experience, Duke?

I quite like what you are saying here, partly in its contrarianism against contemporary banality - and I like the little sentence "Not even fifteen seconds of fun or fame."

But this is also in large part because I don't really like visual art, which I usually find static and pretentious. I don't very much see how it is 'difficult' or how it will reward effort - it seems to be all to be there, for good or ill, on the surface at first glance, and unlikely to improve in 15 seconds, minutes or days of looking. Maybe there are exceptions to this wilful stricture.

So allies like me may be less welcome than enemies. But it's all part of the dialectic through which we form our views.

alistair fitchett

Nice to see you on a commenting spree Joe :) This experience was in the Tate Modern, so I rather think I only had myself to blame, Tate having somehow grown to become the high street branding of visual art.

Your criticisms/comments on visual art are well taken, yet you must see how a similar criticism could be made of literature? You know that particular artform rewards understanding of the varied manipulation of language, and how deeper meaning can be gleaned from understanding of context and of connections between the literature and its history?

Equally, however, my disappointment was at people not even seeing the simple beauty of a particular tone of blue - in literature terms that may be that someone simply sees a story and fails to appreciate the beauty of the language?


Duke, I like your defence of your art form and I would like to come back to this.

I'll just note now that I would tend to agree about Tate Modern - there is something specific about it as a kind of cultural supermarket. Something in the way people breeze through it and it flogs mugs and handbags. Or maybe this is unfair - it's an interesting issue to discuss. Again, my take on things is overdetermined by my frustration with visual art - just as yours is by your love of same.

The comments to this entry are closed.