Saturday, February 27, 2010

On the Biennial itself: The paintings are useless; sculpture is the same with one or two exceptions; the photography is mostly photojournalism without context, so voyeurism and false moralism, but many of the videos engage (which is something). For a mention of Kerry Tribe's HM, and not only that but a description of why it works, you can even look outside the art world.

HM is one example, and there are many others, of the institutional avant-garde meeting up with -or catching up- to the wider culture. MoMA is an overfilled zoo on friday nights, and whether I leave disgusted or with my faith restored depends less on the work or the audience than my mood before I got there. You'll find many strange things in art museums these days, mostly things that I don't like much (and which are less strange to me than to most others). But you'll also find a lot of people staring, more often than you'd expect, with real curiosity. Sophistication isn't what it used to be, for better and worse. "Art" relies more and more on arguments from authority, and "entertainment" is catch as catch can.

Robert Irwin

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