Sunday, July 02, 2023

Role Play indeed.

Dylan Riley, Director, Interdisciplinary Studies Field, dept. of Sociology, UC Berkeley, 
in NLR, "Decapitalizing Culture", (filed under society
There are countless debates among sociologists and economists concerning the terms ‘human capital’ and ‘cultural capital’. The general view is that the former implies a rational instrumental attitude to the attainment of skills, whereas the latter suggests an investment in what Bourdieusians call illusio: the denial that the game of culture is in fact a game. Iván Szelényi once characterized the distinction slightly differently, writing that human capital denoted skills that are rewarded because of their contribution to productivity, while cultural capital was fundamentally a claim to rent. It seems to me, however, that we ought to be raising a different set of questions. In particular, it is important to ask: under what historical conditions does culture take the form of an ‘asset’ or ‘quasi-asset’? 

John-Baptiste Oduor, editor at Hamasmag, in NLR, "Role Play", (filed under culture)

Untitled (Woman Standing Alone) from Kitchen Table Series, 1990, © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York / Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin.

Oduor previously, on Charles Mills, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Weems belongs with Hammons.

repeat. It's absurd how much is lost when the goal of disinterest devolves into a fiction of objectivity.

Stanley Hoffman reviews Distinction 

But if “using rare words and tropes in place of common words and phrases” is a strategy of “deliberate transgression” of the norms of clear prose characteristic of the dominant classes and is opposed to “the hyper-correction strategies of pretentious outsiders,” then Bourdieu is a master strategist. Words such as lexis, allodoxia, chiastic, askesis, espace hodologique, hysteresis, and of course habitus (and, indeed, hysteresis of habitus) are scattered throughout the text. That a work of social science should—”unlike the sometimes illuminating intuitions of the essay”—require an effort on the part of the reader is fair enough. Here, however, reality disappears into the hypertrophied rhetoric of the Ecole Normale.

Simply as a critic, never mind the pretension to politics, Oduor doesn't know enough. A first person essay about why he likes the work, what it means to him as a writer, would be the only honest choice, but he'd never make it.

"There's no point in having sharp images if you've got fuzzy ideas. Leacock's lack of subjectivity leads him ultimately to a lack of objectivity. He doesn't even know he's a metteur-en-scene, that pure reportage doesn't exist."

Documentaries are thought to have the same relation to social change as penicillin to syphilis.”
Jeff Wall: [Referring to Delacroix] Violence is only a theme in this kind of art; the art itself isn’t violent. That makes it very different from, even opposed to, the art of the avant-garde, which expresses aggression against the idea of art itself. This aggression is no longer viable. I don’t think its necessary or possible to go beyond the idea of bourgeois art -that is of autonomous art- towards a fusion of art and its context. Or if its possible it isn’t very desirable. We have learned how the aggression against autonomous art was consistent with aspects of totalitarianism, from the Stalinist period for example, and how state violence could benefit from that kind of aesthetic. The concept of art as autonomous, and therefore less amenable to that kind of instrumentalization, is a central concern of the modern, and I’m most sympathetic to that. 

A-MB/RM: Modernity and avant-garde, to you, are two separate things? 

JW: We can’t confuse them anymore. 

"A Democratic, a Bourgeois Tradition of Art: a Conversation with Jeff Wall" 
Jeff Wall: Selected Essays and Interviews 

Chevrier, cited by Odour, is in the same volume. I have a lot of respect for Wall, and I've watched him work a room. See previously on Hammons. Fine art is conservative, or it's reactionary. And Fried is a fucking idiot. Always a moralist, I should have guessed that when when he adapted to change he'd become a fan of Greuze.

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