Thursday, April 12, 2012

Herron "Beyond Campus" Shows + a rant

A nice list of shows featuring  Herron-linked artists, including the above. For some time now, I've noticed that the academic realm of art has become more progressive and alternative than so-called "cutting edge" art. I'm speaking mainly of local developments here in the Indy art scene ('development' being a very apt term here). Cutting edge entertainment art has become a hot commodity, and is linked both to specific real estate investments and to a broader drive to pump and pimp the city.

On the social conscious front, others are trying to guilt us into making our art "do" something that provides a tangible, overt community benefit.

And sometimes these "help our neighborhoods" people, and the investors, are the same folks.  

Neither drive is the world's worst evil, but both are parasitic. Art has worth without these justifications, and while it can be used to many means, it also has an amazing intrinsic value. Few things in our modern life have intrinsic value. Most have value that is derived from context, or branding, or some sort of identity-dependent system of belief. The academic art system, with all its dogmatic tendencies, provides a buffer against all the opportunistic bullshit. It has become an oasis of sorts, where art can flourish

I spent 10+ years after graduation trying to unlearn so much, but now the university system seems to hold so much potential for real artistic investigations. I'm going to try to see as many of these thesis shows as possible.


Anonymous said...

The fact they they call it an "exhibition in painting" is hopeful. Please post images.

Unfortunately, I disagree about the academic art system as a place to flourish, and as a place for potential for investigation-at least in some places. Ideally yes, but what I see is a dependence on assignment-driven content where students are encouraged to Google everything first before they produce art. I say this as I'm looking at a colleague's assignment for an advanced class.

I'm posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

^ shoot, I forgot to use the word, didactic.

Carla said...

I mixed two issues together. I kept trying to just link to those exhibitions, but then kept following up with the rant, so I ended up linking the rant to academic art programs, but....I really mean the academic term in a much more general way.

I have very little knowledge of the current workings within these art programs.

In a general way, it seems that academic-type investigations - ie those which are independent of art market and art scene dynamics (and not necessarily within an academic setting) are now far more progressive than are cutting edge work. The latter has been so completely co-opted by people with motives other than art-conjuring.

I'm being a bit fuzzy and broad. I'm trying to master the ill-defined rant. It's a rebel without a cause thing I'm working on.