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 as.....art.
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.