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Omphaloskepsis Blog

What do Robert Hughes, Camus, and Mungo Thomson share?

Aug 28, 2010


Mungo Thomson, Coat Check Chimes

I am closer. And closer to a curatorial proposal and the elements that go with it which include the cover letter, the CV, bio, curatorial example, samples. I’m very excited about this show. In all this work has been depth and growth and a flushing out or a giving myself permission of things I was dancing around the periphery of. I hope to be able to put some of this into practice very soon. All it takes is time and money! ;o)
    However, in the process of researching and writing this proposal I’ve gotten some links that I find important for one reason or another. So, here they are:

If you would like to learn how to write about art there’s a wonderful book called: A Short Guide to Writing about Art by Sylvan Barnet. I just started reading, but just go over the TOC and you’ll see what I mean. If you get one of the used earlier editions it’s not so terribly expensive.

Robert Hughes is the art critic who writes and speaks about commodification of art. He made a fabulous film you can watch on YouTube called The Mona Lisa Curse. It’s been chunked down to 12 parts each about 6 minutes long. For this version, just hit the translate button, because it's only available on the italian site.

Then there are some artists that I’m digging on:
Mungo Thomson’s home page and a related text Herbert, Martin (January 2008). "Filling the Void: The Art of Mungo Thomson". ArtForum as well as a Mungo Thomson Wikipedia page.

Then there’s Mary Ellen Carroll. I really love her artist statement.

Gillian Jagger, White Doe, 2003, Phyllis Kind Gallery

Critical texts:
Here’s a good counter argument by Donald Kuspit: A CRITICAL HISTORY OF 20TH-CENTURY ART by Donald Kuspit 
Chapter 10, Part 2: The Decadence of Advanced Art and the Return of Tradition and Beauty: The New as Tower of Conceptual Babel: The Tenth Decade.
It has great links embedded in the article and mentions many many artists.

There is an interesting paper called “Liberating the Critical in Critical Theory Transcending Marcuse on Alienation, Art and the Humanities” by Charles Reitz

Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema by Laura Mulvey is one of the most important feminist texts. It establishes a context for the male gaze in contemporary art, and throughout history, and the commoditizing stare in contemporary culture.

Showing Skin by Elatia Harris, based on Laura Mulvey’s texts

Is that enough? Whew!
If you want to go even deeper. I was just poking around into Camus and absurdist philosophy, of which he is not the father but did have some interesting points to make. I do find this philosophy relevant to my accident series, zombie paintings, and installation/performance work.

I’ve also been slogging through Jean-Luc Nancy’s book, The Experience of Freedom. J-LN is a french writer and philosopher.

And I have recently read several thing by and about Rudolf Arnheim, whom I just love!

I wonder if the perception is that I’m going about things backwards (as it’s always been). But I think the reality is that I’m in exactly the right place. I’m creating from all the richness life has to offer, not filling myself up with other people’s ideas and art and then recapitulating it. The fact that I’m going through these exercises now as a result of this curatorial proposal has served two things, fed my natural interests, and framed some of my ideas in a certain context. Although I love to look at art and experience good art, there is only so much of that I can do. I need to create, I need to spend my time in the studio and living life, those two things inform each other. I don’t believe I need to go to every opening and art event all the time. I can’t, I have small children at home and I have to parse my time wisely. Although I do wonder how can I ask others to come to mine if I don’t reciprocate, so I make an effort to get out some. I’ll go more regularly when there is a natural lull in the production phase of my work. When I wasn’t producing as feverishly, I was enjoying nature, refueling, contemplating, and occasionally going to quality institutions, sometimes visiting the same art multiple times (Fred Sandbeck).

Anyway, those are just my worries today. (this was a dense blog!) glad I recorded these links, I’m going to want them later!

Category: Philosophy

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