Went to a show the other day. An art show. An art show about Cootes Paradise, a place I’m rather fond of.
I found it excruciating. It was “Art”. You know, art that is terribly earnest university art student “Art.”Art with all sorts of “deep meaning” behind it. The sort of art that requires a three page description to make sense of. That then requires being translated into regular language so that regular people can understand it. You know, art that is described with terms like: “With its exploration of disjunctive proto-montage elements that spatially undermine the internal dynamic of codified biomorphic forms to re-contextualize the essentially non-linear narratives of post-colonial discourse.” The sort of gobbledygook that only terribly earnest artists who went to university art courses can understand. Or pretend to understand.
It’s the sort of stuff that I have come to find rather dreadful. Maybe because I get exposed to reams of amazing painting and illustration and sculpture through all the people I know. It’s stuff that I find both on a theory and technique level, really compelling. My admittedly crass stance on art appreciation is “would I want to hang it on my wall, and would I want to look at it every day? Does it immediately leap out in terms of execution and does it also explain itself? Does it depict a scene or world I want to explore and know more about?” There was nothing there that passed that benchmark. Sorry, but branches wrapped around a pole with a blue light shining from underneath is to me just too try hard. As soon as I see that it’s art that requires a three page explanation, that unless you’ve been bamboozled by four years of university art education, would require a translation to understand, my eyes glaze over. “As spatial replicas become clarified through emergent and academic practice, metaphorical resonance of the biomorphic forms reconfigures the patriarchal hegemony” is just a big steaming pile of horse kaka as far as I’m concerned. If someone had gone to the trouble to do 30 6"x6" watercolours around Cootes Paradise, that’s cool. But cobbling together two half assed bird boxes? Illustrations that reminded me of stuff I’ve seen of public school art students work? Just not thrilled by any of it.