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View Diary: They take our money, shutter our museums: what next? (33 comments)

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  •  No, s/he dislikes commodification (0+ / 0-)

    I do, too.

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 10:42:46 AM PST

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    •  Ahhhhh, no.... (0+ / 0-)

      QMEB said:

      At one point he mentions all the artists who are having a hard time in their studios because they spent the past decades making stuff that sells, and now they may have to own up to higher criteria. That would be nice...

      Most everyone had a "hard time" in the Great Depression, not just artists.  In that quote above switch out word "artists" for "farmers" and the phrase "in their studios" for "on their family farms" and you see just how little value the writer has for artists.

      And by the way, QMEB conflates "museums" with "artists."  Even in museums of modern art, most of the art displayed there were created by people who are now dead.  Living artists create works for people who can afford the price of the art. Thus, in good financial times artists financially strugge.

      •  I substitute, and I see how much contempt (0+ / 0-)

        you have for farmers.

        As to your second paragraph - not, it's you that conflates. As to your sentence about "living artists creating works..." is that descriptive, or prescriptive? Because if that's your definition of a living artist I'm happy to share it. Unfortunately it doesn't exactly apply to those artists you'll find, say, at MoMA.

        Incidentally, I forgot to mention Kathy Fuld, who sits on the board of the Museum of Modern Art. Now that's a story.

        Must. Crush. Capitalism. Grrr.

        by Quill Mike Eat Brains on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 10:58:14 AM PST

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        •  No contempt for farmers here... (0+ / 0-)

          ...just contempt for that anti-artist quote by Wilson. Its ridiculousness is revealed precisely when one swaps the word "farmers" for "artists."

          You are correct about one thing:  of the (very few) living artists whose works are owned by the MoMA, they are not financially struggling (although they might have been when they began their careers).  But seriously, what is the percentage of artists in NYC whose works are owned by the MoMA? 0.00000001%, I'd guess.  To say artists don't financially stuggle is folly.

          •  Did I give the impression (0+ / 0-)

            Wilson was contemptuous of those artists? Not at all. It's an interesting article in that he makes no moral judgments on those poor rich folks who jumped out of windows back in 1930 because they couldn't survive on 50,000 a year. Or on artists. In fact, I admire that Wilson sees the main issue for artists, which is one of personal integrity.

            Nor did I ever say artists don't struggle financially, good times or bad - and I know whereof I speak. And, by the way, that would include artists whose works are in MoMA's collections - and I know whereof I speak.

            Must. Crush. Capitalism. Grrr.

            by Quill Mike Eat Brains on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 11:18:50 AM PST

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      •  Art has always been a commodity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoxerDave

        There idea of the artist creating art of art's sake is a mostly a myth. Historically, art has been created to sell, or has been created for a patron (which is like selling on retainer), or as a wealthy person's hobby (where you become in effect your own patron), or by the starving artist. While we might admire the starving artist who is only discovered after death, most of us do not look down on people who choose to eat.

        The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

        by A Citizen on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 10:58:39 AM PST

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        •  Oh, please. (0+ / 0-)

          You're playing games with the word "commodity," as most people do. One thing to say that it's okay to buy or sell the stuff one produces - in which case an artist is no different than a farmer. Quite another to say that the stuff that's bought or sold becomes incidental to the manipulations that produce capital, in which case an artist is little more than the self-describe "creative" types who engineer financial transactions. Which, as I said, is pretty much what people like Serra have become.

          Must. Crush. Capitalism. Grrr.

          by Quill Mike Eat Brains on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 11:10:14 AM PST

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          •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

            The buzz-word when dealing with capitalist myths is always "always." I'll be glad to discuss, say, how art is or is not a commodity in Beowulf, or in the trove found in a Mediterranean shipwreck from 1350 BCE. Read the next book by Paul Werner. (There he goes again, pimping!)

            Must. Crush. Capitalism. Grrr.

            by Quill Mike Eat Brains on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 11:12:54 AM PST

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          •  Yikes (again) (0+ / 0-)

            I'm playing no games with the word "commodity."  I agree an artist is no different than a farmer:  what both produce is extremely valuable to the welfare and quality of a country; and, both are paid too little and thus valued too little by society.  

            Again you mention your disdain for Serra, but you've got to realize he's 0.000000000000000001% of all living artists. Just like 0.0000000000001% of farmers are wealthy. You take the exception and extrapolate.

            •  May I remind you, BD (0+ / 0-)

              that this discussion is first and foremost about museums and how they define artists and art. And how they define art, not as a commodity in some abstract sense of "stuff you buy you sell" like carrots, but as "stuff you can put up for collateral" like the family farm. And so, to the extent that it's the museum that defines the artist, I have a problem with that definition, and have long had a problem with it. Must come from the fact that a) I'm an artist and b) I work in museums. I think our own definitions of what constitutes an artist in the "real world" (whatever that is) are not that far apart. Now if only I knew where to find that "real world..."

              Must. Crush. Capitalism. Grrr.

              by Quill Mike Eat Brains on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 11:25:06 AM PST

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