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A recent debate about how progressives should do cultural criticism led me to Ann Powers' "In Defense of Nasty Art".  I agree with Powers that Democrats, especially elected ones, are often equivocal or disappointing or incoherent when talking about art.  I agree with her that art that exposes tensions and ugliness is often more worthwhile than art that leaves you with a feeling of harmony.  But I don't find her "Defense of Nasty Art" persuasive at defending Nasty Art in general (or art in general for that matter) against moral criticism.  It's more compelling as a case for the moral value of some of the art others have deemed immoral.

Powers argues that it's good for art to give voice to the rage of marginalized people.  She argues that dark art is more honest than optimistic art.  She argues that liberals are wrong to prefer art depicting victims to art depicting (vengeful) violators come back to haunt the yuppies.  She argues that the art that most upsets our sensibilities often does so because it confronts us with urges we're ashamed of.  She argues that the experience of shock is part of a healthy mental diet.  You can agree with all of that (I mostly do) without embracing her (much-quoted, judging by Google) conclusion that

Not all art that claims to be transgressive is worth caring about. But you can't tell the bullshit from the real by setting moral standards. You have to set artistic ones.

My original post was driven by a frustration with the right-wing moral judgements that seem to dominate discussions about morality and art (much as right-wing values swipe the shorthand "moral values" in politics).  But part of where my frustration comes from is the conviction that instead of counting the number of breasts we see on TV, we should criticize TV shows that downplay rape or reinforce the myths of white male victimhood.  Art is political.  It's a zone of contestation.  It tells stories that subvert, solidify, or showcase values.  Those stories may be ambiguous, or silly, or ironic, but that doesn't leech out the political content.  The political content of art has moral meanings and implications - it can afflict the comfortable and it can afflict the afflicted.  Most art has progressive and reactionary aspects, and my goal isn't to eliminate great swathes of art or audience - it's to drag the reactionary aspects into plain view we can contest them and respond to them with more speech and more art.

What bothers me about Powers' conclusion is the sense that if we zealously pursue great art, the political and moral questions will take care of themselves.  That's the same confidence that bugged me when Baffler writers would assert that selling-out always leads to terrible music, or when people smugly say the worst thing about that racist joke is that it's not really funny, or when my high school piano teacher (no Holocaust survivors in her family) opened a recital after Columbine by saying that human beings who appreciated great music would never kill people.  In each case, the potential for works marked by artistic greatness and moral shortcomings is sidestepped.  But I think it's that potential - the Bill Maher joke about Hillary Clinton that's both funny and sexist, the 24 episode (early seasons) that's gripping and also pro-torture - that most often leaves us, as my friend Alek says, feeling pissed-off and conflicted.

I believe progressivism makes art artistically better, because I believe progressive ideas about people (White people are not intellectually superior, women don't all secretly want to be raped, poverty is not divine punishment or character-building exercise) hold more truth.  But we need to be able to make political judgments of art that may differ from our artistic judgments, even as they influence them.  Right-wingers have much more of a shared set of vocabulary on this than left-wingers do.  To the extent people on the left have differing values they bring to art or expectations from it, the vocabulary may vary.  What I really care about here is not a system for rating the political content of works of art relative to each other - it's a discourse in which problematic stuff in art gets identified, criticized, and wrestled with, especially when it's popular, especially when it doesn't flag itself as controversial.  And as we do that, we should notice the patterns in what we see on TV or at the movies and what what we don't, and we should talk about why.

(Cross-posted from my site).

Originally posted to Josh Eidelson on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fantastic diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, northsylvania

    Analytically crisp and well-reasoned.  (I have a small number of substantive disagreements, but more important to the T &R is the quality of thought and writing at work)

  •  here in germany it was called (9+ / 0-)

    entartete Kunst, your nasty art debate remembers me of a verry dark time here in germany.
    art should be free to do anything the artist wants to express
    and nobody is forced to look at any of this artistic expressions
    so who cares if there is a saint marie made out of elephant dung, what i like by the way when i think how much bullshit the repubs have said in the name of religion and as far as i know the elephant is their mascot. if somebody feels insulted just dont look at it.

    •  How about the Mohammed cartoons? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, gerald 1969

      Does your opinion that "anything goes" also apply to that art?

      Were Muslims wrong in their outrage and violence?

      I am not disagreeing with you.  But I have observed, at times,  double standards.

      •  Muslims angered over depictions of Muhammed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq, socalmonk

        may be right to be outraged but wrong to expect western society to adhere to their standards.

        As for the violence, I consider that a police matter. Many people feel their own violence to be righteous, but I don't think it's especially incumbent on any of us to care much about their self-justifications.

        Eric Rudolph and Mohammed Bouyeri (who killed Theo Van Gogh) both deserve to be processed through the justice system in which their crimes were committed.

        My two cents.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:19:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  in my view artists most of the times reflect (0+ / 0-)

        their society allthough they dont have to, artist can and should be a pain in the A** or open the eyes to problems they see, when it is used to humiliate other societys it becomes propaganda (but i guess it is still art)
        so i would prefer that a muslim artist would have done them
        but in the end total freedom of artistic expression means
        just that total freedom

      •  Of COURSE the violence was wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Violence in protest of speech, and especially when it is directed at innocents (as much of the violence was) is ALWAYS wrong.

        The remedy for (what is perceived as) bad speech is SPEECH, not violence.

  •  Transgressive attitudes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, asterkitty, cardinal

    There can be a virtue in being transgressive, but that can easily grow predictable and excessive.  I would say that following one's inward convictions leads to the best production of art and appreciation of it as well.

    I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

    by cabaretic on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:21:18 AM PDT

    •  I dunno. I see a lot of inwardness in art (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandblaster

      that amounts to new-age navel-gazing. I think it could be equally argued that art flourishes best in the absence of self.

      If there were a knowable path to creating great art, I think we'd know it by now.

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

      by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:23:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is (6+ / 0-)

    such a "system."

    What I really care about here is not a system for rating the political content of works of art relative to each other - it's a discourse in which problematic stuff in art gets identified, criticized, and wrestled with, especially when it's popular, especially when it doesn't flag itself as controversial.

    It's called "Art."

    - Paul Werner
    http://theorangepress.com

    [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

    by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:40:06 AM PDT

  •  As a professional creative artist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, Bob Love, i like bbq

    (I am a composer and performer of music) I think that keeping politics out of art is a good idea.

    If some art offends you, don't look. Don't listen. But politicizing it is really dangerous.

    I NEVER read a review of a gallery opening or a show at a museum of a play or a concert if I want to see it. I go see it first and then enjoy the reviews.

    Art as politics is toxic. Ask Schostakovich. He'll tell you from beyond the grave.

    Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

    by commonmass on Mon May 16, 2011 at 10:33:09 AM PDT

    •  Asking Shostakovich's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love

      ghost to speak for Shostakovich is a major pastime in America.  

      [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

      by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 10:39:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Art itself deals with all kinds of (5+ / 0-)

      politic issues, even the politics of art institutions themselves. Governmental suppression of art is another matter, involving basic constitutional questions, but there is no possibility of removing politics from the field of art production.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:03:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do you keep politics out of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, Debby, Bob Love

      anything?

      I think the problem with (fine) art isn't that it's politicized, or nasty, or shocking, or transgressive, or ennobling, or enlightening, the problem with art is that it's irrelevant.

      At least in this culture. The Chinese are apparently serious about their art, given Ai Wei Wei's (sp?) current location. I haven't read Powers's article, but the idea that ugly, truthful, shocking art is powerful strikes me as laughable.

      I'm trying to think of the last work of art or literature that had one tenth as as much power as Atlas Shrugged. Dianetics?

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:17:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's decentralized... (3+ / 0-)

        not sure that I would call it irrelevant, though.

        •  Well, I guess 'irrelevant' is kinda (0+ / 0-)

          loaded. But what's the most recent bit of culturally-relevant art you can think of? I mean that moved any dial any detectible amount?

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:52:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have you seen (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN, asterkitty, Bob Love

            "Angels in America?"

            - Paul Werner
            WOID

            [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

            by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:57:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, though I've read parts. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Love, sandblaster

              That's kinda what I mean. I'm in the top .1% of effete arty people, I mean I've heard of Angels in America, and I know that the same playwright's latest play was reviewed in this months New Yorker. Tony something? Tony Kuschner? I'm not gonna Google just to prove (or disprove, yikes!) my effeteness.

              The play might be amazing, by all accounts it is. But what dial did it move? Ayn Rand, now there's a writer who moved the dials. (In all the wrong directions, of course, which is much easier, but still.)

              Some amazingly good books have been writing in the past five or ten, or two or three, years, but have any of them had the impact of that Upton Sinclair meatpacking book the title of which just seeped through my synapses a moment ago?

              Shock Doctrine is great. Nixonland, great. So what? It's like the culture's developed an immune response to art and literature.

              I'm v. grumpy today.

              "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

              by GussieFN on Mon May 16, 2011 at 12:04:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Uh... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GussieFN, strangedemocracy
                But what dial did it move?

                First: it's on YouTube, almost complete, catch it before they pull more episodes there are two missing already. It's well worth it, with extraordinary performances by a bunch of actors nobody's heard of: Al Pacino, people like that.

                And finally, once you've watched it, ask yourself if people feel the same way about gay marriage as they did fifteen years ago.

                I have tickets for the new Kushner play this week. Can't wait.

                PW
                WOID

                [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

                by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 12:23:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You know, that actually reminds me of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WOIDgang

                  something that moved my personal dial. The Tales of the City series.

                  Not sure I buy that it had all that much impact, but I guess these things aren't really measurable--and they are cumulative. Angels -> Will & Grace -> Glee.

                  Or something.

                  I am jealous! Hope you have a wonderful time.

                  "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                  by GussieFN on Mon May 16, 2011 at 12:50:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You're right, and I hate it that you're right. (0+ / 0-)

                Next time, please lie to me.

                "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

                by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:33:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  with the proliferation of the one-to-one (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN

            information/media market faciliated by the internet, i'd say that 'cultural relevance' itself is become more irrelevant.

            I mean, the cultural relevance demonstrated by, say, The Apprentice or Lady Gaga tend to mask zillions of  independent exchanges/discourses through which art/music/literature continues to be created and exchanged.  That itself wasn't possible not very long ago...

          •  The Battle of Algiers has affected multiple wars (0+ / 0-)

            for the better.

      •  Well, that depends upon how you define powerful. (0+ / 0-)

        And it isn't art's problem, per se, that people decide that it isn't worth their time. And, ultimately, you've proven Josh's argument that art isn't defined by its political statements. Yeah, if it's irrelevant to most people, it means that art isn't political above all else. But if people don't want to embark on a search for truth in their life, that doesn't in of itself make the search for truth, which is the crux of art, that doesn't make the search for truth any less powerful. You're defining "powerful" in very small terms. Great art resonates, in future generations, in far away places and isn't confined to the operations of the here and now.

    •  Politics can't be kept out of art (4+ / 0-)

      any more than ideology can be kept out of politics, or journalism.  The reality is that when someone talks about "non-ideological" politics or journalism, what they really mean, and what it really is, is politics that does not in any way challenge the dominant ideology, the hegemonic order.  The same way with art, any "non-political" art actually simply reinforces the dominant framework at the expense, to the exclusion of, all other perspectives.

      So I'll still be listening to my old Clash and Dead Kennedys music, contaminated as they may be with politics.  Unlike Paul Anka, clearly superior as he is less "political".

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

      by ActivistGuy on Mon May 16, 2011 at 01:32:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reccing this for the Clash, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq

        just about my favourite band ever. That being said, as a maker of overtly political art, I have to disagree with this:

        The same way with art, any "non-political" art actually simply reinforces the dominant framework at the expense, to the exclusion of, all other perspectives.

        If I avoided politics in my work, that would be true. I know other artists that work on a different plane entirely and their work is just as valid.
    •  right and left both want art to be political (0+ / 0-)

      Logically, the best candidates for apolitical art would be "pretty pictures" and abstract art, but the Left condemns the former as bourgeois, while the Right condemns the latter as nihilistic.

      I'd argue that the politicization of art is a fait accompli: our culture is such that to portray something is to affirm it, while not to portray something is to negate it.  It's gotten so bad that the debate is now only about whose values are true art.  Dark art versus light art has become just another front in the broader war, though I'll agree that dark art tends to the Left, while light art tends to the Right.

    •  Polemical art tends to suck (0+ / 0-)

      as bad as pornography (both serve a purpose extraneous to art), but the arts are full of great things that had lots to do with politics: Guernica, The Raft Of the Medusa, The Death Of Marat.

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

      by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:30:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do not see your argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    triciawyse, northsylvania

    All art is beautiful. If you only see ugliness and oppression in art it is a matter of your perception.

    You can in no way guess what the artist is trying to impart via your own observations.

    I tell you this as an artist.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon May 16, 2011 at 10:43:16 AM PDT

    •  Believe me.. much of art is downright ugly. (7+ / 0-)

      And I do not mind saying so.

      Art done for one's own pleasure is no one's business, and that art may well fall into your category as "always beautiful".

      However.. as soon as the artist displays their art for the public to view, and most especially to purchase, it becomes fair game for criticism.

      As a musician and songwriter, I see this tendency to label all art as beautiful all the time on songwriting websites on the internet.  Members of songwriting forums will give effusive approval to other member's lyrics or melodies.  Most of the time it is downright crap.  

      Yes.. that is my very subjective opinion.  But you seek to deny me my interpretation and opinion.  Sorry.  I won't let you do that.

      •  Sorry I do not agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        triciawyse

        But I have been taught the basics of a classical education so I see art as something that is more than the emotions elicited by the viewer.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:26:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  of course it is more than that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania

          But do not dismiss those emotions as worthless!

          •  Umm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triciawyse

            I'm not dismissing them as worthless I'm saying they are not applied constructively enough to be the sole judgmental impression concerning an art piece.

            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:34:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Henry James (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sandblaster

              In his brilliant essay on Literary Criticism, argues that all art has to pass the "I like it" test.

              To summarize his point, it's that it doesn't matter what the artist intended, it doesn't matter what he believes that his art "means," etc. All that matters is, ultimately, whether the audience likes it or not.

              And if, then, a viewer, reader, listener or whomever decides that, "Well, this piece of art right here, this is crap," then their opinion is valid.

              That's how it should it - that's why we call it art, and not math.

              Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

              by The Raven on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:40:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Do you have insight into what the writer was (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        triciawyse, northsylvania

        trying to convey?

        Have you reconsidered after a period time and you were able to associate that music with something more current in your environment?

        I personally hated RAP when it first came out but as I was able to apply those songs to moods and experiences later became if not entirely enamorate of them at least found them appealing in a subjective sense.

        Most of the time it is downright crap.  

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:31:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  seems to me that the beauty (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania, Idgie Threadgoode

        (or lack there of) of art is really a negotiated settlement between the artist and the individual viewer.

        I personally don't see things like....a blotch of red on a white canvas, or 5,000 naked people on bicycles, or a serial killer's arrangement of body parts of the victims (based on a book my friend wrote!) as beautiful...

        but some might.

      •  I don't know much about visual art.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cardinal

        ....but there's something to be said about all sorts of music, even music that I personally think sucks (like most of the Top Forty). I can't stand Britney Spears, but I must say, her songs are exquisitely arranged with great care. I think there's something to be said for almost all genres of music, even ones that I can't listen to for more than five minutes.

    •  Having seen Thomas Kincade's stuff (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven, Idgie Threadgoode

      I can assure you that some art is simply vulgar.

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

      by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:38:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kitsch. And he's extremely popular (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Love

        perhaps more so than any living American artist. He's a joke in the art world, however.

        I never liked you and I always will.

        by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:12:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If only Bob Ross were still around ... nt (0+ / 0-)

          "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

          by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:22:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  and yet his art brings pleasure (0+ / 0-)

          to millions.  I can;'t stand art snobs.

          It's kind of like I can appreciate foie gras, but I can also appreciate a cheeseburger.

          I wouldn't buy a Kincaide, and I come from a family of artists so I've been exposed to some pretty incredible art from a very young age.

          But if Kincaide's art inspires others, makes them happy, and is viewed with admiration by some, who am I to argue?

          Kincaide MERELY because of his popularity with people who have no interest in THEIR art is automatically going to be hated by "real artists".

          It's the same thing that happened when Dylan went electric or when some fave indie band gets signed by a major label.  All of a sudden, they aren't cool anymore

          Granted, Kincaide would probably have never been cool with "real" artists even if he was barely scraping by, living in a loft in the bad part of town, and prostituting himself so he could afford to buy paint

  •  Conflated terms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    asterkitty, strangedemocracy

    I would argue that separating aesthetic, moral, and political is largely a luxury and a false one.  If we look at what you call "nasty" as simply an aesthetic reaction -- "this makes me feel icky" -- then we have achieved very little.  The next step of the analysis would be to establish categories of aesthetic provocation.

    As such, those things that disturb us because of psychological, cognitive, or even cultural structures (e.g. the opening image of Un Chien Andalou, a razor blade across an eyeball vs. the later Freudian pun of armpit hair to pubic hair) will be different from those things that offend us by bringing up a political (how we act in class and civic relations) complex.  The art that says, "You are responsible for the Trail of Tears" is different from that which puts a Hello Kitty in feces.

    When the aesthetic reaction becomes the goal, all we do is valorize another market force.  A great deal of contemporary art is marketing and sales, and shock is part of it.  This creates a self-feeding beast of "reputation" for brand and "sales" for hype.  It is not a political exchange, a cultural construction, or a discussion: it's just another racket.

    The left needs to, if it must, speak for art that challenges by a cultural market defense.  If it generates discussion, it will be of use.  If it does not, it will not.  We subsidize and defend art so that we can find out the ways that our culture wishes to grow and to avoid the hubris and "intervention" and "big government" of trying to tell the People what they think.

    •  Well it did elicit an emotional response (0+ / 0-)
      "this makes me feel icky"

      Which is the point of art.

      We do not get to pick and chose the emotions elicited, and if you do not like the emotions that is fair but it in and of itself should demean the value of said art.

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:43:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who, me? (4+ / 0-)

        I don't demean art for making me feel bad.  I demean it for being sensational.  I don't know where you would have gotten the idea that I dislike art that has an "ick" factor.

        Personally, I find the pursuit of shock to be trifling, thin, and rather dumb.  When my friends put on performance art shows entitled "Ripping Apart Small Dead Animals," were they doing it because they were making a point about road kill, or were they trying to start a conversation, or were they just trying to gross people out with their art so they could be talked about and make the papers?  Could two of these be achieved by a better means?

      •  What about art that leaves you indifferent? nt (0+ / 0-)

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:40:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Move on and find something that doesn't? nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Love

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:57:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But can it be beautiful, or even art, (0+ / 0-)

            if it's a complete nullity?

            I'm just "asking" because I think most speculation about aesthetics is more a linguistic exercise than anything else.

            "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

            by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:16:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, everything we know is dependent (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Love

              on language, there's no getting around that one. Were Plato and Kant merely speculating or engaging in linguistic gymnastics?

              I don't know about art being completely null. The smallest gesture can put the mind into motion.

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:41:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Not a nullity (0+ / 0-)

              Aesthetics itself exists because some of us take an analytical approach to artistic response.  It's difficult, of course, just as a discussion of comedy is difficult, but that does not mean that it's impossible.

              Art that does nothing to a person's emotions is dead in one of its primary methods of approach.  Way, way back, Aristotle would say that art gives truth through imitation and admiration through technique, and Horace would say that it gives usefulness and pleasure.  I.e. the pleasure part (and thus the shock) is not primary, but it is a component.

              I'd recommend Hans Robert Jauss, though.  He suggests that our discomfort (not shock, horror, or disgust) with art testifies to its historical activity.  When art does nothing, it does nothing.  If it attempts to appeal psychologically and doesn't, then it lost that; if politically and doesn't, then that's lost; if by summoning emotional appeals and failing, there's that.

        •  Then it has not done it's job. eom (0+ / 0-)

          Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

          by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue May 17, 2011 at 07:20:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But that does not mean we can't judge the artist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sandblaster, The Geogre

        and the art.

        People noticed that a lot of good art had a powerful effect on the people who viewed it, and, in a failure of logic, concluded that if they had a powerful effect on the viewers, then their art was good.

        Icky is not bad, but it does seem to be less work then any other strong reaction. If that is all their is, then it is rather hollow and empty.

    •  I've found (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      that art which looks icky only works on a visceral level. If you really want to piss the more intelligent viewer off, challenge their preconceptions.

      •  Really annoying art can be pleasant (0+ / 0-)

        My favorite film is "The Last Laugh" ("Der Letzte Mann"), the 1924 F. W. Murnau film.  At the end of a kammerspiel tragedy, where the whole film has been silent, we get a sudden voice.  A voice over announces that the character should die in misery, but the producers added an unlikely ending.  What follows is a bizarre, American-styled "Crazy millionaire leaves money to old man" headline and the defeated hero feasting.

        The audience is being ridiculed and yet still feels better, and the very feelings become a subject of comment and thought.  If the film also picks up other parallels, more dangerous ones, then the viewer has those, too.  However, a genuinely political act has taken place in the midst of what seems to be melodrama.

        Stanley Kubrick, although always apolitical, managed to be extremely "nasty" in challenging preconceptions while giving entertainment.  We found our sympathies in the strangest places, and, if we had brains, we wondered about that later.

  •  I think you've mischaracterized Powers' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ubertar, i like bbq, Bob Love

    14-year-old argument which was made in belated response to the "culture wars" of the early 90's. She was making the case that transgressive art had enough detractors on the right who oppose multiculturalism, queer activism and leftist critiques, without suburbanized 60's liberals piling on.

    The situation is quite a bit different today. Rock 'n roll, punk and hip-hop have been completely defanged. Gregg Araki has had his 15 quality minutes. Art grads today are both more market-savvy than their predecessors and more pragmatic in their acceptance of the identity politics that still pervades aging art faculties. Popular culture (TV, movies, pop music) is another story altogether, but even there, transgressive today means the predictable theatrics of Lady Gaga embracing ideas about gender that are already mainstream.

    My quibble with Powers back in the day would have been that truly transgressive artists don't give a rat's ass what nice middle-class liberals think anyway and never have. Right-wingers are easy to offend, but if you're getting to liberals, you're probably on the right track.

    I never liked you and I always will.

    by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:41:58 AM PDT

    •  Artists like Emin... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, i like bbq

      ... who use their ID as a starting point hit forty five and vote Tory anyway.  

      Also museum people are awfully snobbish. The liberalism
      ascribed to that world is actually wafer thin. Museums are now storage facilities for mega wealthy playahs.

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:07:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Were museums ever anything but spaces beholden (0+ / 0-)

        to the ultra wealthy? I think you were misinformed if you believed so.

      •  The art world is elitist, of course, and (0+ / 0-)

        ruled by the rich. However, it's become virtually the only public space in which radical experimentation still takes place. Everything else, i.e. popular culture, is beholden to corporate interests. It's a contradiction that political artists have become struggling with since the 20's.

        I never liked you and I always will.

        by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:16:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Americans love Norman Rockwell "art". But Guernica (0+ / 0-)

    or Piss Christ, not so much. It's really quite remarkable how Phillistine we are as a nation.

    •  American education completely (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, i like bbq, Ralphdog

      ignores art as it is practiced and critiqued in the contemporary art world. As a consequence, even most college-educated people know little about the field.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 11:58:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm, let me get this straight. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metal prophet
        My quibble with Powers back in the day would have been that truly transgressive artists don't give a rat's ass what nice middle-class liberals think anyway and never have.
        American education completely ignores art as it is practiced and critiqued in the contemporary art world.

        So the problem is, that middle-class liberals aren't properly educated to flock to artists who don't give a shit what they think? Kind of sounds like Richard Serra, who thinks a)that the public is scum, and b)that they should pay to have his sculptures (which spell out quite clearly what scum the public is) in public places...

        Paul Werner, PhD.
        WOID

        [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

        by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 12:05:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Try reading Miwon Kwon's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

          One Place After Another. She would tend to agree with you, but for reasons you might not expect.

        •  Serra is a fascist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

          American artists like him are utterly divorced from popular culture though.  Emmy Pulitzer and some other posh collectors fund his pompous ass.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Mon May 16, 2011 at 02:59:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  of necessity, modern sculpture must be fascist (0+ / 0-)

            since it represents its institutional context. For Serra to force MOMA to reengineer its building for his retrospective is precisely the intension and even more illustrative is Tilted Arc and its relation to asshole lawyers/judges.

            I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

            by annieli on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:44:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Reminds me of an exchange (0+ / 0-)

              that once occurred between Roz Krauss and Linda Nochlin in a faculty meeting:

              Roz: "All language is FASCIST!"

              Linda: "Then why don't you just shut up?"

              [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

              by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:56:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Serra isnt an institutional critique (0+ / 0-)

              it would be nice if it was. Titled arc was a fluke controversy.

              A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

              by Salo on Tue May 17, 2011 at 12:02:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Why should Serra be married to (0+ / 0-)

            popular culture? It's not what he does. He makes monumental modernist sculpture. It's not Lady Gaga or CSI: Miami.

            I never liked you and I always will.

            by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:55:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  outside his very small base (0+ / 0-)

              no one knows who he is. not the capitalized Pop culture.

              A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

              by Salo on Tue May 17, 2011 at 12:00:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Most artists are not transgressive. Those (0+ / 0-)

          who are don't care what liberals (or anyway else for that matter) think of their work. Whether or not you like transgressive art isn't dependent on whether the artists care what you think. So I'm not swayed by your question.

          Middle-class liberals are more likely to study contemporary art than right-wing construction workers because they tend to be college-educated, where art production and history is actually taught. Compare, however, to European countries where art and philosophy are considered fundamental to a basic education.

          Richard Serra has never said the public is scum and it's not unusual for the public to pay for large outdoor works to be installed and maintained. Serra has an enormous ego, but he's also a very important figure in contemporary art. And his work is actually very accessible to anyone.  

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:31:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  or the contemprorary art world completely (0+ / 0-)

        ignores the practical range of educated Americans. As a consequence, most college-educated people care little about the field.

        I used to be of the school that 'Modern Art' was just a waist of space, and over time, I realized, it is more of an ongoing conversation without any provision made for people who are not following the whole dialog.

        There is a lot of art that is well known and appreciated by people outside the field. Books, TV, Movies, Plays, Pop art, comic books, music videos... And some of that is done by people who follow the 'Contemporary art world' and draw in elements of that and frame them.

        •  College-educated people are more likely (0+ / 0-)

          to care if they've studied art. Visual art is unique in that people think they should be able to understand it without making any effort. Who appreciates the study of history without some investment of time and attention? Or literature? We spend years learning how to read, write and appreciate good writing. But put a difficult piece of art in front of the public and people get pissed off that it confounds them. It doesn't confound people who have tried to learn something about contemporary art.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:36:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sandblaster

            I shifted my opinion from 'collective joke' to 'incomprehensible conversation'.

            At the same time, as a fan of a lot of Renaissance art, art from that era tended to have layers, and have aspects that are more approachable, and more layers that reward more viewing, more study, and a broader context of understanding.

            And I think people expect to be able to understand visual art because they spend years learning to interact with the world in visual ways, and have seen historical visual art that does not confound them.

            I have studied a bit of industrial design, and so from there, I have had exposure to a number of examples of clear and effective vs. confounding in ways to communicate visual media outside the world of art. There is a skill there, and it is much simpler to do badly then well, but in that case, you do blame the designer and not the person using it.

            •  Most people who like Renaissance art (0+ / 0-)

              actually don't understand it very well, but they do get that it's something they're supposed to appreciate, even though it depicts people, cultures and events that they have no clue about and if they did, wouldn't care about. The Mona Lisa, for example, is a painting that very few people would fuss over if they hadn't been told it was a great masterpiece. They don't know who she was, what she represented or why Da Vinci bothered to paint her in the first place. Renaissance paintings are like Greek statues, they're readily identifiable icons of culture you're supposed to know about even though you're completely disinterested in what they were originally intended to convey.

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:26:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Contemporary art is difficult just like (0+ / 0-)

          philosophy, history or physics, which require a certain amount of study. Popular culture is everywhere, 24/7, trying to grab your attention and sell you something. The art world is generally not part of that, and if it was, it would be TV, movies, comic books, etc. and not what it is. There is no art channel and that's fine. Not everything has to be instantly consumable to have validity. There is a network of galleries, museums and academic institutions where art generally resides and does no great harm. If you're interested in it, go take a look, read up on how it communicates. If not, there's always plenty of American Idol to watch.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:10:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But with those other endevors (0+ / 0-)

            (and even with historical art) there is more work taken to make it approachable.

            I think it is facile to dismiss anyone how has issues with art as wanting or being able to handle things that intended for instant consumption.

             

            •  Which historical art? The Impressionists (0+ / 0-)

              were initially ridiculed and despised. Renaissance art was a product of a system of religious and political patronage. You don't really mean to compare it to pop culture, do you?

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:33:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It's fine having issues with art (0+ / 0-)

              most artists, critics, curators and academics do. Not because they don't understand it, however, but because they do.

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:35:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Norman Rockwell.... (5+ / 0-)

      ....is underrated. He stood up against racism in his art at a time when he got a ton of hate mail for doing so.

      •  Sorta kinda but.... (0+ / 0-)

        he also enforced a small town Potemkin-village view of American life that was already an anachronism in his own time, one that had no place for urbanization or 'alternative' communties or lifestyles. Check out recent books like the one documenting his meticulous use of photography and actors to create his illustrations: he went to enormous lengths to craft a sanitized, white-bread vision of America.

        Can you imagine Normal Rockwell portraying an openly gay subject, or everyday life in a black community? Yeah, me neither.

    •  Don't be such a snoot! (0+ / 0-)

      Really? "Art"? I suppose you know it when you see it.

      There's a reason Democrats won massively the last two cycles, and it wasn't because people were desperate for "bipartisanship". --kos

      by Debby on Mon May 16, 2011 at 12:51:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why do you feel that Rockwell's paintings (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat Whisperer, i like bbq

      only deserve to be called "art" in quotation marks?

      •  A very talented illustrator manufacturing product. (0+ / 0-)

        There was an excellent article in the NY Times magazine a few years ago about Thomas Kinkaid, the assembly-line schlockmiester who cranks out countless reproductions and 'original paintings' using a small army of underpaid hirelings. the Title was something like "Art by the Boxcar Load". In it Kinkaid was completely unabashed in claiming to be "one of the three greatest American painters of the last century"; his other two were Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish.

        Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish both made extensive use of photography and projection to create highly romanticized and idealized paintings, many explicitly for advertising use. I regard them as very talented illustrators rather than artists, though they were sincere by their own lights. Kinkaid by comparison seems utterly calculating and cynical, though I don't think he's far off in linking his 'product' to theirs. All were/are basically manufacturing a soothing vision to fill a demand for decoration and middle class self-regard.

        Feel free to disagree; that's part of the fun of discussing and debating art.

        •  does 'product' preclude 'art'? (0+ / 0-)

          Mozart served as court composer---by those standards, wouldn't his commissioned works then be, let's say, 'produced musical compositions' rather than art?

          what about commissioned portrait artists?  Some of them have ended up on palace walls and ceilings...Are they any more, or less, 'artists' than street caricature illustrators?

          Just tossing some thoughts at you!

    •  I understand this comment, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martinjedlicka, i like bbq

      you should know that Rockwell is often unfairly characterized in the manner you are doing here by putting the word art in quotation marks.

      Here is an example of the art Rockwell produced that  displays his depth and level of social consciousness (from the Norman Rockwell museum).

      Murder in Mississippi

      Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

      by Cat Whisperer on Mon May 16, 2011 at 02:21:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rockwell was a decent guy. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ralphdog

        not very interesting to me, but a good painter.

        Tracety Emin however is a Thatcherite. total yuppie scumbag. makes shocking art though.

        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

        by Salo on Mon May 16, 2011 at 02:56:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is a great example (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cat Whisperer, sandblaster

        of great artistry from one who is oft disregarded by the art world elite.  Rockwell's technical mastery is indisputable and I think his body of work for hire, i.e. Saturday Evening Post, resulted in high culture's dismissal of him as a mere illustrator.  

         

        "Welcome to Costco, I love you" -- Greetings from "Idiocracy"

        by martinjedlicka on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:45:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only reason for a Norman Rockwell (0+ / 0-)

          thread is that he's one of the few names that most Americans know. In terms of 20th Century art, he's just not an important painter.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:53:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  WTF? How do you measure importance? n/t (0+ / 0-)

            Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

            by Cat Whisperer on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:36:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't, but the art world does. (0+ / 0-)

              The art world being a global network of artists, curators, critics, theorists, gallerists, academics and collectors. In that world where art is ultimately sifted and evaluated, Norman Rockwell is not very important nor influential. World-class artists are simply not looking to him as any kind of influence.

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:46:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've got to ask then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cat Whisperer

                Since you seem to be in the know in the art world...

                What was with that 3 million dollar manga ejaculating cowboy statue?  

                I'm still flummoxed by the image of art crowds swirling their champagne as they milled around it.

                •  Ha! That's the work of (0+ / 0-)

                  Takashi Murakami, an insanely successful Japanese artist who draws his inspiration from the insular world of otaku culture. "My Lonesome Cowboy" is his 3D manga taje on Buddhist statuary. Got your attention, didn't it? ;>)

                  I never liked you and I always will.

                  by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 07:43:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  And so he is not important. That's nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

                IMHO because if he is discussed by those of us who disagree wtih the official "not influential" status of Norman Rockwell, perhaps he can gain some status.  I find it odd that you refer to those who determine status rather than considering the art itself when discussing its importance.  Based on your view, only art stamped with wome notion of approval by the status quo is art.

                Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

                by Cat Whisperer on Mon May 16, 2011 at 06:51:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. I find the dismissal of Rockwell (0+ / 0-)

          to be very sad.  His body of work not only in terms of his technical ability, but his sensitivity is just missed by so many critics.

          Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

          by Cat Whisperer on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:37:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Norman Rockwell was an excellent illustrator, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ralphdog

      though maybe not so great as N.C. Wyeth. There's much to appreciate in his work. Yes, it's maudlin, but so is Bouguereau.

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

      by Bob Love on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:44:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quite so. A great illustrator, like Parrish, but.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Love

        he spent his career essentially reminding comfortable Americans how swell they were.

        N.C. Wyeth's son Andrew was just as fine a draftsman and realist as Rockwell, but dug a lot deeper.

    •  Piss Christ? (0+ / 0-)

      Seriously?  

      Look, that's what's so neat about art.  I can think Piss Christ is both "bad" art AND not nearly as "edgy" as Serrano gives himself credit for (imagine if he had tried "Piss Koran".  He'd be dead now, but I digress), and you can think it's great and stuff.

      And the world keeps turning.

      I come from a family of artists and poets.  But I can like Norman Rockwell without feeling like a Philistine.  I guess I just detest art snobbery and I recognize that there is a place for simple art that makes people smile, brings joy and nostalgia, etc.

  •  but but you're describing (0+ / 0-)

    shudder critical thinking!
    don't you know we're trying to wipe that out of school, and replace it with knowing which bubble to fill, so we'll be better at filling a cubicle?

  •  I am grateful someone is commenting still on (0+ / 0-)

    these arguments, even if they are not new or at least better developed. Relative autonomy of art and its discourse should be of course seen beyond what Benjamin saw as an age of mechanization now projected in the present century as networked consciousness. Art is now even more about the virtual spectacle and its complex discourse of actions, events and objects all of which is politically (un)conscious in its mediation. Art has always been a critical practice, even at its most mundane. Why bother watching Glenn Beck if only to see him as a form of poorly conceived parody or Palin as banal fascism.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:29:16 PM PDT

    •  if I may: (0+ / 0-)
      ...Kraussian, a language related to Fustian that developed in the late ’sixties  among followers of an obscure academic critic, and whose main purpose is not to provide information or foster debate but to protect the speaker from accountability...

      from Museum, Inc.: Inside the Global Art World.

      [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

      by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:54:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone (0+ / 0-)

        clearly unarmed

        I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

        by annieli on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:12:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You mean, (0+ / 0-)

          simply because I studied under Roz Krauss, have a PhD in Art history, have had my first book on museums translated into three languages and worked nine years at the Guggenheim Museum?

           Suck on that, you little poseur.

          [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

          by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:50:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry, I don't know where it's been (0+ / 0-)

            as Roz (Epstein) used to say "I only speak in the dark".

            I'm not so insecure as to whip out credentials, so you should zip it back up honey, you have no clue about who I am or who I know in the artworld, after all, you might be one of the guys who studied "under" her?

            eom

            I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

            by annieli on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:00:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You sound plenty insecure to me. eom (0+ / 0-)

              [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

              by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:16:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL, let me know when you can set a leg, doc (0+ / 0-)

                I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

                by annieli on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:21:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Interesting, (0+ / 0-)

                  that someone who runs the "Daily Kos University" has such a low opinion of the Doctorate. Glenn Beck, much?

                  [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

                  by WOIDgang on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:35:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Alaskan Snow Pie (0+ / 0-)

                    1 cup all-purpose flour
                    1/2 cup toasted and chopped almonds
                    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
                    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                    1/2 cup butter, melted
                    2 egg whites
                    1/4 cup white sugar
                    1/2 gallon raspberry ice cream, softened
                    1/4 cup raspberry syrup
                    Directions

                    In a medium bowl combine flour, almonds, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well, then add melted butter or margarine. Stir thoroughly, then press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake crust in preheated 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
                    Preheat broiler.
                    In a small mixing bowl beat egg whites until frothy. Add white sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until stiff peaks form.
                    Spread softened ice cream into cooled pie shell. Cover completely with meringue.
                    Brown meringue in preheated broiler just until meringue begins to turn golden. Watch very closely! Pour just enough raspberry syrup onto each serving plate to thinly coat the bottom of plate. Place a slice of pie on each plate and serve immediately.

                    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

                    by annieli on Mon May 16, 2011 at 05:42:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Rosalind Krauss is far from being (0+ / 0-)

        obscure, nor does she traffic in obtuse language. October is one of the most influential art journals of the post-60's era. To say that she's not interested in fostering or advancing debate in the field of art is simply foolish.

        Previously Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia, in 2005 Rosalind Krauss was promoted to the highest faculty rank of University Professor. She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has been a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and of the Institute for Advanced Study. She received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for criticism from the College Art Association in 1973. She has been a fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities since 1992 and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. She recently received an honorary doctorate from the University of London.

        I never liked you and I always will.

        by Ray Blake on Mon May 16, 2011 at 04:49:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The article was published... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandblaster

    ....right before South Park premiered in the summer of 1997.

    That show smashed taboos, but hid the messages of acceptance and friendship behind gallons of toilet humor.

    Stan learning from Big Gay Al that it's OK to be gay (in episode 4, I believe) was probably the first shot in Generation X and Y's assault on homophobia....which is being carried on by Glee.

    Political art has to have quality - the reason why The Clash, Public Enemy, Woody Guthrie, and others were influential is because of their skill combined with their message.  (Similarly with Trent Reznor and nine inch nails, although he was more probing the nastiness inside one's head than in the outside world.)

    The seriousness of many artists is their weakness; they do not realize that the fool is best positioned to make fun of the king and his court.

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Mon May 16, 2011 at 03:44:03 PM PDT

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