Monday, April 15, 2013

art, art critics, Venus in Taurus

Venus enters TAURUS April 15- May 9
She rules the arts. She is the MUSE or divine Goddess of inspiration. That’s why Neptune is her “higher octave.” Venus is earthly fleshy real sex, art, money, luxury, relationships.
 I started out as an artist. At age nine I told my surprised mother that I had decided to be an artist when I grow up, that was that. I had figured out that being an artist was a lisence for escaping the rat race, the normal expected, boring, unconscious way of life.  I saw ART  as FREEEDOM, ANARCHY. I went to OCAD which wasn’t a design school then. My first husband was an artist, my present husband is an artist, our daughter is presently at a performing arts high school.  
I was born with a natal VENUS NEPTUNE EXACT conjunction in Libra the Sign VENUS rules. Yes art is a religion, very spiritual to me.
I happened upon this article in BLOUIN ART INFO -Canadian version. I will excerpt it and provide a link.
FINALLY someone with weight in the art world has spoken the unspoken!  American ART Critic DAVID HICKEY 

what do you think about contemporary art?

There are only a few great critics holding forth in today’s waning critical climate who maintain an element of danger in their invocations. These voices of authority and interrogation bend and veer away from our understood rails of art appreciation into rogue states of wicked qualification, correction, dissent – even revolution. It takes great bravery, in this moment, to call a thing a thing, and something even greater to be compelling and convincing in this effort. These critics tend to say things loosely, ham-fistedly, but with a pulpiteer’s command. They tend to interrupt the academic scaffolding of distance with oratory tempos that are stark and seemingly stupid in their abrupt profundity; they speak with adamancy, and they ring bells that feel assailing.
Among these writers are Peter Schjeldahl, Ben Davis, and Dave Hickey, the infamous and revered American critic who has carved out a voice in the Western art world akin to that of journalism’s Hunter S. Thompson. He has achieved storied laurels – seemingly despite but also because of himself – and has recently and very publically retired from the racket entirely. He has not done this from exhaustion nor age (he is 73) but because his subject has grown too insipid, too “stupid,” he says. It’s easy to believe him.
Dave Hickey did something to Canada, which should not have been unexpected; all the same, it was reviled. Hickey came to Guelph University for the annual Shenkman lecture, and offended everyone.
Importantly, on the eve of Canada financier Jim Flaherty’s federal budget reveal (in which general ‘skills’ were summoned to match the country’s available employment), Hickey produced an argument that had a special relevance for its tender audience, and its economic moment: as he took short aim at his crowd – comprised of provosts, university presidents, deans, professors, students, and former graduates – Hickey commanded we give up our institutions, relinquish our vain pursuit of accreditation, and summoned us to become artists again. “Demand that your students can perform a jump shot,” he said, in one of many references to an idealized world in which the art school was run like an athletic department. “Give up your three cars and pool, and the 4 o’clock meetings, and become an artist again.” But, he amended, if we are to continue in our endeavoring of an arts degree, or in our pursuit of a tenure-track professorship, demand of ourselves and our students skills, results, ambition, and that we kick the 90% that is shit, to the curb.
There are very few of us working from the art world’s bleachers, perhaps even fewer of us trading in its court, who would argue against Hickey’s main thesis: that the academe is destroying contemporary art. However the critic-cum-orator quickly established an antagonism towards his audience that was only further embossed by his seeming casualness.
Clad in a black sweat suit and runners, Hickey approached the podium – after no fewer than three introductions (a performance that would only serve Hickey’s later point on the academe’s overwrought hierarchy) – and very quickly descended into an 80 minute lecture that, while seemingly rudderless (he had no notes, and repeated himself frequently while veering off into anecdote and recurring metaphor) was in its sum a strident call for change. He was appealing to civilization.
“In America, and in Canada in particular, the balkanization of our universities has pretty much destroyed civilization as we know it. I think we’ve done it under the guise of control – as Michel Foucault would say, ‘care is control’ – and I’m here to argue for less of it,” he said. ”I’m here to argue for a little more benign neglect.”
The critic flitted between personal anecdote (quoting his friends Richard Serra, John Baldessari, and his nemeses, Clement Greenberg and Thomas Jefferson), near constant swipes at the academe, a few bigoted slags, and consistent, impassioned invocations for systemic change, though he maintained that “there is no deficit of quality work, it’s just that the world around it has changed.”
While figureheads like John Kissick, Dasha Shenkman, and Matthew Teitelbaum dropped their heads and rubbed their foreheads (with some gesturing wildly for moderator Robert Enright to close the lecture), others held hopeful expressions in a transparent commitment to the critic’s overarching thesis. The exquisite and painful moment of Hickey’s truth and brutalism brought to mind Peter Schjeldahl’s call to arms, of a few years ago, first issued at the New School, and then transcribed for Frieze (March 2011), wherein he spoke of the “irreligious gravitating towards art,” and how its “want tends to be lonesome and blind.”
Schejldahl goes on, “An educated common sense of the last three decades holds that all art is rhetorical and thus a game of pretenses and/or of exposing pretenses. This view is basic to the gaming of art. In fact, all art can be seen that way, but not usefully, if anyone’s experience matters. It ignores the fact that good art happens to us in ways that knock us out or our educations.” Complaining about contemporary art rhetoric and the ubiquity of the term “practice” in relation to an artist’s work, Schjeldahl demands, “When do you stop practising something and do it?”
Hickey would, over the course of his freestyle lecture, emboss this very point (“go pro,” he kept repeating), while damning every academic and art school attendee in the room in myriad ways – some clever (“theory is really easy: it’s like playing poker with no spots on the cards”) and some lazy (“if you are manic depressive, dyslectic, morbidly obese, have down’s syndrome, you end up in the art department”).
At the end of his talk, Hickey was, unsurprisingly, met with a question from an audience member, who began tremulously, “well I’m not afraid,” but went on, gaining confidence, to demand of Hickey just how “serious” he was, because “it’s a huge insult to us who devote our life to the academe; not everybody has the ability to become a basketball player in the NBA.” Hickey responded, “if I was being insulting it’s because I meant to be. There is nothing that I’ve said that I haven’t done. But we’re not talking about your benefits. We’re talking about Western civilization.”
Dave Hickey, a letch, a rogue, a dissenter, an exile, had effectively performed his point. With the very subject of his seeming disdain positioned firmly beyond his pulpit, he exhibited a tremendous affection for its cause and well-being by demanding of it something greater. The Canadian art world and its academe suffered the point, one all too rarely made in this sector, and one never issued at its establishment: be better. As Hickey refrained, “how do you be brave? How do you be brave?” Likely those most angered by Hickey’s lecture will be the ones answering him in spite, and to good effect, in the years to come.
see what I consider to be art form a true artist- not academic -http://www.napob.com