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Re: Book Art vs. Book Arts

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> From: Richard Minsky <minsky@MINSKY.COM>
> Reply-To: "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.philobiblon.com"
> Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 06:20:20 -0400
> Subject: Re: Book Art vs. Book Arts

> The 10,000 artists in the [Franklin Furnace Archive] artist book collection
> are in the Library, not the Museum. They were put there by a librarian, not a
> curator. In the art world that's not the same thing.  It's regarded as
> research material, not art. Books are still marginalized in the art world.

Well, it's close enough for me, since I'm so far away that I live in a place
where the only museum is a pathetic exhibition of old Mayan carved stones.
These, by the way, were once elements of official propaganda. Now they are
pre-Columbian art, even though the painted plaster that once covered them
and carried the main force of their meaning is long gone.

When my daughter inquired about my work, she received a letter on Museum of
Modern Art stationery <http://www.cafecancun.com/bookarts/moma.htm>. In my
resume, I'm careful to identify the Museum of Modern Art Library, but the
letter is good enough to flim-flam the innocent fools who believe that my
works might actually have some value as art.

Maybe art museum librarians know something that curators don't and
collectors do. The value of a collection often depends on its completeness
as much as the "quality" of its individual items.

These thoughts goes back to one of the original arguments in this thread.
Let us look at our contemporaries as if seeing them in history. Here
craftsmanship does help, and so does beauty, but all else is subject to

I can show you ancient Mayan art featuring enemas, probably as
entertainment, maybe as ritual. It's still art because an artist created it.
Not only that, but one of the pieces I saw is just great. It could be a
logotype for a Mayan enema bar. I will scan this today and put it online.

There's a guy who gives himself a paint enema and then squirts it out on
canvas. He actually had a gallery exhibition in Los Angeles, at which he
sold not only the paintings but the video documentation. Does MoMa have any
of this? Probably not, but you can be sure they've got a lot of other dreck
that was purchased by some curator. Enema art deals honestly with the
Freudian analysis of the relationship between art and money, but we will
leave this for another discussion, as I fear I am heading for trouble.

A junkie once showed me an airbrush illustration of Donald Duck shooting up,
squawking as only Donald can, in hysterical ecstasy. I am not a junkie, so I
was shocked, and believe me, I am not easily shocked. This item had more
emotional impact than Guernica and the craftsmanship was impeccable, too. Is
some curator going to tell me that wasn't art? If so, does the evaluation
depend upon politics or art?


JULES SIEGEL Apdo 1764 Cancun Q. Roo 77501

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