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Re: [BKARTS] On spelling and "what is a book"

In a message dated 1/11/04 8:01:08 PM, DDsrtist@xxxxxxx writes:

<< After I was done she asked if I was interested in purchasing the piece. I
said no - but could I have a copy of  his statement. I told her the artist was
more successful in his written word describing his purpose and intent - then
work of art. She looked at me puzzled and I told her if the artist needs to
collaberate his message by using some other form of communication - in this
case a wriiten statement - then he has failed himself and deprived his
the chance to share in its creation and mission. He failed to communicate its
"message" >>

One of my least favorite things about museums is their habit of accompanying
every piece of art with an explanation by an art historian or critic in order
to make it "accessible" to the general museum-going public. Too many times I
have seen people stand in front of a work of art READING the explanation of
what they should be seeing or experiencing without actually looking at the work
and coming to some decision about it on their own.

Because art instruction is vested almost exclusively in the universities now,
artist have learned to translate themselves and what they do into words that
academics can understand. Artists are rarely judged on their products alone,
but on their ability to articulate the meaning of their products. Grants and
teaching jobs, often shows, are meted out to those who have mastered this task.
Sometimes it all seems to me like a joke (or maybe a scam), though I can never
decide on whom.

I remember in graduate school being told that if I refused to think about and
write about the work that I do that it would put me at the mercy of those who
would interpret it for me, and perhaps not a way I would like. Since those
people are still around and having their say, however, I guess there is room for
more than one interpretation. Wait! Isn't that what I've been saying all
along? Sorry, it's late. Do love the discussions that have been provoked by our
questions. Barbara Harman

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