My Thoughts About Someone Else’s Thoughts
Perhaps it was a way to punish me for asking how are paintings relevant in today’s contemporary art climate. Upon further reflection, I conclude that anything is relevant, as long as it’s relevant to someone. Even if that someone is only one person - the person making it. A thing doesn’t need the approval of an artistic trend or a legitimate art movement (what’s that in today’s world? in any world?) or a majority or an ‘expert’ in order to have certain value.
I didn’t learn that from the text I was given to read.
What I’ve learned from it is that drawing with pastels can be an erotic act, but the modernist canon is something that needs to be cured of. I don’t know… having erotic reactions to pastels sounds quite contemporary to me.
Anyway, it was 80 pages of Thoughts About the State of Art, A Critique of Modernity (Razmišljanja o stanju umjetnosti, Kritika moderniteta) by Jean Clair.
It was a great exercise in reading something I don’t agree with at all without blowing a gasket. It was actually amusing at the beginning, but then it just became tedious. The author’s bias clearly shows. My bias also shows - I want it to show - but while I don’t favour idolizing and using the renaissance and classical period as the starting point of all my artistic endeavours, I’m not going to implicitly compare it to nazism. I mean, what the hell?
I have some notes, but I’m not sure how to present them, so I’ll just copy-paste them under a cut (it’s 4 pages long). I think you get a pretty good idea about my sensibilities. Most of it is in Croatian, but there are a couple of bits in English. Enjoy!