Friday, June 19, 2009

Being serious for a moment

Bertrand Russell, a well-known serious person.

Erwin Panofsky: more the earnest type.


"All serious people seem to have a good sense of nonsense, as opposed to earnest people, who don't know what to make of nonsense. Today, there are too many earnest people in the arts and not enough serious people."

--George Rose, via 98Bowery

Very rarely have I read anything that I agree with more. In fact, having taken a few moments to review my acquaintance of the New Zealand visual artworld, I can confidently state that there is no one who does not fall neatly into one or other of these categories. (I'm wondering if I should run a little 'match up' poll, but then again it might be considered bad form. By the earnest people, at least.)

4 comments:

Dialtone said...

Cheryl Bernstein - after following your blog for a good while now (one of few blogs that has sustained my interest and kept me entertained I might add). I'd like to return the favour of possibly providing YOU with some entertainment. I whole heartedly agree with the abundant earnestness in the art world, it rapes me. This is why I'd like to invite you to a forthcoming exhibition of mine at COCA (I'm curating and participating in this one). I'll paste the blurb below!

Dylan

Kill Yr Idols, Eat Yr Heroes.
A group exhibition featuring Dylan Taylor, Jamie Richardson & Rose-Marie Salmon. 12th - 29th August 2009

'Kill Yr Idols, Eat Yr heroes' unites three obsessive consumers of sub-popular culture. Consuming and being consumed by cult icons, and the prescription to ideologies of a subversive nature are commonalities within this trio.

In-jokes, vandalism, videogames, binging, purging, anti art, anti-anti art, internet addictions, a-diverse/extensive-collection-of-obscure-music-to-compensate-for-a-lack-of-social-skills, arbitrary use of hyphens, pornography, LOLcats, OCD, heartbreak, fiscal responsibility, taking art REALLY seriously, the obsessive hoarding of material objects & unresolved teenage angst are the answers....the question is still pending, but all will be revealed.

The nature of this collective investigates the territory between fine art and low brow culture, whilst pushing to dismantle unnecessary divisions between the two fields.
This exhibition might be worse than walking in on your parents having sex, but you should come along anyway, because there will be wine (and possibly cake).

Cheryl Bernstein said...

Thanks for the kind words Dylan. I was cheering for you until I came to your championship of the "arbitrary use of hyphens", which is downright irresponsible and neither funny nor clever.

I also wonder about your notion that the division between low-brow culture and fine art is unnecessary. How do you expect to be able to epater the bourgeoisie if they don't try to keep the gate closed? Eh?

However, the cake sounds good. Cheers for that. I'll be along.

Dialtone said...

Wha't a'bout negligen't us'e 'of apostrophe's? (That REALLY gets me mad!). Don't worry, hyphens will be kept in check, glad it stirred you though.

I might edit the word "unnecessary" from the printed version of that, but rest assured, we will leave the gates open for an evening and let members of both camps mingle uncomfortably, hilarity will ensue.

Dialtone said...

Whoops, just a quick update. Due to a double booking of the gallery space I'm showing in, Kill Yr Idols has been shifted forward to 2nd - 19th September! I hope that's manageable.