Unreal Nature

November 28, 2014

The Net’s Shadow

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:35 am

… most people ended up believing in it, finding peace in which to produce.

This is from Writings in Art by Per Kirkeby, edited by Asger Schnack (2012):

… The pole vault. We were like pole vaulters already at speed in our approach, seeing the record height in front of us: it comes toward us, looming. We run faster and faster, yet lack the pole by which to overcome the hindrance. We knew from the beginning that we had no pole, but there was no choice: we had to launch the attack or else be overwhelmed, rooted to the spot. And in the final phases of the approach a pole is suddenly thrust into the hands of the poor athlete: that was Pop Art. And with its aid we soared over the crap in the blink of an eye.

To land with a sinking feeling of nothingness amid foam rubber. And then great structures appeared in a glaring vision. Minimal Art was the opportunity of a new art. Beuys played a part in showing us that this great endeavor was not without soil and organic root. The chance of creating art was fully unfolded. At least for the primitives who saw things as works and not as the demonstration-objects of some or other concept.

… I shall never escape a first and foundational experience of art in the work of Turner: that it was possible to produce art in such a depraved manner. To paint pictures that so unambiguously sought an embracing Mood, by demonstrating the entire machinery. That “inner coherence” was but a superficial trick. For me that was my true loss of innocence. And a first understanding of the World: the paradox of the precious “inside” only coming to expression by purely “external” means.

What nevertheless in my view makes it all hang together as art in Turner’s case is the pain with which his pictures live with this insight. And that the pain remains warm, the insight never giving rise to cold manipulation. Even though there is no reason for illusion. The warm pain and insecurity is for me the “inner imperative” of painting pictures.

The warm pain is in no way better or morally more correct than cold manipulation.

[ … ]

… Pop Art gave us a brilliant opportunity to paint pictures again. Maybe not painting as such. But to make pictures because all of a sudden modern society’s entire pictorial body was available to art. To be manipulated. And it was liberating and fun. But mostly rather harmless compared to Warhol’s disasters. And that is why Andy Warhol has always enjoyed such status and respect among colleagues. Regardless of how much crap he produced later.

Much of what was done in the sixties was just a smoothing out and dismantling of the desperate beatnik model of the hard decades. Making approachable that which could not be endured. And most people ended up believing in it, finding peace in which to produce. Warhol of course also endeavored to find a model, but he never forgot how thin the ice was, always holding out the absurdity and the dark pointlessness of it all.

And for that reason there is also a cold logic about his later existence as a media celebrity.

[ … ]

The net
(is the ornament)
that seeks to capture the collapse of texture
But try to stop a lava flow
with chicken net
Only in time will it stiffen
the cracks
are the net’s shadow




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