Unreal Nature

August 14, 2019

There Was a Dream

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:04 am

… If you want to take a dark view of things, you can argue that a great period of cultural expansion and enlightenment may be ending.

This is from the interiew with Jed Perl found in What It Means to Write About Art: Interviews with Art Critics by Jarrett Earnest (2018):

[ … ]

Jarrett Earnest: … what is it in particular about criticism that brings out these conspiracy theories?

Jed Perl: Well, criticism is about our passions. From a critic you want clarity, you want clear thinking, but mostly, I think you want huge passion. One of the great things about loving the arts is those moments when you lose yourself in them, like, Yes. This is it!

JE: All my favorite critics are lovers at the core.

JP: Yes.

JE: Especially when they’re mad!

JP: Exactly! A really compelling critique is a critique that’s grounded in love — in the love of an art form and all its possibilities. And love is not a science! That’s where it gets complicated.

[ … ]

JP: I couldn’t live without the arts. I mean … I couldn’t live without my friends and family, but I also really couldn’t live without the pleasure of paintings and books and music. And those pleasures are multilayered. That’s why any simplistic political litmus test for art really drives me crazy — from any side.

[ … ]

JP: … The art of criticism has never been an easy one to practice; like any serious creative endeavor, it’s a struggle. But the circumstances are especially challenging now. There are fewer outlets for serious criticism, at least in the print media. And the scale of the art world — and the outrageous amounts of money involved — has become oppressive; it’s a weight that threatens to flatten all of us.

[line break added] If you want to take a dark view of things, you can argue that a great period of cultural expansion and enlightenment may be ending. There was a dream that began in the nineteenth century that the audience for “serious things” — whether scientific knowledge or artistic experience — was going to continuously expand in democratic societies.

My most recent previous post from Earnest’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

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