Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Alphonse van Worden vs. the art world


Alphonse van Worden answers my call to reply to Badiou's Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art:
We glean from a casual glance over them that they are intended to apply only to what is euphemistically called 'the Art World's' cochons. Indeed one of their evident purposes is - as is typical of theses on art - the winnowing of the art market’s present stock, the identification of the chickens in hog’s clothing and the expulsion of their value-disruption. The chosen exemplar of Badiou’s art object is one of the conspiracy drawings of Mark Lombardi, (certified cochon).


A memo basically to appraisers, investors and aspiring producers, sketching out projections for the next decade.

And this immediately places Badiou in the corps of clerks labouring away at the maintenance of the Art Market, which is fuelled constantly, and desperately, by the seemingly gratuitous issue of such prescriptions, Art is This, Art is That. It IS this, really, if hiddenly, and ought then be rendered more obviously itself (but not too obviously. It mustn't become out and out criticism). The predicates are of no consequence whatsoever. Art is a rose is an onion will serve. What matters is the compulsive, droning intonation - Art Is - in the face of what to the ideal naiveté of the fabulous child confronted with the bare arse of authority would be simultaneously puzzlingly obvious and uneasily suggestive in its surface insignificance: simply, that Art Isn't. Not really, anyway. Not in any fashion worth discussing. Because it isn't, there is a case of indecent exposure to be addressed.


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