May 23, 2013

Rebuttal to Painter Painter. Provincial arts writers as angst ridden teenagers in protected parental homes. And a pause for a brief hiatus.

I have many swift arrows in my quiver that speak to the wise, but for the crowd they need interpreters. The skilled poet is one who knows much through natural gift, but those who have learned their art chatter turbulently, vainly.

-Joe Scanlan quoting Pindar 

The Walker is the 900lb gorilla, every critic wants to stab it. So of course it gets terrible reviews - it’s easy. But It doesn’t even matter.

- Some well connected drunk after an opening

I have no idea what is so supremely satisfying to the writer about adding quotes to the beginning of an essay, but let me tell you it is really, really satisfying.
- writer

As Exhibition after exhibition the Walker coughs up irrelevance.
Some are actually bad, some are misunderstood, some are stoned by the philistines, but the thread throughout is that the Walker goes on it’s merry mile-long way.
Feeling oppressed by the continuous import of the dominant voice, receiving it’s eternal wisdom by way of one-way speaker, one is eventually feels the need to speak back, to be heard. “They don't understand,” stakes the writer.
Yet critiscm of the Walker is critque of Empire’s most distant bastion, continuously reinforced by supplies from the gleaming corporate towers of High-Culture proper, our critiques lofted from the corn are limp and meaningless, instead reflected off the high polished tin of the Walkers gleaming cube. We are all weak and powerless to change what's on the menu, the supply line remains rutted.
The arts writers want retribution they cannot have, the audience would surely mock them behind their backs at each and every fool attempt.
Belittled by their powerless critique in the shadow of a juggernaut, writers use it instead as means of reflecting themselves. Meant less as an critical judgment of art, it instead becomes a mere mirror for their own interminable auto-analysis. It exists as a refication of ego, a mastubatory game of narcissistic spectacle, the brain and its erudition. Lifting cerebral weights in front of mirror, we groan. Arts Writers love ourselves and our “ideas” more than art - joined together in an integrated circuit - we watch our magnificence unfold before us. The Walker glimmers with the faces of a thousand writers who use it as their mirror. The collective image of the writer is a person with hand under the table, the one handed typist: Thought and sensuousness joined in circle by mind, screen and hand. Oh what pleasure!
And Masquerade as professionalism.
What is implicit in the Writer’s statement is that like a teenager in his highschool bedroom under the watch of parents, the writer is actually saying: “They don't understand me.”
to attempt a critical takedown of any of the recent plethora of gaspingly boring curatorially non-existant exhibitions with which the Walker has graced us, exhibitions that simply exist as shows of artworks - generic, affectless, anywhere-any-artist shows - would be not only entirely futile but worse: an exposing of the subjective arbitrariness of the reviewer at the exposition of these sprawling generically smooth exhibitions. “The Living Years,” (which is terrible) is an impossibility of critical masturbatory review because there is nothing left to say: It is a giant pointless exhibition with an arbitrary premise, a showcase for nothing more than the Walker’s past exhibition hits now in it’s collection. To reason with something that is so arbitrary, would be to expose one’s own arbitrariness. One cannot get off on this dead play-acting. It would expose the absurdity of the reviewer and reveal his hand under the table grasping a thin member, expose me.

In order to pretend some critical relevance the arts writer must wait for some critical angle, some point to be made, some curators to blame. This is the hyperbolic magnificence of rhetoric, the prismatic loveliness of one’s own intellectual regurgitation spilling onto marble floors.
The reviewer sits in wait to score the critical hit. Reviewers do not waste arrows at the sad juggernaut of the Golem, plodding, maldeveloped, doing its very worst best, (i.e. The Living Years), no arrow could ever hurt it, it is art itself to contend with, we would be forced to stand up before it like parents whose children, our own, we despise for having such sticky chocolate shit on their lips.
thus you sit in wait, for the exposition of some critical hand, for the curators to expose but some minute curatorial thought, and the armor’s missing scale, subjectivity; lay in wait in the low grasses, to release the frighteningly honed arrow from your quiver, to hit that which one has been waiting for, not that which will slay the monster, but that which is going to sting - with rhetorical marvelousness, the climax of having been right. 

So writers lay in wait for some wily dragon to expose, and we fire our arrows mercilessly to make our point heard. Die! Die! Die!, we scream to the ducks whose magnificence we express our admiration for by riddling their bodies with spray, preferably more than their small intestines can handle, to add their stuffed corpses to our walls, a notch to our belts. and self-congratulate. Good for us. Everyone.