Date: 02 March 2006
according to the placards all the artists were investingating things: eg 70s politics or codes of representation or pornography and mutliple identity. like a herd of private dicks, sherlock holmess, ombudsmens.
I wondered about them, the artists. what had started them off, what they liked, what they were hoping for. i think looking at shows, instead of being angry about what's not there (greatness beauty other metaphysical nonsense) maybe it's nice for once to think about the art from the artists point of view.
Oh but actually I liked the art by Peter Doig and Oliver Payne and Nick Relph or whatever they're called, it was arresting, and my negative side couldn't dislike it, there was something in it, enough.
Back to the artists and their investigations. Kaye Donachie, she probably liked painting once, and also thinking about revolutionary groups, now she is stuck out doing sort of smudgy paintings from photos about 70s groups, and I bet whilst she is painting she sees all sorts of details in the photos and enjoys wrapping her brush round them. And she must fiddle about with the compositions and the colours and get a bit high on what she can do with oil and stick. But honestly she's not investigating or discussing or decoding or much else, sometimes she's making an ok painting, and that's pretty much enough.
What about someone like lucky Lucy McKenzie. She went to some private art foundation and had lunch under a pornographic Jeff Koons. So she made a really ugly painting about her experience, and suddenly she is dealing with all the issues involved in the art market and perhaps pornography and also her autobiography, not to mention forms of representation like the cartoony bit in her painting. Not much of this is visible. She sits down and loves the thrill of making things, in that concentrated finickity was that most artists do, a bit of craft and some intellect, most of the joy of slow progress towards an appearance.
Visual art doesn't too well at conveying texts of ideas, it drowns under the weight of intent, (though without ambition it becomes academic and reactionary), painting is too light for such superficial links, its elusive wonder shrugs off most attempts to make it mean.
Enrico David. He likes fashion, old posters and magazines, and the silky swoop of his pen. He is rebel, wants to be unexpected. So he shows a bunch of his stuff in the shop.
These are just examples, you see I think the artists themselves are good people with interesting lives perhaps, and certainly a facility to make things that look ok or good. There just seems a big gap between what they do and what art can sometimes succeed in doing, and a huge one between their work and the claims and explanations made of it. And these wordy clumsy hopes of curators are not the point, and not worth the hard work and efforts of artists. And the wicked texts on walls appear in glowing letters to the dazzled students or even younger people and mislead: implying that art starts with someone's averagely interesting interests, and actually its genesis is seeing or drawing or arranging until a switch in the brain is hit and lights up an obscure, an evolutionarily side effect, pleasure . Pleasure.