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Monday, February 07, 2005

Adaptation Syndrome Panel

Went to the Adaptation Syndrome panel on Friday - lots to share.

Co-curator Dinah Ryan was at the lectern for about forty-five minutes before giving it up to husband Paul. An hour of explanation was more than enough.

Some quotes from Dinah include "artworks are indistinguishable from image production", "nobody's a visual virgin anymore", "to make an effective image one no longer has to be an artist", and something about the distribution of "broad-based wide-ranging intelligent and deliberate" images being "as big a shift as the Guttenberg press". The audience was asked to set aside all context, reasons, ideology, and politics while viewing images of custom cars, mouse hairs, space, cells dividing and satellite images of the recent tsunami and then told that "images that have nothing to do with artmaking" have "outclassed what artists are doing". Is there a term for this? Creating an artificial situation that attempts to force people to agree with you?

A comparison was made between a photograph of the mushroom cloud created after the bombing of Hiroshima with a photo of one of the planes hitting a WTC tower on 9/11 and something about one being a deliberately created image and the other not, one created for dissemination and one not. I'm a little confused here, my notes are bad, and I also think her breadth of knowlege might not extend far enough into WWII military history. That mushroom cloud was certainly intended to be seen and impress a message on the populace - more people were killed in a single night of firebombing Tokyo than from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. She was just plain wrong in her belief that the atomic bombings were not an example of a "purposeful display".

Amazingly, after spending more than an hour trying to explain the concept of their show, Dinah said that included artist Ron Johnson was "not making deliberate reference to image" and that "he's an anti-image painter" whose "reflected shadows and colors militate against image". So what is he doing in your show??? Artist Margaret Evangeline later talked herself out of the curatorial concept when explaining her own working process.

I'll share more tomorrow.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

sounds dreadful. Why is Ron Johnson getting so much attention on this blog? I just don't get it. Anti-image seems redundant and unimaginative to me. It was interesting 50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Is there a term for this? Creating an artificial situation that attempts to force people to agree with you?Dogma!


--Of course, the situation doesn't have to be artificial. PhotoShop is now in the hands of the masses, as well as a few hundred-million digital cameras that make even an amatuer's efforts gleam.

MAZE said...

Wow, that just took me right back to college! It all started innocently enough; a few smarties were sick of the hoary old modernists dick-tating what was great and what was not. So they thought they'd crack the shit wide open and let everyone storm the palace. "Stick your foot on the wall and call it art! Better yet, claim that art is impossible! That'll show 'em!"

Then it just got out of hand and kids like me were forced to sit through tiresome lecture after tiresome lecture while the professor played word games and convinced you that cottage cheese, Brazilian Samba, your digital watch and a passage from James Joyce were all somehow THE SAME THING! Are we liberated yet?

Silly rabbit, don't you know that actual WWII history is irrelevant? What matters is the received image, the system of mythologies, the historical reflection, the echo without a source...

Anonymous said...

Maze. I love you.

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