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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Saltz lecture tomorrow...UPDATED: post-lecture

Jerry Saltz is lecturing at 4:30 tomorrow (10/4), at VCU. University Student Commons Theater, 907 Floyd Ave.

Jerry still doesn't like Marlene Dumas.

UPDATE 10/04/06: he said he was going to lecture on content- which i wish he would have - but instead he did a general talk about being an artist, how to be an artist, stuff like that. he was very entertaining and charismatic, funny, self-deprecating, a total ham.

...talked a lot about the artist's obligation to be in the public, get seen somehow; fame. the need to be in cities. i'm pretty he sure he reads artblogs.

...he said he was almost fired a few weeks ago? the paper changed ownership? his own precariousness... and temporary-ness in the scheme of things. he thinks joan acocella is a great critic.

...about how a pollock drip painting endures, how it "gives off more energy than it took to make", and how pollock was a terrible artist who willed himself to be good.

...talked about the triple candie's david hammons and cady noland shows. very not into it, nor into triple candy's current show entitled "the trouble with triple candie". said they should just call it "the trouble with our genitals", or something like that. interesting how dismissive he was, but also interesting that it is on his mind so much and bugging him. i think those remarks about triple candie were fairly off-the-cuff.. unintentionally revealing.

...said that he is the first and last matthew barney fan (meaning he is still a fan, the only one). remembered first seeing a barney climbing/vaseline video in a group show around 1990, and being struck.. calling his wife over. she looked at it for a minute or two, said "guy stuff", and walked away.

... said john ravenal's artificial light show at vcu's anderson gallery includes two artists he had never heard of, one of whom he really liked... but never got around to saying who.

is he going to write about the show? i hope so and i hope not... so because it is a good show and deserves coverage, not because i don't like the idea of critics writing about shows they are paid to visit. it isn't like he paid his own way down here, and did the vcu studio visits and lectures for free, right? it becomes too much like paid pr. i have covered all this before... maybe if he includes it in a write-up of other richmond art things, okay.

RELATED: Joe Fyfe on the Triple Candie show

also... I had put this link up originally, with the Marlene Dumas link, but took it down because it seemed so confrontational and i have been trying to be nicer and in control... but i will put it back up for his own good, because he had so much to say about the perils of navel-gazing.

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

6 comments:

Justin Lincoln said...

I had mixed feelings about the talk. I was kind of cringing at the beginning when he talked about the ascendancy of VCU as a top art school. In particular it felt kind of condescending when he said he hoped the sculpture program would be "okay" and the painting program "not so good" and then after visiting the place found them both "good". I'm not sure how much good the stroking of the collective ego does.

On the other hand I do think his advice that people from VCU should move in packs to other places (like NYC, LA, Berlin) makes alot of sense. While I was at Calarts Lane Relyea encouraged the same kind of pack strategy in another context. It reminds me of the Boston contingent of photographers that gained some note in the 90s, Nan Goldin, the under-rated Mark Morisoe, and if I remember correctly Jack Pierson.

The other interesting thing was that though it seemed he was speaking off the cuff, most of the schpiels were well-rehearsed.

I thought saltz said that Roberta's comment about Barney was "gaudy"....it was kind of hard to hear. Both criticisms to me seem equally valid.I don't think that the art-world is as "over" Barney as Saltz implies...though I think it would be great if they were. I mean that movie "The Cell" several years ago did a much more interesting version of Barney's work than I ever saw from him.

One final thing that I appreciated greatly was that Saltz encouraged the audience to e-mail him. he said that his address is at the end of all his online articles. I'm curious to see if any interesting dialogues ensue.

Justin Lincoln

Michael said...

Was that a tumble weed that just went by?

I'm sorry I missed his lecture- despite how thin it may have been.

n.s. said...

I felt that a lot of the things he had to say directly to artists about being an artist were right-on. I think it would be rather daring for resident faculty to make the kinds of assertions to students about the artist lifestyle that he had made without coming off the wrong way or without having to hear about it down the road. "Oh, professor 'x' says that the voices never go away-- professor 'y' thinks it's ok to lay off for a few months... well, that's what professor y thinks and it's easy to see why. No sir. Here you have it straight from someone who knows, has heard it 10,000 times and can back it up, --and isn't trying to be mean, --and hasn't been tied up in just the local scene. So the perspective is incredibly refreshing and the man said a lot of things that I, personally, needed to hear at this point in my life. "Do you want to be an artist? Fine. This is what you're in for. This isn't your father's lifestyle, and it never will be. You think you're insane now? You may never know complacency again, and you need to know that now."

"Becoming" an artist or accepting many of the hardships the creative class faces as a whole forces a lot of the "eat me," "drink me" decisions Alice had to make, every time we read the words "call for entries," or every time you're caught in the middle of making a piece of artwork that is privately driving you mad, or every time you see your nephew and privately wonder if you'll live a life that can feasibly produce children. It doesn't always go down like sugar. You have to learn how to handle it, and you wonder if how you're handling it is ok or if you're alone in the decisions you have to make. These are the kinds of realizations that can't be taught, they can't be given by just anyone.

I'm glad that he said the things about handling the day job/artist dichotomy that he did. I'm glad that he emphasized the importance of being your harshest critic. I'm glad that he was able to admit that when an artist looks at a painting, we don't necessarily have to give a damn about how derivitive it is --some have done just fine by paying attention just to what the surface looks like and if the mounting looks ok (not entirely, but you get the point). I'm glad that he talked to us like people, I'm glad he took the time to come an edgy come-uppy place such as Richmond, Va, and I'm really glad he never made it to the first slide.

onesock said...

n.s.'s comment sparked my interest. Any other juicy details about being an artist according to J.S.?

Dennis Matthews said...

nate,
i'm glad you went to this talk. i encouraged many people we know to go for all the reasons you pointed out that jerry said. i felt like i was the only one person in richmond (well not right now) who knew who saltz was or had read anything he wrote. i'm mainly glad you went cuz i see that jerry told you all those things you had asked of me in our critiques well sorta, but it sounds like the talk has brought you to a different level of tacticility with your own work i hope. I have heard that this talk has really helped all those who went. Although I couldn't attend, to me it seems that Saltz did what Acconci did for me, undeniably tell us that if this is what you want to do it will not be easy but all in all it will be ok. Very simply put, but we all need to hear that in different ways. Most inspiring recent talk i've been to; Ken Fandell.
ps. thanks for putting up your old work martin, they're nice to see. perhaps you should visit that locker soon!

n.s. said...

Check out this quote from Murakami:

"Why am I constantly angry like a bulldog?" he asks. "Anger invariably spills out of me. I don't want to remain the way I am -- that discontent drives me much more than my passion for success," he writes. "I don't have a logical explanation for this, but I wonder if 'anger' is what you need to continue expressing yourself."