sábado, 13 de julho de 2013
A Farewell to the Future That Was by Robert Hughes
What Art Is
“We finish where modernism began, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and perhaps the etiquette now demands that I should try and prognosticate about what is coming next. Well, I won’t because I don’t know. History teaches us one certain thing: that critics, when they fish out the crystal ball and start trying to guess what the future will be, are almost invariably wrong. I don’t think there’s ever been such a rush towards insignificance in the name of the historical future as we’ve seen in the last fifteen years. The famous radicalism of sixties and seventies art turns out to have been a kind of dumbshow, a charade of toughness, a way of avoiding feeling. And I don’t think we are ever again obliged to look at a plywood box, or a row of bricks on the floor, or a video tape of some twit from the University of Central Paranoia sticking pins in himself, and think: ‘This is the real thing. This is the necessary art of our time. This needs respect.’ Because it isn’t, and it doesn’t, and nobody cares. The fact is that anyone except a child can make such things, because children have the kind of direct, sensuous and complex relationship with the world around them that modernism, in its declining years, was trying to deny. That relationship is the lost paradise that art wants to give back to us, not as children but as adults. It’s also what the modern and the old have in common: Pollock with Turner, Matisse with Rubens, or Braque with Poussin. And the basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling. And then to close the gap between you and everything that is not you, and in this way to pass from feeling to meaning. It is not something that committees can do. It’s not a task achieved by groups or by movements. It’s done by individuals, each person mediating in some way between a sense of history and an experience of the world. This task is literally endless and so, although we don’t have an avant-garde any more, we’re always going to have art.”
Robert Hughes in ’The Shock of the New‘
The '70s are gone, and where is their typical art? Nobody seems to know. Everyone still knows what the art of the '60s looked like. It looked like Claes Oldenburg's giant Mickey Mouse, like Andy Warhol's cans or Roy Lichtenstein's enlarged comic strips. Such pieces now have a period air of things meant to be consumed quickly—EAT ME! as the lettering on Alice's cake read. They constitute an art of rapid memorable icons that expected to be assimilated and exhausted in quick bursts, as indeed they were.