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Friday, June 18, 2004

Anna Somers Cocks should get out more

Howdy!

Newsgrist informed me that Anna Somers Cocks wrote what is called an Argument for the Independent in the UK, braying about the lack of "political" Art nowadays.

Ummm, could I suggest that she get the heck out of her white tower? There is a ton of it going on.

Her whole deck of cards is founded on some cursory research about an auction organized by Chuck Close to fund Kerry, some art that Langlands & Bell have done that was short listed for the Turner Prize, some work by Sue Coe, the biennial at the Whitney, and Documenta. Getting out on the streets and checking things out, would clue her in that there is political art being made now. It will appear in museums worldwide, later, once the dust has settled.

As I mentioned yesterday, the politics involved in exhibiting Art are as political as any government. As she is based in London, and last I heard Tony Blair was supporting Mr. Bush, I can't quite see how any British Art that is overtly political and against them is going to be able to rise to the surface, yet.

On a more specific point, in her article she writes that the pictures of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the torture at Abu Ghraib, and the death of Nicholas Berg (she can't even remember his name) are "pictures are masterpieces of horror, more famous now than the Mona Lisa, Sunflowers, Picasso's Guernica." Can you say W-R-O-N-G?

Somehow I don't think that a) the Mona Lisa or Sunflowers qualify as masterpieces of horror, even though they are quite white cube. And b) if all of the current events she mentions are better than them, then what about the pictures of My Lai? Rwanda, ten year's ago? Heck, the Johnstown Flood? And those are only the ones that immediately spring to mind for which I can easily find links.

Even though I am most definitely NOT white cube, I have enough between my ears to differentiate between contemporary things and stuff that will (and frequently does) last for a long time, last I heard, the Mona Lisa was a very old painting. Last I heard, Kerry had a good chance of defeating Bush. The old stuff that survives, tends to be called "Masterpieces" the stuff that fades away, just fades away.

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