Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Stephen Shearer has some very good points, Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni & Ali Subotnick don't.


Following up on this post, it was in fact an email from Steven Shearer, because I got another, longer and slightly more detailed one from him the next day.

First off, I gotta say that I have nothing against Mr. Shearer personally. I've seen one piece of his live and in the flesh, and seen electronic reproductions of an awful lot of his stuff, and while the more conceptual pieces (like and including Poem) aren't my cup of tea, his drawings appear to be quite nice.

One of the reasons I don't like Poem is that to me it ain't visual art. It is something literary, and should be judged as such. However, that being said, I got some things just flat out wrong.

A) It was not Mr. Shearer who wrote the text that accompanies his piece. He attributes it to the curators, and then because he didn't read what the curators wrote, beforehand, it got out there uncorrected.

B) Beyond the Canada Council travel grant, no Canadian taxpayer money was spent. And in fact Mr. Shearer spent some serious coin out of his own pocket to get the piece done the way he wanted.

I understand (or at least think I do) where he's coming from about feeling marginalized, and wanting to use that feeling in his art. That all being said, as I mentioned previously, if the curators of the exhibit, Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick can't get Mr. Shearer's art straight, then why should I believe a single other word that they write?

At my earliest opportunity, I'm going to see as much of Mr. Shearer's art as I can (just cause it ain't my cup of tea, doesn't mean I won't look at it) and then attempt to write a longer and more detailed article on his work.

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