Saturday, February 05, 2011

Is 'rustic' another name for...

We have to laugh when we see stuff branded 'rustic'. It implies something hand made, rough around the edges but brimming with substance. Such products are then often sold as a premium product. The truth is more likely akin to 'these are the rolls made by a first year apprentice with a hangover.' As consumers we demand symmetrical, blemish-free apples but asymmetry is accepted without a blink provided it is branded 'right'.

I often have similar feelings about the institutional approach to conceptual art. Work can (should?) be conceptually 'up there' but is it necessary that the art objects are often so poorly 'made'? Are they only accepted as valid if they are clearly 'sketches'? Do we value well crafted objects less as 'art' simply because they are well made?

Further to that, I personally find process-driven work far more interesting in the form of documentation ... Ie. I would much rather see a photograph of paint flying through the air than the resultant puddle - framed or otherwise - three days after the fact. If it's all about the process, an artist's meditative experience or some form of self-flagellation then show me substantial and well made documentation of that, not some half-baked stain of an art object.

Just a thought - admittedly a skewed one - after buying some rolls today and realizing how foolish the qualitative process was only when at the cashier.

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