Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rough Draft

A Manifesto on the State of Postmodernism and Searching for the Human in Art

1. Postmodern art looks for an angle, a gimmick. "What new perspective can you shed on this issue?" Rejection of this would be essentially making what you want to make. Can anyone get outside of having an angle? No, but why should it be special and lauded? It's all about the cult of popularity, the named artist. I keep my name for practical purposes: without it, I would not be known, and therefore would not be able to sell my work. But personality and gimmick worship lead to idea personification, which is unrealistic.

2. Stuckism believes that conceptual art is without value because it sheds no light on actual reality. Stuckists are postmodern because they reject universality, truth to the materials and authenticity and embrace the techniques and critique style of postmodernism.

3. I would embrace the myth of progress to reject culture. My generation and onward has no conceived future as generations before us have genuinely anticipated. To embrace progress is to tell postmodernism that in it's attempts to avoid pidgeonholing it has lost most of its flock. Without progress there is no avant-garde, and without avant-garde there is no change.

4. If I sound genuine, it is because it suits my fancy. To quote Carroll: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

5. I have supreme distrust for the old. The old is flawed because of translation. The old lies because it does not understand, does not have the scientific and philosophical context that we operate in today. Yes, the new is fleeting, and mostly crap, and ugly, but I find beauty in its fleeting quality. Knowing that "all things must pass away" only fuels my interest simply because I find it to be coarse, disgustingly honest, and clearly subjective in its message. Above all, these qualities to reflect true humanity better than pruned historical artifice.

6. It is human to change one's mind, to adapt, and to realize one's mistakes. Postmodern art lends to focus on a concept, but humans are not naturally inclined to personify and thoroughly live out concepts. We wander, and this is because when we consider a concept we don't actually know what it exists as in our own head. We have no way of identifying how we understand a concept.

For instance, if you were to think of the meaning of the word, "America," a whole slew of images, events, sounds, smells, and other perceptions rush to your inner eye. You could never, ever, pin all of these sensations down, and most of them you probably would realize have nothing to do with the literal definition of the word or its associated meanings, rather, they're just gathered sensations paired because of experiences with the word. This is why it is best to leave some things ambiguous in art: it replicates the true experience of ambiguity and mystery in the defined. There's always something that we just can't know.

7. Philip Gaston embraced the low for its sincerity and fulfillment, and perhaps even for the camp aspect. He was right to do so.

8. I resolve myself to try and keep these concepts in mind while producing art, and to change them when necessary.

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