Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

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3uGH7D4MLj
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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » February 2nd, 2018, 12:11 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
February 1st, 2018, 10:32 pm
Now the question I am raising is whether this discussion about art qua discussion is art. I mean, it would be something like, "observe this chair. Now in the calling it a chair, have I by my word implied a hierarchy of the visual over the spoken, and......." I say, look at this conversation that the work is not simply about, but IS. The work is this conversation. And since, of course, it is not about chairs but about objects in general and their respective hierarchies then this particular conceptual work of art invites similar discussion about anything, like a shoe on the sidewalk. And putting the chair in the exhibition hall serves only remind the observer that one must acknowledge the objects contained therein as art. But then, this BEING art is exactly what is at issue, so that doesn't help. Thus, my reason for putting the shoe into the inquiry, or a smelly sock, for that matter.
Except that it is not a discussion, it is an art work. You can bark your shin on it. It's standing in the room occupying space. I think it's fascinating. It may be unsettling to the observer, or puzzling. This is its power. And like most art, it can't be encompassed by language. You experience it in real space with your sensing equipment. It is ineffable. It causes people to see something that they have seen a million times in a completely different way, and raises questions about perception and representation and language. What more could you want from an art piece?
Hereandnow wrote:
February 1st, 2018, 10:32 pm
Then the matter is not settled, for if talk about the chair and its implied hierarchy among the representation and the printed word IS the art work, then how is this different from any, let's say, analytical conversation? It being about art: does this matter? I think it is presumptuous to claim that this analysis is art. It begs the question, How can analysis of art be art? And how does the fact that it is simply about art, even if this is granted, qualify this as art? Danto discusses art in long drawn out theses. Is he an artist, therefore?
There is so much "art about art." This tactic falls flat.
fair to say

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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » February 2nd, 2018, 12:32 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
February 1st, 2018, 10:41 pm
I should quickly add: the claim that the point is not the iteration is disingenuous. I would say no one observing the exhibition without the proper theoretical preparation could understand it. The understanding is not the existential engagement. If it were, it would not be conceptual. In fact, calling it conceptual and saying it is not the iteration is itself oxymoronic.
From an earlier post: "If an artwork delivers a concept, your art experience shuts down somehow? Art appreciation doesn't involve thought and concepts? Isn't appreciating form and visible features conceptual, thoughtful, cognitive? When you think of Van Gogh's painting of St Paul's Asylum, and you imagine him living there, and being out on the lawn laying on the paint, you've stopped appreciating art? When you notice the tortured trees, aren't these concepts?"

"One and Three Chairs" is rather audacious. How dare someone consider a folding chair? What is he getting at? What could this artist mean by this? These questions are the beginning of an art experience. Thank you Joseph Kosuth.
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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Hereandnow » February 2nd, 2018, 2:02 pm

Greta:
To speak about "what is art" without considering intent is to miss the crux. However, sometimes the chaotic can be "a great work of art" in the colloquial sense, but not technically unless an artist changes or contextualises it. Also consider how engaging with non-art effectively turns it into art in a subjective sense, eg. scenery. Practically, it simply depends on where, or if, people want to draw that line. For some, every element of life is art and for others, none.
I say, look at this conversation that the work is not simply about, but IS. The work is this conversation.
This conversation could be turned into a work of art with some imaginative alterations or contextualising, but in itself it's not art unless you are one to view life through a romantic imaginative lens.
I think intent is important only to the extent that it illuminates the object as art. It could be the artist's "intent" is not as insightful as the critic, that is, the critic may identify aesthetic possibilities never conceived by the artist. The right of wrong of it then rests with appreciation and analysis, the kind of which takes the work up as art, of course (rather than, per above, epistemology and so forth).
But as you say, contextualizing it is important; more than this: contextualizing separates art from non art, if it is understood that there is such thing as a context of art appreciation. I think form and aesthetic rapture are what define the context of art.

What an interesting thing to say, but right on the money: if I take a conversation, of any kind whatever, and consider it AS art, then the context turns away from analysis (though analysis discloses aesthetics, as in, look at that bird's plumage, the way it reflects the light, isn't it beautiful?) toward something else. The question is, what is this? If it is just a conversation, I would think of it as part of a stage production with dramatic impact? Or perhaps the form, the analogue as opposed to digital nature of the spoken word, the rise and fall of intonation or emphasis, and so on.

Meredith Monk! Now she makes conversation into art. Literally!

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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » February 2nd, 2018, 4:54 pm

Greta wrote:
February 2nd, 2018, 12:47 am
To speak about "what is art" without considering intent is to miss the crux. However, sometimes the chaotic can be "a great work of art" in the colloquial sense, but not technically unless an artist changes or contextualises it. Also consider how engaging with non-art effectively turns it into art in a subjective sense, eg. scenery. Practically, it simply depends on where, or if, people want to draw that line. For some, every element of life is art and for others, none.
I say, look at this conversation that the work is not simply about, but IS. The work is this conversation.
This conversation could be turned into a work of art with some imaginative alterations or contextualising, but in itself it's not art unless you are one to view life through a romantic imaginative lens.
I don't know. In my view art is a category of objects: paintings, drawings, sculpture, installation, etc., made by artists, hung on walls, in galleries, museums, some good, some bad. I accept the usual definition.
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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Greta » February 2nd, 2018, 5:07 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
February 2nd, 2018, 4:54 pm
Greta wrote:
February 2nd, 2018, 12:47 am
To speak about "what is art" without considering intent is to miss the crux. However, sometimes the chaotic can be "a great work of art" in the colloquial sense, but not technically unless an artist changes or contextualises it. Also consider how engaging with non-art effectively turns it into art in a subjective sense, eg. scenery. Practically, it simply depends on where, or if, people want to draw that line. For some, every element of life is art and for others, none.


This conversation could be turned into a work of art with some imaginative alterations or contextualising, but in itself it's not art unless you are one to view life through a romantic imaginative lens.
I don't know. In my view art is a category of objects: paintings, drawings, sculpture, installation, etc., made by artists, hung on walls, in galleries, museums, some good, some bad. I accept the usual definition.
What of poetry and literature?

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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » February 2nd, 2018, 5:19 pm

And theater and music, photography... I know, but usually when someone says art, they mean the gallery stuff.
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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » February 3rd, 2018, 11:16 pm

Or dance. It's all art. I don't know why people will accept all the performing mediums, theater, music, and dance, but if a painter or poet decides to do a performance or a conceptual work -- that won't be allowed, it's not art. There are plenty of art forms where no lasting object or work is ever produced.

Think of Samuel Becket's little plays, pretty conceptual I would say.
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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Greta » February 4th, 2018, 2:25 am

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
February 3rd, 2018, 11:16 pm
Or dance. It's all art. I don't know why people will accept all the performing mediums, theater, music, and dance, but if a painter or poet decides to do a performance or a conceptual work -- that won't be allowed, it's not art. There are plenty of art forms where no lasting object or work is ever produced.

Think of Samuel Becket's little plays, pretty conceptual I would say.
Almost, but no cigar, maybe a cigarette. Music is MUCH more conservative than the visual arts, at present at least a century behind.

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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » February 5th, 2018, 4:43 pm

Greta wrote:
February 4th, 2018, 2:25 am
3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
February 3rd, 2018, 11:16 pm
Or dance. It's all art. I don't know why people will accept all the performing mediums, theater, music, and dance, but if a painter or poet decides to do a performance or a conceptual work -- that won't be allowed, it's not art. There are plenty of art forms where no lasting object or work is ever produced.

Think of Samuel Becket's little plays, pretty conceptual I would say.
Almost, but no cigar, maybe a cigarette. Music is MUCH more conservative than the visual arts, at present at least a century behind.
A misunderstanding, I see what you mean. I just meant that a lone musician standing in a subway tunnel, or a dancer, makes sense to people. But If there's a guy wearing a harness thing around his shoulders with 150# of stones hanging down handing out instructions on how to make one for yourself, that's performance or conceptual art, and it shouldn't be recognized.
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Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Greta » February 5th, 2018, 6:26 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
February 5th, 2018, 4:43 pm
Greta wrote:
February 4th, 2018, 2:25 am

Almost, but no cigar, maybe a cigarette. Music is MUCH more conservative than the visual arts, at present at least a century behind.
A misunderstanding, I see what you mean. I just meant that a lone musician standing in a subway tunnel, or a dancer, makes sense to people. But If there's a guy wearing a harness thing around his shoulders with 150# of stones hanging down handing out instructions on how to make one for yourself, that's performance or conceptual art, and it shouldn't be recognized.
:lol:

I'm acutely aware of the disparity because, as a musician, I gave up gigging due to the musical conservatism of audiences. Generally art and music are increasingly not interesting to people in their own right. So audiences demand that music either provide strong visuals or be something they can dance to or sing along with. Music at home is increasingly the background to work, TV or movies. Art in the home is increasingly bland and often colour matched with decor, not a piece in its own right but, as with music, an atmosphere setter and social lubricant.

Each is being rendered impotent in the eyes of the young by 3D, surround sound multimedia entertainments that contain art and music contained in and a narrative. Both the art and the music in themselves are diminished in themselves (as compared with the great dedicated artworks and compositions of the past) so as to fit neatly into the broader narrative, that is usually more rich in visceral impact than depth.

Multimedia is still in an early, largely exploratory, mode where the buzz of its technical achievements is seemingly yet to wear off enough to allow for more mature and rich (multimedia) art to emerge.

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