Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.
User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 5802
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Greta » December 23rd, 2017, 6:07 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
December 22nd, 2017, 5:21 am
Greta wrote:
December 21st, 2017, 10:57 pm
The OP seems to take issue with art that disregards visceral appeal in order to make a point.
C'mon Greta, conceptual art can have tons of visceral appeal.
Very true, 3. It can indeed. It can also be akin to, say: http://livehopething.blogspot.com/2015/ ... 00000.html

Image

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 884
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » December 24th, 2017, 7:47 pm

You would pick that one.

There's also the Marina Abramowicz piece where you have to squeeze between two nudes to go from room to room.
fair to say

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1450
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Hereandnow » December 24th, 2017, 10:16 pm

Gertie:
What made me laugh was the Out of Order sign
I read through so fast I didn't bother to stop and notice. Yes, I have to admit, the out of order sign is a riot. The absurdity of something with a complete lack of distinction altogether raised to the grandeur of an art exhibition is ironic enough, but to be out of order tics up the wretched thing's misery, and thereby makes the whole thing a complete deplorable delight.

But if this is art, then anything is art. Are we willing to go there?

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 5802
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Greta » December 25th, 2017, 4:27 am

Hereandnow wrote:
December 24th, 2017, 10:16 pm
But if this is art, then anything is art. Are we willing to go there?
Sure. "Art" is not synonymous with "good art" and does not require talent. The avant garde has always been adventurous and willing to stretch definitions. I, for one, would prefer not to discourage the avant garde (who are fortunately hard to discourage) because, out of the mountains of vapid tripe produced in that field, occasionally something extraordinary can appear.

3, I suppose the visceral appeal of the real nudes depends on the nude people and client tastes :)

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 884
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » December 25th, 2017, 7:42 am

Hereandnow wrote:
December 21st, 2017, 10:17 pm
Actually I really don't take a pass on it nor do I fail to appreciate it. The fact is, when the artists pointed out above that might be called conceptual, and I reviewed what they have done, I see I am not taking issue with them at all. Others may call them conceptual artists, but not me. Conceptual art is a concept, hence the name. Some more than others, granted. But, to put in Clive Bell's language, if the significant form issues mostly from a thesis, then, as I said, write an essay.
Here is the problem with this thread, we are talking about different things.

There is Conceptual art, with its history and practitioners, some of which I've listed, and all of which are falling into the category of conceptual artists, though I only included Rauschenberg because of his famous "Erased de Kooning." But these aren't conceptual artists to you.

You don't object to these conceptual artists. You have a different, personal idea of what conceptual art is, "conceptual art is a concept, hence the name." And this is what you object to. You're whacking away at a strawman. We should have got our definitions, examples, aligned at the beginning.
Greta wrote:
December 25th, 2017, 4:27 am
3, I suppose the visceral appeal of the real nudes depends on the nude people and client tastes :)
Yeah, I don't know if I would call it "appeal" exactly, squeezing between nudes, visceral effect for sure. At MoMA.
fair to say

User avatar
Consul
Posts: 805
Joined: February 21st, 2014, 6:32 am
Location: Germany

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Consul » December 26th, 2017, 1:27 pm

A revised and updated version of the SEP entry on conceptual art was published a week ago:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/conceptual-art/
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1450
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Hereandnow » December 26th, 2017, 4:05 pm

3uGH7D4MLj:
Here is the problem with this thread, we are talking about different things.

There is Conceptual art, with its history and practitioners, some of which I've listed, and all of which are falling into the category of conceptual artists, though I only included Rauschenberg because of his famous "Erased de Kooning." But these aren't conceptual artists to you.

You don't object to these conceptual artists. You have a different, personal idea of what conceptual art is, "conceptual art is a concept, hence the name." And this is what you object to. You're whacking away at a strawman. We should have got our definitions, examples, aligned at the beginning.
Or, it could be that conceptual art for most of what is called thus is just a misnomer. The term implies that the artwork is found in the conceptual. Otherwise, it's just trivially true: Even in a simple perceptual act, there is conceptual engagement, inherently. Conceptual art, I say, does not designate art that requires thought, or requires some reference to interpretative theory or structure of ideas. It designates art that is very short on visual presence, and long on conceptual content, and the the more the latter dominates the less art it is. I will admit that in order to be present at all there must be something put forward in a physical medium, and we can call this an artwork. But, as with Duchamp's urinal, when it's all talk about some ready made, or about some common thing like my pen viewed as art and not as a writing impliment, and the talk is not about the physical pen and its aesthetic virtues but on an idea, e.g., "behold my pen, I claim it to be art! Isn't that ironic?"; or, "Behold these horses posteriors: these show how this beast of burden are not respected in our culture." This kind of thing leaves the artworld behind and moves into ideas. Yes, the horse behinds are artworks, but, and this is crucial: the body of the artwork lies with interpretative/conceptual "content." And ideas are not art. This latter is an interesting point of debate.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 5802
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Greta » December 26th, 2017, 6:04 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
December 26th, 2017, 4:05 pm
Conceptual art, I say, does not designate art that requires thought, or requires some reference to interpretative theory or structure of ideas. It designates art that is very short on visual presence, and long on conceptual content, and the the more the latter dominates the less art it is. ... This kind of thing leaves the artworld behind and moves into ideas. Yes, the horse behinds are artworks, but, and this is crucial: the body of the artwork lies with interpretative/conceptual "content." And ideas are not art. This latter is an interesting point of debate.
Are we referring to conceptual art or conceptual visual art?

Since we are, in fact, speaking about the arts per se (your comment canalso be applied to music, dance, or even perfumery). So, rather than failing to be art, avant garde visual art often straddles the boundary between the visual arts, poetry and literature, and is very often political because the act of creating avant garde art in itself is an act of rebellion, inviting hostility from ideological opponents.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 884
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » December 26th, 2017, 7:39 pm

Consul wrote:
December 26th, 2017, 1:27 pm
A revised and updated version of the SEP entry on conceptual art was published a week ago:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/conceptual-art/
Wow! Thanks Consul.
Hereandnow wrote:
December 26th, 2017, 4:05 pm
Or, it could be that conceptual art for most of what is called thus is just a misnomer. The term implies that the artwork is found in the conceptual. Otherwise, it's just trivially true: Even in a simple perceptual act, there is conceptual engagement, inherently. Conceptual art, I say, does not designate art that requires thought, or requires some reference to interpretative theory or structure of ideas. It designates art that is very short on visual presence, and long on conceptual content, and the the more the latter dominates the less art it is. I will admit that in order to be present at all there must be something put forward in a physical medium, and we can call this an artwork. But, as with Duchamp's urinal, when it's all talk about some ready made, or about some common thing like my pen viewed as art and not as a writing impliment, and the talk is not about the physical pen and its aesthetic virtues but on an idea, e.g., "behold my pen, I claim it to be art! Isn't that ironic?"; or, "Behold these horses posteriors: these show how this beast of burden are not respected in our culture." This kind of thing leaves the artworld behind and moves into ideas. Yes, the horse behinds are artworks, but, and this is crucial: the body of the artwork lies with interpretative/conceptual "content." And ideas are not art. This latter is an interesting point of debate.
Conceptual art, as you define it, leaves you disgruntled. I urge you to look further and give it a chance.

I offer my lifelong practice and appreciation of the genre as proof that it does exist. It can make ones heart sing, or leap, it can open eyes with wonder, leap tall buildings, etc.

"What does this artwork mean?" is what I call the first question. It is a question to be enjoyed rather than answered.
fair to say

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 884
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » December 26th, 2017, 8:12 pm

Greta wrote:
December 26th, 2017, 6:04 pm
Since we are, in fact, speaking about the arts per se (your comment can also be applied to music, dance, or even perfumery). So, rather than failing to be art, avant garde visual art often straddles the boundary between the visual arts, poetry and literature, and is very often political because the act of creating avant garde art in itself is an act of rebellion, inviting hostility from ideological opponents.
Art tries new things. This particular new thing is 100 years old.

I got my trap set out of the attic, cleaned it up and am practicing/relearning.
fair to say

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1450
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Hereandnow » December 26th, 2017, 9:01 pm

3uGH7D4MLj:
Conceptual art, as you define it, leaves you disgruntled. I urge you to look further and give it a chance.

I offer my lifelong practice and appreciation of the genre as proof that it does exist. It can make ones heart sing, or leap, it can open eyes with wonder, leap tall buildings, etc.

"What does this artwork mean?" is what I call the first question. It is a question to be enjoyed rather than answered.
"And ideas are not art. This latter is an interesting point of debate."

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 1450
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Hereandnow » December 26th, 2017, 10:45 pm

It occurred to me to add, 3uGH7D4MLj,that the issue is not about how enjoyable you find conceptual art. And questions and answers are what philosophical debate is about. The matter at hand is, when you are enjoying conceptual art, are you enjoying art? If it is art you are enjoying, then it is not a conceptual experience; if it is conceptual, then it is not art. To make the line clear: If I read the instructions manual for my new sound system, and you are interested in this,you are not having an artistic experience, are you? Or are you? This is actually an interesting line of thought because it leads to inquiry that brings clarity to the philosophical question, what is art?, in this day when this is very much indeterminate.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 5802
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by Greta » December 27th, 2017, 6:36 am

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
December 26th, 2017, 8:12 pm
Greta wrote:
December 26th, 2017, 6:04 pm
Since we are, in fact, speaking about the arts per se (your comment can also be applied to music, dance, or even perfumery). So, rather than failing to be art, avant garde visual art often straddles the boundary between the visual arts, poetry and literature, and is very often political because the act of creating avant garde art in itself is an act of rebellion, inviting hostility from ideological opponents.
Art tries new things. This particular new thing is 100 years old.

I got my trap set out of the attic, cleaned it up and am practicing/relearning.
Does rebellion ever get old?

Great to see you returning to the noble art of percussion. A drum set takes pride of place in the centre of my living room :)

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 884
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » December 27th, 2017, 9:53 am

Hereandnow wrote:
December 26th, 2017, 9:01 pm
"And ideas are not art. This latter is an interesting point of debate."
Did you read the Stanford article? Seems pretty well argued.

You never give examples of the artworks which you object to.

What about an art work which expresses no idea at all, and contains no physical object? Marina Abramovicz, "The Artist is Present," NYC Museum of Modern Art, March 14–May 31, 2010. She sat across a table from people. This work has been made into a feature length film.

What about artworks which the artist describes, which are then produced by students or tradespeople? A whole floor of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is devoted to Sol LeWitt's Work.
fair to say

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 884
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: Conceptual art: an oxymoron?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » December 27th, 2017, 10:22 am

HAN, you did say that you had no use for Joseph Kosuth, one of the founders of conceptual art.

Kosuth introduced the notion that art, as he put it, “was not a question of forms and colors but one of the production of meaning.” His writing began a re-reading of modernism, initiating a major re-evaluation of the importance of Marcel Duchamp and signaling the shift into what we now identify, in art, as post-modernism. His analysis had a major impact on his practice as an artist and, soon after, on that of others. During this period he also maintained his academic interests. His position on the Faculty, Department of Fine Art, The School of Visual Arts, New York City continued until 1985. He since been Professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg, 1988–90; and at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildende Künste, Stuttgart, 1991-1997. Currently he is Professor at the Kunstakademie Munich and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura, Faculty of Design and Art, in Venice. He has been invited as a visiting professor and guest lecturer at various universities and institutions for nearly thirty years, some of which include: Yale University; Cornell University; New York University; Duke University; UCLA; Cal Arts; Cooper Union; Pratt Institute; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Royal Academy, Copenhagen; Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford University; University of Rome; Berlin Kunstakademie; Royal College of Art, London; Glasgow School of Art; The Hayward Gallery, London; The Sorbonne, Paris; The Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna.

Are all these institutions wrong about what art is?
fair to say

Post Reply