down with thumbs up!
Our epoch is defined by two distinct & opposing modes of discourse: Art criticism and Art publicity (Artblicity from here on). The latter owns the show. The former is hibernating. For how long?
To bring Art criticism back we need to stop taking for granted the platitudinal, unproblematic picture presented – and defended– by the artMarket and its minions.
Here is a tentative manifesto:
Artblicity presents advocacy as a blessed redundancy: the advocacy is justified merely by its provenance, its provenance by the $ale$.
Artblicity represents an abduction of critique for the sake of cultural entertainment. Its social media equivalent is Facebook Thumbs up!
By leveling pervading conflicts of interests, Artblicity homogenizes positions and disagreements. This process I have called arthoodication.
Being the mouth-piece of the artmarket, Artblicity is opportunistic & sensationalistic. Hyperbole wins the the masses' approval.
Artblicity stereotypes and distorts art & art discourse with travesties of theory (whether formalism, lacanian or freudian psychoanalysis, diverse forms of post-structuralism, hermeneutics, and other subjectivisms). The more arcane the better.
Artblicity turns art discourse into *art fat*.
Artblicity is epiphanic. Masses have a propensity to happily to embrace artMarket's hubristic Logorrhea.
Artblicity doesn't really address the art. The art is left aside at the periphery in favor of perceptions of mea$ure$.
Artblicity pretends neutrality on stage while letting conflicts of interest through the back door.
Artblicity reaffirms commodity fetishism by turning a blind eye to the dirty dealings of the artMarket.
Artblicity is structurally & politically disconnected from reality. Money talks!
In clear opposition to the former:
Art criticism stirs debate, fosters discussion, and reframes positions.
Art criticism is adversarial, not hostile.
Art criticism is committed to exposing the coverups & lousy dealings of the artMarket and its institutions.
Art criticism fights Artblicity's platitudes & distortions.
Art criticism rewards critical courage: Call a spade a spade!
Art criticism is acerbic & lean.
Art criticism is an inter-subjective social practice not a solipsistic ideological masturbation. Don't forget the juice!
Art criticism fights digressions and non-sequiturs with clear explanations. If nobody understands it you don't understand it.
Art criticism is pluralistic (NOT relativistic).
Art criticism identifies mediocre and derivative art by:
1- seeking originality, novelty and richness, while,
2- unmasking contemporary art's artfair art, artlibor, arthoodication,
3- deferring easy praise in favor of judicious patience.
Art criticism's relationship with other art practices is unstable, incomplete, uncomfortable and enriching.