Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Art as worldmaking

Colombian painter Fernando Botero desqualifies the results of his own prize!*

Botero, known for his paintings and sculptures of exaggerated forms, said that it had appointed an international jury which awarded "works that were regrettable."

The Latin American Herald Tribune has a different angle:

The Colombian Foundation of Young Artists said it found the statements by Botero, who was born in the northwestern city of Medellin in 1932, strange because he had expressed support for a contemporary art competition, an event that could yield works that were different from his tastes (my red).

This patent rift of taste between Botero and the jury of his own prize is yet another sign of the unbridgeable gap between "traditional" and contemporary art. Only now, the old oppositional dichotomy of representation vs. ideation, craft vs. serialization, durability vs. ephemerality, history vs. ahistoricity, bounded vs. open-ended, just doesn't work anymore.

Different statements with different vocabularies for different "versions" of the world. If we bring Nelson Goodman's idea of Worldmaking, as such:

... these versions as depictions ... have no truth-value in the literal sense, and cannot be combined by conjunction. The difference between juxtaposing and conjoining two statements has no evident analogue for two pictures or for a picture and a statement. The dramatically contrasting versions of the world can of course be relativized: each is right under a given system — for a given science, a given artist, or a given perceiver and situation. Here again we turn from describing or depicting 'the world' to talking of descriptions and depictions, but now without even the consolation of intertranslatability among or any evident organization of the several systems in question.

What does Botero's "version" (below),

has in common with  performer María José Arjona? Diet Gallery, Miami (2008)

or Doris Salcedo's installation for the Instanbul Biennal (2007)?

*Botero's prize of $50,000, which was given out between 2005-2008, was considered one of the richest in Latin America for artists younger than 35.


Anonymous said...

Triff: Botero strikes me as a pompous mf****.


miamibourbaki said...

Agree. Maybe a certain avoirdupois about him.