Blade Runner (1982)
Best title sequence ever?
Sculptural Form, 2002
Stoneware, white, blue, and transparent glazes, 12 7/8 x 20 1/8 x 13 3/8 inches
A very long and damning piece that makes plenty of good points, but it’s also another contribution to a long history of radicals declaring artists to be the enemy. If you expect artists to have better answers to how we ought to live than everyone else does then you will surely be disappointed. Not many artists are also theorists and a great many of them are not even intellectuals and that is fine.
Certainly, the difference between the cynical capitalist artist and the “legitimate” radical artist (if such a thing exists) is hard to parse these days and that is a large part of the problem with how our art institutions (and assumptions) are structured. But nobody really knows what to do about capitalism, and even if one believes, as Prolapsarian does, that “the abolition of capitalism is not a choice but a necessity,” the path to that abolition looks obscure, if not totally blockaded, and what lies on the other side is a mystery to everyone.
So, Postlapsarian is fully entitled to count himself among “those of us who care about art, those of us who think that art’s critical capacities have not been exhausted and extinguished,” but I find this kind of line-drawing vanguardism distasteful and more than a little self-righteous. I would venture to say that most artists do care about art and they are doing their best to say something meaningful about the world. If they fail, well, so do most of us; I think calling the Whitechapel Gallery’s exhibition about utopia “idiotic” is entirely too uncharitable, even if it may in fact be kind of limp (I do not know, I have not seen it).
I also think that the whole question of “critique” needs to be significantly rethought these days, and that one should no longer unselfconsciously quote Adorno, but that is a whole other essay altogether. At any rate, this post is definitely worth reading, but as you can tell, I’d take it with a grain of salt.
I really like Saelan Twerdy’s take on that Goldsmiths critique that’s been making the rounds.