Conceptual Art is often more Botox rather than Semtex



If you want controversy? Conceptual Art is often more Botox rather than Semtex! More blow-out or blown away!

Galleries are CA's office. Anti CA's think the Turbine Hall is where anti-Art or ironic Art is practiced. I believe CA dominates rather than shares. But it does have a propensity to 'quick-fit, catch and snatch, over turnover that dilutes and disintegrates all Art. It buries the Romeo and Juliet's timelessness into Sunni versus Shia , Turks versus Kurds, Pro Syrian president versus its anti President -it hogs the floor and sounds like a spin doctor. It dictates what extremes are legitimate and does not pull its punches. But it feeds on public uproar so much that there will be the art bomb vest or 9/11 musical, or at least the fear of it that does not engage the public but seeks its censure so much to be dependent on it.

Too much noise blocks out the tune

CA has no compunction to ape the anger or frustration of society but it is clear that the Art down-size or Art downgrade is a part of its lifeblood. It knocks down a Victorian Semi and then uses its broken bricks to build an outside toilet, and then dismantles that to build an 'Anderson shelter from the 2nd world war! Its mantra is : 'Whatever happened to the working-classes of the War-time spirit?, whilst selling it for squilions that the working-class man and woman can't afford! But it is 'on message'.

On Message

'Build an outside toilet' to refer ironically to the homeless being marginalized and on the streets! Now, what the 'F' know about homelessness? So, build a toilet inside a gallery exposed and open to the public for all viewers to see what humiliation and public ignorance is of the 'plight of wealthy Labour patricians of the Art market', to go! See if they will continue to hide behind Labour, when they can't even hide from themselves! Sorry, but that is definitely not 'on message'! Or, why not get gallery officials to pay £100 to everyone who enters Turbine Hall? On Message? 'Every ones a lottery winner! Or, prevent everyone from coming to see any exhibition - that is again, CA gone mad! Lock-out becomes on message: 'Can you escape from somewhere you can't get into'? On message: Put videos of everyone who comes to see the Turbine Hall on to the walls of themselves and their children and grandchildren; on message:' Be wary of cameras that are too intrusive or able to be down loaded by the 'funny people'(the spooks). Something supposedly Artistic can degenerate into something horrendous! On message: Art as a form of blackmail? Art as a form of uncensored and dangerous information spreading without the consent of the individual. The new horror show could become the 'Art criminal'.

Political spin or Artistic spin?

When Art is causing agony, back away or step into the core of it? Painter's agony? You kidding me? Cushy number Yes? Painting has a gut wrenching expulsion as an Art medium now for over 30 years. Try doing something you care about and land yourself anonymity and sacrifice for no recognition. Low income for 30 plus years ain't sweet is it?! But Painting can recover as a serious medium to explain a need for either a coexistence or a solo trajectory of Painting. But it has an accelerator and a brake, it's just that the aficionado's believe painting only has a reverse gear.

Finite Horizons Finite Horizons are the melting pot about to boil! The abstract Expressionist's ultimately argued that its new direction in the 50's had come up against the abstract and the figurative and could not transcend these polar opposites. I certainly disagree! I believe that Paint is a primal urge to make contact with our past and our futures. All that suppression and dogma has left a boiling rage ready to spark a new generation to vilify conformity and tear up the Art World's contemporary limp attitude to the medium. Painting understands the 50's but sees them as a pre pop Art ticket that was always going to play second fiddle for a given period of when teenage rebellion could alter and provide a new market for goods and services that had never been explored before. Indeed, even the 'Painting crunch' of formalism (nothing outside the Figurative to the abstract)since has not dimmed the the fact that Painting is more than an X ray or a starting pistol and finishing tape of Art. So today Painter's can exercise the freeing up and breaking of the chains of formalism and yield the very image creating and invention without glass ceilings or barriers or frontiers that might have over-influenced the more impressionable of the Art market. Every flinch or reaction is human in the hand print (finger print even )of the brush defies the fashionable,the accessory, and the dinosaur of fetish Art. We are not 'Rodin' we are opening our own branch of Painting self-realization. We are not the cage or inside the cage if we are to break free of shrink jargon. We might appear to unfeasible or impossible but we also don't have to launch a thousand ships to get Helen on our side. We are neither grave -diggers nor assembling or videoing or scavenging or constructing,but we are putting every instinct and every influence that thousands of years of painting and its impact among other media to inform our Art. We are now in a unique position as an ancient process, but we have been put in a unique position to emerge into the 21st century, as the Art of the past and the Art of the future.

Conclusion There is a paradox in today's Painting,which is informed by our DNA. We are primal and we are sharing 96% of our DNA with chimpanzees, but we have Iris's of that are absolutely unique to all of us. Why waste all that we are on hiding from our true educators - the noble vocation of all Painter's? Painter's bring a contact with our universal culture that operates on a eco-system level - take one part of that away and you destroy the balance of the eco-system. Perhaps Painter's have been estranged from the Art high table because 'we have changed by our irrelevance?' Or perhaps Paint has gone from coloured dust and air to liquid in the paint to solid when the Painting and the Paint have attached to each other and are dry. The basic chemistry is not unique to Painting but is too unique for many other Art forms. Age can not wither nor customs stale its infinite variety, but the individual Painter has only a short time in which to come to terms with the ancient wander of Paint.


© 2019 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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