Jun 10, 2015

Does this riot gear make me look fat?

I found this great essay of a dadaist talking shit about painters...bear with me folks, or don't...but I got really excited by this last night:
    "Oh those dear fellows, Maurice Denis and Charles Guerin. What a kick in the ass I'd like to give them! Oh jumping Jesus Christ Almighty! How phony is the ideal of Maurice Denis. He paints women and children all naked amid nature, a thing that you simply do not see nowadays. To look at his paintings....you'd think that children brought themselves up and that shoes could be resoled for nothing. How far we are from railway accidents: Maurice Denis ought to paint in heaven for he never heard of dinner-jackets and smelly feet. Not that I find it very bold to paint an acrobat or a man shitting; on the contrary, a rose executed with novelty seems much more demoniacal."
    "The chief thing that will be noted at the Salon is the place that has been assumed by intelligence among so-called artists. Let me say right at the start that in my opinion the first requirement for an artist is to know how to swim. I also feel that art, in the mysterious state corresponding to form in a wrestler, is situated more in the guts than in the brain, and that is why it exasperates me when, in the presence of a painting, I evoke the man and all I see is a head. Where are the legs, the spleen and the liver?
    That is why I fell nothing but disgust for a painting by a Chagall or Jackal, that shows you a man pouring kerosene into a cow's ass-hole, when even real madness does not appeal to me because it manifest only a brain, while genius is nothing but an extraordinary manifestation of the body.
     Henri Hayden. If I speak first of this painter, it is because Madame Cravan's hat went into the manufacture of his paintings. And manufactured it is indeed. Everything in it is out of place, muddy, crushed by the cerebral. I'd rather stay under water for two minutes than face to face with this painting: I should feel less suffocated. Values are arranged in it, to make a good impression, whereas in a work that issues from a vision the values are merely the colors of a luminous globe. The artist who sees the globe has no need to manipulate his values, which will always be false. Hayden has not seen the globe, for he has at least ten paintings on his canvas.
     A bit of good advice: take a few pills and purge your spirit; do a lot of fucking or better still go into rigorous training: when the girth of your arm measures nineteen inches, you'll at least be a brute, if you're gifted."   [Cravan, Arthur. "Arthur Cravan: Exhibition at the Independents." Dada, the Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology. By Robert Motherwell. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1981. 5-7.]
     Arthur's said two things I've been unable to articulate: the importance of the whole body in painting (the anti-quip) and the essential quality of a vision. There's no reason to summarize further. However, it also brought into focus the desperate, narcissistic neediness that exists now...well, everywhere (because when do you read a contemporary writing like his?). Not to say that I want to cultivate being an asshole, I actually think I'd find that nearly impossible. Not only is it just against my nature, but I suffer from the same fear of confrontation that most people do: a fear that is probably more a fear of being wrong than it is a desire to be nice.
     Back to the point, I want to cultivate being an asshole at the right time because being nice in our culture means fuck-all anymore. Maybe we could drown all the actual assholes and teach all the nice people to say what they actually think. There, culture saved. It probably would because I bet most of the actual assholes are at the ground zero of planet destruction stroking their persian cats. What a lovely image. Oh wait, there is no ground zero for planet destruction anymore. Hyperobject
     To bring it back to peacefulness, if you confront me about something I've done that you don't like or understand maybe I can:
1.) shed some light on my motivations
2.) realize you have a point and change my thinking

Here's a video that speaks to this narcissism by artist Ryan Trecartin:

It will make you feel pretty dirty but there are some perfect moments in there.....I think worth sticking through for the whole thing.

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