Cut the Bull:
Damien Hirst’s Postmodern “Art,” A Box with a Rotting Cow Head, Maggots, Flies, and a Bug Zapper
The cult of Postmodernism is a toxic current flowing through our culture. Postmodernism is a kind of Cultural Marxist magical thinking among our indoctrinated-not-educated establishment. They have convinced themselves, and each other, that language shapes the world, and by controlling the social Narrative, they can force the universe into obedience.
Postmodernism is now the consensus worldview of the ruling elite. Cultivated in the carcinogenic breeding grounds of universities, this deceitful and cranky way of thinking has metastasized, and has become the default position of administrative professionals in government, business, the media, and especially the arts. People are suffering due to this unsustainable hoax, which is being inflicted on us all by top down activism. It has even soured our personal relationships.
Art provides great evidence of Postmodernism’s absurd, pretentious poses. Occasionally in my studies I find a piece that really exposes the rot. The reason the article below resonated for me is the writer sings the praises of some key Postmodern “masterpieces” and “ideas” which I’ve also written about.
ARTICLE: How to Look at Contemporary Art by Christopher P. Jones
Mr. Jones packs many rationalizations and NPC tropes into his brief commentary. He begins with the patronizing Postmodern assertion which blames the audience for not embracing the suck presented by the establishment art world. He proclaims the public doesn’t accept shallow junk as a legitimate replacement for real art because they are not sophisticated enough.
Then, as an illustrative example, he hits the bricks.
A vintage photo of Carl Andre’s “Equivalent VIII”
This is what passes for art in Postmodernism. Jones writes:
“There is an American artist named Carl Andre, a very renowned figure these days thanks to his influential minimalist sculptures. Back in the 1970s, the Tate Gallery in London purchased one of Carl Andre’s works, a piece called Equivalent VIII. The event caused a storm, since the artwork consists of nothing but a series of bricks arranged into a rectangular block on the floor. It had newspapers and critics up in arms, asking why public money was being spent on such an artwork. The term ‘just a pile of bricks’ stuck in the collective memory as shorthand for the dubious product that contemporary art sometimes appears to be.
“It is common for visitors to a contemporary art gallery to wonder if the objects on display are perpetrating some sort of hoax, or at least sharing an inside joke that the rest of us are not allowed to understand.
“In fact, Carl Andre was trying to make a sophisticated statement about the calm beauty of rational order and simplicity, and the relation of earthly materials to actual space. He wasn’t trying to trick anybody. Unfortunately, his wider conception of what a work of art can be didn’t match the public mood.”
I’ve written about this travesty before, in The Great Tate Bricks Controversy of 1976. Where Mr. Jones hallucinates sophistication, beauty, and order radiating off a heap of misplaced masonry, I see something else: “...the limitations of material as message render the piece itself as dull and inert. Without lots of art blather to support it, the piece is simply a stack of bricks out of its normal context, without any inherent interest of its own.“
As the rebellious art movement Stuckism observed: “Art that has to be in a gallery to be art isn’t art.”
Mr. Jones goes on to leak out an infamous anecdote about the puerile Postmodern role model, French con artist Marcel Duchamp.
Fountain: Down the Drain
“…In 1917, Duchamp presented a readymade that would have great and lasting significance on the story of art. The work was called Fountain, and consisted of a gents’ urinal made of porcelain from a factory. There is little else to say about it. It’s a urinal. Expect that Duchamp had the temerity to submit it to the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists as a work of art.
“The idea that a porcelain urinal could be considered art was, naturally enough, deeply disconcerting. For centuries, art had consisted of hand-crafted paintings and sculptures. Not surprisingly, the show’s committee decided that Fountain was not art and rejected it from the show.
“Of course, Duchamp wasn’t trying to compete against painting and sculpture with his readymades. Rather, he was making the provocative claim about what art can be. If something is presented as art — if the artist says it’s art — then who is to say whether or not it qualifies? In this way, Fountain addresses the wider questions of cultural tradition, habits of thought and the role of museums in regulating what we as a society deem noteworthy or merely ordinary.”
Mr. Jones either ignores, or does not know, that Duchamp probably stole credit for the urinal from a mentally ill female artist friend of his. In the exposé 1917: A Shattering Discovery from the Year Art Went Into the Toilet, I took the piss out of it: “Fountain has been used as the justification for turning art into an ironic elitist assertion, rather than an uplifting communal experience. It’s a truly nasty legacy.”
The defensive redefining of the purpose of art from a gratifying visceral engagement into a game of deflection and one-upmanship exposes the Postmodern hole in what should be the soul of art. What Postmodernism is presenting is not art. It’s a form of psychological warfare, designed to erode clarity, wisdom and sense of purpose.
George Orwell knew the technique back in 1948, when he wrote 1984. It’s easier to dominate the disoriented and dispirited. Socially enforcing the acceptance of lies is meant to break the mind and the spirit, reducing individuals into easily manipulated drones. To join the elites one must swear 2+2=5. Claiming a toilet is art is exactly the same thing.
Postmodernism believes in nothing but it own insatiable appetite for power. Returning to “How to Look at Contemporary Art,” Mr. Jones parrots the party line.
“Postmodernism takes as its starting point the fact that culture and society have changed a great deal over the past hundred years or so, and that mass media, consumer society and global communications are an integral part of that change.
“Our understanding of fundamental things, like identity, value, progress, meaning and even reality, has been reshaped by these changes.”
It seems more likely that instead of fundamentally remaking man in a matter of decades, technology has just provided a cabal of shitty control freaks with more tools to enforce their will, and better methods of deceit to obscure what is actually going on.
“To arrive at a single point of view seems inadequate. Change is everywhere about us, so our perspectives must continue to change too. Contemporary art has these ideas at its heart.”
Is this a serious claim that change is a new phenomenon for the human race? Postmodernism wants us so focused on what is in flux that we forget about what is eternal.
“An obvious example is the idea that ‘history is written by the victors.’ To realize this truth is to understand that narratives are not necessarily (if ever?) descriptions of truth, and that sometimes there are voices and stories that we don’t hear. Narratives are perspectives, with their own biases and limitations.”
Seeing the world as only an extension of their lust for control, Postmodernists deny objective reality, the endless chains of cause and effect. Instead, they worship The Narrative, a fairy tale version of the universe conjured up by their own relentless wish casting. They desperately need us all to cooperate with this hoax. They want us to have no precedents, principles or traditions that they can be measured against, so they claim there are no such things, or that they are somehow tainted. These days calling out someone for bias is like calling someone a witch during the Inquisition. Just the accusation is considered proof of guilt, and it better be followed with confession and repentance.
But then Mr. Jones hits the sweet spot: the Big Lie that enables the corrupted culture industries to continue to churn out such dysfunctional offerings.
“If you haven’t realized it by now, contemporary art likes to ask lots of questions. In fact, it prefers to ask questions than to take a definite position. That is the influence of postmodernism. It likes to probe the ways of the world and ask if our habits and expectations ought not to be questioned too…
“So when looking at a work of contemporary art, try asking yourself these questions: ‘What habits of thought is this work questioning? What assumptions is it over-turning? And how do I feel about the provocation it is making?”
“There are not right or wrong answers. Just perspectives. Yours, mine, everyone else’s. This is what contemporary art wants to explore and celebrate.”
This is our moment in the mighty continuum of art and life. Real art knows no boundaries; it communicates across all times, across all cultures. Art is as much an aspect of our species as the opposable thumb, and just as prevalent. The art world can be as big as all of humankind, if we do it right. Remodernism accepts responsibility for the art of our times, conveying the wisdom of tradition into the opportunities of the future. Remodernism is love made visible.