Brazillian artist Ernesto Neto…is known for his enormous, fiber-based installations that plunge viewers into a multi-sensory landscape of organic elements: people are encouraged to walk through canals of stretched yarn and grasp the structural weavings, while spicy scents like turmeric and cumin are often diffused throughout the room.
Our cultural institutions present many things as art which are not art. Now a lot of work went into this, and it looks enjoyable, but it’s another example where a museum wants to act like a funhouse as a substitute for presenting deep, compelling artistic experiences.
“Remodernism is not a style of art, it is a form of motivation. We express the universal language of inspired humanity.
“We do not imitate what came before. We find in ourselves the same divine essence of love and excitement which has inspired masterpieces throughout history. We are strengthened by drawing on traditions thousands of years old.
“We integrate the bold, visionary efforts of the Modern era into a holistic, meaningful expression of contemporary life. Remodernism seeks a humble maturity which heals the fragmentation and contradictions of Modernism, and obliterates the narcissistic lies of Postmodernism.
“Remodernism is the return of art as a revelation.”
I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy abook. Or a painting.
An earlier version of this article was posted June 3, 2015
Miriam Elia illustrates a point
In America, older generations than mine grew up with “Dick and Jane” books. The simple words and clean cut imagery of these works were meant as a teaching tool for young readers.
It seems the British version was “Peter and Jane.” The names might have been different, but the intent was the same: an educational experience for kids, presented in an easily assimilated, non-threatening format.
As society grew more cynical, succinct statements like “Look Jane, see Dick” took on an unwholesome, ironic taint. The images now evoke a whole vanished era, a time of earnest naivete and lost innocence.
UK artist and writer Miriam Elia took full advantage of this gentle nostalgic vibe in 2014. She released “We Go To The Gallery,” appropriating the traditional format associated with Ladybird, the British publisher of children’s easy reader books. But in Elia’s version, the kids are being subjected to the soul crushing ordeal of viewing contemporary establishment art.
In panel after panel, Elia skewers the nasty nihilistic productions of the decadent cultural elitists.
Along the way many recognizable conceptual art works are referenced, with the Mummy character spewing the stale turpitude so essential to post modern poseurs. The corruption and presumptions of culture industry hacks make them ripe targets for such mockery.
On her site Elia used to advertise a lecture on “learning principles”:
-Helping children understand there is nothing to understand
-Ensuring the child’s own opinions match those of the arts elite
-Preparing young people for a lifetime of crippling uncertainty
She’s presenting this as a joke. But when I realize that is exactly what our institutions are actively doing for real, I find it less amusing.
When I first discovered this book in 2015, it was unavailable. It seems the traditional publisher didn’t appreciate the mockery and some legal shenanigans ensued. In some of the images on the internet the character names were changed to John and Susan, and I wonder if that wasn’t an effort to bypass some of the copyright concerns. Now, in 2021, We Go the Gallery is back at Amazon; the site explains: “The 2014 limited edition of We Go to the Gallery was threatened with a lawsuit by Penguin UK (owners of the Ladybird imprint), which was withdrawn following a recent change in UK copyright law allowing for parody and satire.”
There is an extreme disconnect between the feebleness of contemporary art and the attitude of sophisticated superiority the elitists display. Irony was once their weapon. Now it is their shield. Soon it will be their tomb.
A generation’s worth of careers, reputations and investments have been built in a dead end, a pitfall of decadence and power lust. Outside of their carefully screened zones of consensus they are meaningless. But we can’t cede the custodianship of our civilization to these perpetrators. It’s time we start invading their enclaves and confronting their failures both as artists and as human beings.
Concise observations like Elia’s, presented with inescapable deadpan humor, will be the death of the current art bubble. Smart people are looking for the exits already.
It’s an often quoted statistic that the average museum goer only spends 30 seconds looking at each artwork they encounter.
The sad truth is, regarding much of modern and contemporary art, that’s about 27 seconds longer than needed.
The visual arts are in a crisis of relevance, largely due to dire mismanagement by our cultural institutions. Instead of being encouraged as a communion for all, for over a century many art administrators have favored art as a divider, an opportunity to flaunt elitist attitudes. Officially sanctioned art often emphasizes theoretical formal matters and sociological notions designed to exclude, rather than engage, the general public.
The same gurus that managed to marginalize a potent and universal human tradition which is older than agriculture are concerned over their waning influence in the culture. They’ve come up with a great solution: spend MORE time looking at the crappy, off-putting junk they’ve chosen to clutter our museums up with.
This need to reengage is made more urgent than ever due to the massive financial impacts of the Overblown Outbreak, the Woo Hoo Flu. Of course, museum administrators are status seeking and striving players in the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected. They were strident and vocal advocates for fear, shutdowns, and hysteria. Now, after leading the charge for the destruction of society, our cultural institutions are concerned about their fiscal futures. Actions and consequences, how do they work?
So the same places that chased away the populace by presenting pretentious artifice instead of art, and then demanded we all cower under house arrest indefinitely, now want people to turn out, and linger. Globalist mouthpiece the Washington Post reports on the dilemma in their article:
“This year’s Slow Art Day — April 10 — comes at a time when museums find themselves in vastly different circumstances. Some are just reopening. Others have been closed for more than a year. Many are facing unprecedented layoffs or embroiled in controversies over diversity. But across the board, they are grappling with questions about who feels welcome in their spaces….
“At Slow Art Day events, museums generally ask visitors to look at five objects for 10 minutes each — enough time, often, to keep them looking a little longer.”
There is evidence abstract art’s 20th century dominance was a part of a CIA psy op, initially meant to increase America’s international prestige in the fight against international communism. Now that communists are running the Agency, abstract art is yesterday’s news, but it is still revered as a pinnacle of highbrow taste.
Check out the blather of the would-be thought leader who wrote the Post article, waxing poetic about the fine embroidery on the Emperor’s New Clothes:
“After an hour spent in the cosmic, yellow world of Mildred Thompson’s “Magnetic Fields,” I noticed the alarmingly bright canvas subside into alternating tones of restraint and exclamation…”
Nonrepresentational abstract art is a safe space, a compromise for those who wish to appear cultured, while still remaining in compliance with the establishment status quo.
Abstraction underwent a process of gentrification. Once it was the rough slum of the art world. It was considered evidence of the breakdown of the social order captured in random paint. No matter that artists claimed they were seeking to purify their art by removing references to the surrounding world. There was a generalized suspicion abstract artists were covering up a lack of actual artistic skill.
But the elitists seized on the broad dismissal of abstraction as a way to differentiate themselves from the general public they despised. Abstraction furthered their goal of changing art into a rarified status symbol. Removing the demand for recognizable talent from the equation, abstract art enabled an elitist crony system. Art world insiders got to pick and choose which people they acknowledged as “artists”. Abstract art was also in sync with the materialistic Modernist mindset. The rich and powerful moved on abstraction in a big way, renovating the neighborhood, as it were. Savvy upper middle class social climbers followed their lead.
As Modernism died and the high elite moved on to the anti-art of Postmodernism, abstraction remained as a stolid bourgeois default. This is possible because abstract art can succeed in one facet of what art does. It can be used for decoration.
All too often, abstract art fulfills a role much like a throw pillow: merely an accent, just another piece of the décor. Abstract art can be pretty, and even give a nice imitation of intensity, while remaining tame and non-committal.
Abstract art serves as a simulation of art for those who want to create the appearance of having art, without actually partaking in any of its most significant substance. Try to be tasteful, wind up bland.
Real art is many things, but it is not timid.
…Abstraction falls short in art’s most essential function: communication. Abstract artists may claim to pour intensity into undefined colors and shapes, but it’s hard to recognize. One paint smear looks much like another. It’s difficult to discern the intention behind them. It’s challenging and rewarding to convey a sense of the actual into art, however stylized it may be. More importantly, by representing reality, artists tap into the infinitely rich world of symbolism.
A symbol is when something is shown that expands into greater significance which is not literally shown. A symbol demonstrates that life is more than only what appears on the surface. A symbol gives clues towards the underlying mystery of existence…
Humans understand life through stories: patterns of events that illustrate ideas, incarnated by people taking action in a tangible environment. Abstract art misses out on these basic intrigues. Artists and patrons who don’t partake in representational art are losing the most powerful and worthwhile aspects of art. They fail to experience meaning.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying an uncomplicated, pleasant aesthetic experience. But art is capable of delivering so much more. Looking at abstract art, I want to ask: “Is that all you’ve got?” I’d expect a higher standard of performance from human beings, with all of our ingenuity and dexterity.
But the folly of trying to wring significance out of museum-cloistered smears and spatters may soon be a much rarer opportunity. The establishment has new version of empty not-art to virtue signal with: racialist propaganda.
As an example, the Syracuse Everson Museum of Art sold off a notable 1946 work by the notorious king of the abstract expressionists, Jackson Pollock, so they could bankroll diversity impulse buys. I bet the museum’s wiser board members are pissed, but are too afraid to say anything. Everson got $14 million to invest in treasures like these:
Sharif Bey “Protest Shield #2” 2020
Ellen Blalock “Bang Bang You Dead” 2018
These works stick obvious Cultural Marxist tropes where the nuanced and rewarding experience of art should be. They are visual one-liners. Patronizing maneuvers like these will do nothing to address the crisis of relevance in the visual arts. Swapping poorly executed icons of snobbery and obscurity for poorly executed icons of affirmative action and activism is just a new flavor for the same old failures and alienation our cultural institutions have been serving up for decades.
What we are seeing is the death throes of Postmodernism, the exhausted system of manipulation and deceit the elites have been using to rule over us for decades. The great critic Robert Hughes summed up the art experience Postmodernism does not provide in his landmark 1980 series, The Shock of the New. As he purred in his patrician Australian accent:
“In the 45 years I’ve been writing about art, there has been a tragic depreciation in the traditional skills of painting and drawing, the nuts and bolts of the profession…Painting and drawing bring us into a different, a deeper, and more fully realized, relation to the object. We have had a gutful of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art, art that holds time as a vase holds water. Art that grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel. Art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in ten seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep running in our natures. In a word, art that is the opposite of mass media.”
As Postmodernism is devoured by its own doublethink and frustration, the replacement philosophy of Remodernism is simmering and growing among the people, looking for new ways to manifest itself. This Invisible War is not over.
By all means, spend time with some real art. You will know the art that resonates with your taste when you see it, and no one can tell you that what you like is wrong. Better than just visiting for ten minutes, fill your home, and your life, with it. My wife and I are both painters, and the walls of our house are covered in original works. It’s like living inside a treasure chest.
Who knows, some probably genuinely love the abstraction and agitprop favored by the self-aggrandizing gentry class. However, probably most people “like” it because they believe it’s what is expected of the social status they aspire to.
I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy abook. Or a painting.
“I’m only interested in an art which can change the ideology of society….”
Part of what I want this blog to do is highlight certain notable figures of the commercialized contemporary art world to a new audience.
I’d like to help educate all those good people who, up until now, have been uninterested, alienated, or even hostile to the efforts of today’s educated creative classes and their deep-pocketed supporters. From what I see, this potential audience of the disengaged is practically everyone in entire world.
What I want this newly attentive audience to appreciate is how correct they were to reject this garbage all along. This involves exposing the corruption festering away in the greedy and debased hearts of the institutions who have forced these toxins on an unwilling culture.
I also like to talk about inspirational figures and exciting new paths I see developing, but that’s for another post. I do see this as a time of renewal and opportunities. The future will be what we make of it, and I see a gathering of forces that ultimately will change the course of civilization. It’s part of what artists do; on an archetypal level we get the news before others, and help spread the word. Big changes are coming.
But the first step of recovery is to admit we have a problem, and the art world is a serious problem indeed.
Postmodernism rejects the combination of disciplined skills and inherent talent that made traditional art such a powerful human achievement. Postmodernism believes reality is shaped by manipulation and control of communications. It’s a form of magical thinking by the elites. They think they can break the endless chains of cause and effect, action and consequences, by stubbornly insisting on getting their way, always.
Marina Abramovic wanted to be an artist. In the 1970s she decided to become an artist not by making art, but by being a “performance artist.” This is when an artiste enacts some kind of public display, usually without the talent, coherence, or skills the traditional performing arts require.
Abramovic’s shtick was stupid rituals: playing with knives, cavorting around flaming pentagrams, and publicly undergoing drug intoxications. Many later pieces feature feats of endurance, sort of like the one-time trend of flag-pole sitting, but with the added cache of pretentiousness and snobbery. Her risky yet pointless acts took her far in in the debased art world. She made good connections in the years since.
How good? How about right to the pinnacles of political power?
Wikileaked 2015 “Spirit Cooking” Invite for the Podesta Brothers
That’s right, this celebrity artist was intertwined with the super-creepos Tony Podesta, and Hillary Clinton handler John “Skippy” Podesta. Tony Podesta’s “art collection” in particular is such a combination of unwitting confession and blatant horror show, I’ve never been able to finish the piece I started writing describing it.
The referenced “spirit cooking” seems to refer to an earlier piece by Abramovic which features a litany of nasty behaviors. The website Artsy was quick to explain away how any concerns raised over such ideas passing as art in the ruling class must be due to alt-right-nutsy-tinfoil-hatter-hater-fascists:
The email, which referenced Abramović’s 1996 performance piece Spirit Cooking, set off a false conspiracy theory concocted by the alt-right. It grossly misrepresented the email, distorted Abramović’s work, and drew the unsupported conclusion that Abramović, the brothers Podesta, and even Hillary Clinton were in cahoots as Satan-worshipping occultists…
It seems innocent enough: a dinner prepared by a controversial but influential artist whose work has been honored by prominent institutions the world over with large-scale exhibitions, honorary degrees, and more. (Her 2010 mid-career retrospective at MoMA, “The Artist is Present,” was one of the most popular shows the museum has ever mounted.) But members of the alt-right community decided to focus on selective facts about the performance, and in turn make massive “logical” (if that word even applies) jumps…
The ensuing bogus conclusions were inspired in large part by fairly buried documentation of a previously rather unknown 1996 Abramović performance and book of the same name. Unknown, not because Abramović had anything to hide, but because, in the grand scheme of her daring oeuvre, it wasn’t the strongest or by any means the most shocking piece she created. In it, a bespectacled, calm Abramović wrote absurdist phrases that resemble discombobulated, dark self-help mantras on the walls of an entire gallery in pigs blood.
Several of the phrases read:
“Fresh morning urine. Sprinkle over nightmare dreams.”
“With a sharp knife, cut deeply into the middle finger of your left hand. Eat the pain.”
“Mix fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk. Drink on earthquake nights.”
“Sitting on a copper chair. Comb your hair with a clear quartz crystal brush, until your memory is released.”
Yes, the phrases resemble incantations or recipes for storybook potions. And true, they make little sense. But that’s precisely Abramović’s point. Across her career, she’s tapped into and simultaneously questioned the influence of ritual and religion, highlighting both their potency and, occasionally, their absurdity. Spirit Cooking isn’t a ritual meant to conjure spirits or worship devils—it’s a comment on humanity’s reliance on ritual to organize and legitimize our lives and contain our bodies.
John Podesta Overlaid On Spirit Cooking Instructions
Did He Eat the Pain?
There’s more upper crust shenanigans Abramovic has been mixed up in, like the entirely-not-Satanic-at-all mock cannibalism soiree at the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art in 2011. Punk icon Debbie Harry assisted in butchering a life-size cake replica of herself to serve the A List guests.
Say it Ain’t So Blondie:
Marina Abromovic and Debbie Harry Stab It With their Steely Knives
Doubts about Abramovic’s infernal intentions have cost her. She has stated despite her denials of serving Lucifer, she fears some nut will do her harm. She even lost a gig with another super-rich creepo, Bill Gates. Microsoft had to pull an ad for her “mixed reality” holographic projection due to her controversial reputation. What a loss. Who wouldn’t want to strap secretive technology onto your head to summon a sinister crone into your presence? It’s like a variation of the plot of Halloween III.
I would never presume to judge the state of someone’s soul. The nature of Abramovic’s beliefs are between her and the Lord. I too am familiar with the often dark places the pursuit of art can lead. It’s something of an occupational hazard for creatives.
Where the Modern age formed a mandate to question everything, the Postmodern age demanded we accept anything. At least that’s what the rhetoric advertises. Like most Postmodern assertions, the claims of impartiality do not stand up to scrutiny; it’s just more camouflage for self-serving attitudes.
The expansion of Western civilization had been nurtured by belief in objective standards, which originated from an underlying order. Whether this order was divine or merely natural was debated, but the acceptance of universal laws was pretty universal. Objectivity meant comprehending reality, which existed beyond our personal preferences. We held these truths to be self-evident.
Postmodernists understand such objective standards are an obstacle to their desire for unaccountable power. Where Modernist skepticism was believed to be a tool to gain deeper understanding, Postmodernists project the notion that all the questioning and differing conclusions means there are no underlying truths.
To the Postmodernist, the cosmos is subjective. There is no reality to know, no morality, no way to gauge effective behavior; there are only opinions. These opinions aren’t even our own, but are determined by whichever group identity we subscribe to. We have no individual responsibility. It’s impossible to judge the quality of anything.
To the Postmodernist, because feelings exist, there can be no such thing as facts.
For people who claim it’s impossible to judge anything, Postmodernists are very judgmental. No culture is better than another, they propose, unless it’s the traditions and accomplishments of Western civilization. The West, which has given rise to the most prosperous and liberated societies in world history, is automatically bad, and needs to be destroyed.
Here the mask comes off. It’s those same old Cultural Marxists at work, lusting after the social control the freedoms of the West denies them.
Postmodernism is a ridiculous conceit. It cannot make anything new, it only creates pale imitations of the achievements of the past. It could only be embraced by pampered people who’ve never really experienced the uncompromising roughness of life. And even then, while advancing this phony philosophy, the Postmodernists have to overlook the glaring hypocrisy of their own behavior versus their words. They are seething with cognitive dissonance.
I have no problem in saying Postmodernism is evil. It’s whole purpose is to switch off the Enlightenment, so the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected can rule over a new dark age. Fortunately, the new force of Remodernism is rising as the spirit of the reconstruction we greatly need.
As far as Marina Abramovic goes, I’ll be praying for her-and for us all, as we endure the chaotic death throes of Postmodernism.
Why Would Anyone Think She Was a Satanist?
I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy abook. Or a painting.
“Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.”
Not just men. Women are part of that traditional use of “men,” to mean humankind.
Case in point: The Guerrilla Girls.
Few outside of the art bubble know about the monkey shines of the Guerrilla Girls. Briefly, the Guerrilla Girls are a feminist arts activist group formed in 1985. Their shtick is that art, like the rest of Western Civilization, is sexist and needs a do-over. They wear gorilla masks to hide their identities, and adopt the names of female artists of the past. They do so as they claim the art world would retaliate against them for their criticism. The secrecy gimmick emboldens the Girls: “… put a mask on.” suggests Guerrilla Girl spokesperson Not-Really-Frida-Kahlo. “You’ll be surprised what comes out of your mouth.”
On their own website, the Girls describe themselves:
The Guerrilla Girls are feminist activist artists. We wear gorilla masks in public and use facts, humor and outrageous visuals to expose gender and ethnic bias as well as corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. Our anonymity keeps the focus on the issues, and away from who we might be: we could be anyone and we are everywhere. We believe in an intersectional feminism that fights discrimination and supports human rights for all people and all genders. We undermine the idea of a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. We have done hundreds of projects (posters, actions, books, videos, stickers) all over the world. We also do interventions and exhibitions at museums, blasting them on their own walls for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices…
That’s a whole heap of Woke to try and choke down, but it’s a teachable moment, as we are so often told these days. Let’s critique these self-appointed cultural commissars.
What is their point? They claim discrimination has prevented women from being recognized as artists-although they borrow the names of celebrated female artists for their pseudonyms. Contradictions are no obstacles for cultural Marxists; they just double think their way through that stuff.
As far as the type of art placed in museums, they claim there aren’t enough women artists represented, but there are too many female nudes. That’s right, the symbolic significance of the female form as a manifestation of the mystery and beauty of life is problematic and must be suppressed. You perverts need to check your male gaze privilege, it is double plus ungood.
As far as the quality of the contributions the Guerrilla Girls have made to our shared cultural life, here’s Exhibit A: one of their posters. Let it act as conclusive proof not only can the Left not meme, they make lousy art as well.
When Racists Attack: It’s Not Bigotry When They Do It
Exhibit B, the masks, because nothing screams integrity like claiming you are bravely making a principled stand, while trying to hide yourself as you do it. Trying to advance identity politics with no identification is a cop out. Nevertheless, the Guerrilla Girls are just carrying on a fine tradition activists have followed for decades:
Exhibit C, it’s absurd to assert these feminist activists would face any consequences if their identities were known. The establishment art world has long been a huge promoter of the Postmodern virtue of organized and vocal misandry. In the great intersectional faction wars waged for elitist social status, transgressive females attacking the patriarchy were the cutting edge best, they were lionized. Or they used to be, until the new T in the LGBTQSUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS community started stealing their limelight.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if male artists who identified as females started to undermine women’s advances in the arts, just like they are devastating women’s sports? Well, you can’t scramble a deconstructive Marxist omelet without breaking some eggs, hearts, and sanity.
As far as what might actually happen to the artists if the gorilla masks came off, we have some examples.
As I was researching this article, I came across references from multiple sources that two alleged group members had their identities revealed in a court case. And yet none of the articles actually stated what the names were. It was funny. The exposed artists had been memory holed so effectively, you would have thought they were CIA agents planted in the White House to fabricate “whistleblower” claims.
As the Girls’ dominion began to grow—they incorporated as Guerrilla Girls, Inc., in 1999—tensions developed within the group. After 2000, the Girls weathered what they came to refer to as “the banana split.” A branch of the group devoted to fighting discrimination in the theatre now performs around the country under the name Guerrilla Girls on Tour, and an online enterprise split off, too, calling itself GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand. In October, 2003, on behalf of Guerrilla Girls, Inc., two of the original Girls, “Frida Kahlo” and “Käthe Kollwitz,” filed a federal lawsuit against the on-tour and broadband entities, and against several of their former colleagues, including Gertrude Stein, charging them with, among other things, copyright and trademark infringement and unjust enrichment. What bothered the defendants and the other Girls as much as the lawsuit was the fact that the two plaintiffs, in filing the case, chose to identify themselves by their real names. As litigants, Kahlo and Kollwitz unmasked themselves to become plain old Jerilea Zempel and Erika Rothenberg.
Funny how these righteous progressive warriors got enmeshed in a litigious struggle over money and brand names. Regardless, we can now review creations made these two participants, and consider if there was a patriarchal conspiracy needed to thwart their artistic careers. You be the judge:
“Guns and Rosettes,” crocheted tank cozy by Jerilea Zemple
Tanks for Nothing
“The Right to Life Boutique” mixed media by Erika Rothenberg
The Massacre of the Innocents as a Punchline
These tired examples of leftist dogma are what these tired examples of wannabes produce in their ongoing attempt to replace artistic merit with politics. And yet, despite being outed as Guerrilla Girls, and producing these doubtful results, their careers aren’t suffering. There are pages of listings for exhibits and articles for them. The Guerrilla Girl gimmick paid off.
The Guerrilla Girls are like the feeble media art star Banksy: They get to play at being oppressed rebels while actually doing nothing but advancing the Postmodern establishment’s cherished progressive tropes, and being rewarded for it.
The saddest thing here is how the Guerrilla Girls were ahead of their time; since the 1980s the establishment art world has increasingly relied on conflating art and activism. The Marxist march through the institutions demands the totalitarian approach that everything must be all political, all the time. The airing of grievances is supposed to be the art of our era. A lust for collective retribution is supposed to drown out the lack of artistic merit. And virtue signalling meltdowns, such as the Guerrilla Girls championed, are the new artistic methodology. As I describe in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:
Postmodernists compensate for the lack of a genuine inner life by showing off what they think is expected of them. Postmodernists pretend to feel whatever their situational ethics informs them is the politically correct way to feel. Their stance is perpetual posturing.
In this delusional state, they misname their ravenous appetite for domination as “pragmatism.” Their version of pragmatism basically means they get their way, always. Yet their position is essentially one of weakness. Having no substance of their own, they are reduced to living vampire-like, trying to suck resources and obedience out of society, while offering nothing useful in return.
It’s hard to get normal people to cooperate with this hunger, since Postmodernists are fundamentally bottomless maws in desperate need of validation. There is no end to their demands. But the Postmodernists have a strategy for petty tyranny so simple it’s known to two year olds; they whip their unregulated emotions into what they hope is an intimidating frenzy.
Adrift in a world unstructured except by their own unearned sense of superiority, Postmodernists know nothing about impulse control, or respect for others. Nothing gets these special snowflakes more offended than a challenge to their imaginary entitlement and arbitrary righteousness. Look at college campuses these days for many, many examples of this behavior. There’s no true passion or commitment behind these tantrums; they’re putting on a show as a crude attempt at manipulation. They seek justification for the sadistic pleasure of lashing out blindly. Never believe whatever the stated social justice cause of the moment is supposed to be about; it’s just a hypocritical excuse to act barbaric.
So what’s next for the Guerrilla Girls, apart from the usual laudatory museum and gallery exhibits, academic fawning, international speaking gigs, and media tongue baths?
Their website volunteers: “More creative complaining!! More interventions!! More resistance!!”
Nothing about art, of course. It’s all about power, the highest aspiration of the failing Postmodern elites.
I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy abook. Or a painting. Please send any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
It was the zany story of the week. A prank so dumb, it was like it was tailor-made for Morning Zoo DJs.
At the glitzy swap meet of Miami Basel, a contemporary artist offered a banana duct taped to a wall for $120,000.00. The punchline is, somebody bought it.
This is about the only scenario when contemporary art gains mass media traction: when something stupid sells for lots of money. Then it becomes a snarky variation on a human interest story.
The fruit is a big hit. It’s called “Comedian,” which is a valid accusation. It was an edition of 3, and the whole bunch sold, each with their genuine certificate of authenticity. A performance artist tried to hitch his wagon to this star by eating the banana. He was not arrested for the art theft. A crisis was averted when the piece was reinstalled by simply taping another banana up.
This silly conceptual piece is actually behind the times. Our Marxist tainted cultural industries are hyping that the hot action now is in political art, and identity art, and identity politics pretending to be art. Putting out a goofy art object that presents kitsch as an ironic comment on the evil of market forces is so 2013. It’s also a lot tamer than other pieces this particular Italian artist is infamous for.
Maurizio Cattelan is what they call Conceptual. He doesn’t make the art displayed with his name on it. He just has an idea. He can’t be bothered to learn any of the skills needed to present the idea, so he hires people with actual talent to make it on his behalf. I don’t think he even taped the banana to the wall himself.
We laugh at this guy, and the dolts that paid him, but there is something more sinister inherent in this not-so-cheap gag. Cattelan’s body of work reveal him as a partisan for the destruction of our culture. The Postmodern crusade is waged on all fronts. It’s a relentless attempt to belittle and bully us all into submission.
The banana is just the latest variation on the endless Leftist quest to undermine and stifle human achievement.
These other works made in the name of Maurizio Cattelan demonstrate his character.
Like Pope John Paul II, crushed under a meteor.
Maurizio Cattelan, The Ninth Hour
Or school boy Hitler at prayer:
Maurizio Cattelan, Him
Or a big American style FU to the Italian Stock exchange.
“The establishment art world is just another brigade of shock troops serving the elites. All the administrators want is to preserve the status quo of their ill-gotten and severely abused authority. The apex operators of the global Postmodernists are ruthless in advancing their own interests, and will use any and all tactics available for their own advantage. Postmodern art is one of their weapons.
“Under the malign influence of Postmodernism, we’ve been lied to about the nature of creative expression, seen our culture cheapened into an elaborate swindle, and even had art itself betrayed into a form of abuse.”
The good news is the upheavals occurring across the globe show the Postmodern delusion is in its death throes. The nasty deconstruction typified by artists like Cattelan is at a dead end.
The bad news is the destruction that may happen during this massive shift of consciousness. The new times beginning, the Remodern era,will be an age of reconstruction.
It’s a vast project, but uplifting, honesty artistry will be needed to bring unity to our communities.
I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy abook. Or a painting. Please send any inquiries to email@example.com. Thank you!
Taking Advantage of the Decline of Artistic Expectations
They say the way you do something is the way you do everything.
Here in Phoenix, Arizona, an all too familiar drama is playing out. An affluent influencer has been accused of sexual aggression towards multiple women. The details offered are lurid, and awful.
No charges have been filed. There is no proof I am aware of, beyond mostly anonymous statements given to journalists. In this country, we are all innocent until proven guilty. This must be a very difficult time for everyone involved. Pray for all of them.
Unlike Joe Biden, I was not there 3,000 years ago, when Isildur took the ring and the strength of men failed. But I was there in 2002, when landscape architect Bill Tonneson took the title of artist, and the integrity of the art world failed. I met Bill Tonneson at one of his first exhibits, at the old Paper Heart Gallery.
It was a poor showing. Mostly patterns of found objects mounted on wall hung canvases. But it turns out, these examples of bland decor were the opening moves of a grand strategy.
Back then, Tonneson had decided he would make himself the world’s third most famous artist in one year. In a Phoenix New Times interview at the time with art critic Robrt Pela, Tonneson explained his gambit. The article is full of telling quotes:
A year ago, architect Bill Tonnesen launched a career in modern art. His 12-month goal: to create 100 significant pieces, and to land a one-man show in a notable gallery. He chronicled his experience in the self-published Tonnesen: 12 Months to Fame and Fortune in the Art World. The book pictures many of his mixed-media assemblages (a frame filled with teacups, another jammed with hundreds of Bic pens) and is full of revelations (“As I surveyed the art world, there seemed to be a lot of paintings. Crazy abstract stuff that looked relatively easy to do.”)…
NT: There’s that old line that you always hear about modern art: “Hey, my kid could do that!” Your career as an artist strikes me as a big riff on that whole notion.
Tonnesen: That’s a subject I love to talk about: understanding art. The notion that one painting deserves a more important place in the history of art. It’s very convenient for uninformed people to think that their opinion is the equal of someone like [deceased MOMA curator] Robert Storr’s. What makes contemporary art so unique that suddenly everybody is an expert? Why can some idiot walk in off the street and think his opinion about a painting has any value?…
NT: …You actually made an A-list of artists in your book. What is that based on?
Tonnesen: Primarily on auction results.
NT: So for you, it’s all about the money artists make, and not what their work is expressing or how it moves you.
Tonnesen: Well, money is a measure of collectibility. So are references in textbooks, a presence in museums, and mentions in publications like Art News, which essentially make the art world. But the common currency is money. It’s the most concise way of determining an artist’s popularity.
NT: That’s a pretty arrogant position to take, to create a list that values artists based on how much money they make.
Tonnesen: The list is the least controversial aspect of what I’ve done. Essentially, it’s unchallenged, partly because if you survey the horizon of thousands upon thousands of artists, people like Jasper Johns and Gerhardt Richter are the ones who rise up, and it’s relatively . . . I can’t think of the word.
NT: You seem torn between saying that the art world is full of shit and wanting to be part of it.
Tonnesen: My goal is to point out that the art industry is a market, like any other. I am a libertarian, laissez faire capitalist. I believe in markets. What I’m interested in doing is studying how the art market works and competing there, but not at a regional level. I have worked now for one year in this regional environment, and now I’m ready to compete on a larger stage…
The interview concludes with this nugget of Tonneson analysis: “I don’t think people really have much insight into what is art and what is not art.”
Bill Tonneson has been relying that disconnect ever since.
In the interview above Tonneson expresses the perspective of a Postmodern partisan. The attitudes are all there: the relativisim. The appeals to authority. The derision towards the little people who dare to have their own opinions. The lust for money, fame and power. Tonneson states the values of the establishment art industry, which are of course the values of the establishment in general. Our elites are corrupt Postmodernists to the core.
His take-over-the-art-world book is still available (Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,664,166 in Books). Needless to say, that initial scheme failed. But the marketing blitz made Tonneson a player in the lively Phoenix arts scene.
British artist Charles Thomson, co-founder of the Remodern art movement, has attributed the crisis of relevance in the contemporary arts to “…a Postmodern ethos that puts celebrity, cynicism and commerce above any spiritual or deeper human values.”I would add a fourth C to that list: controversy. Since 2002, Tonneson has worked those unappealing angles to keep himself as an artistic presence.
Like in 2012, when he plunked this beauty down in front of his house, so the nearby pre-school and church could take a gander at it:
“I love it,” Tonnesen said. “I’m crazy about it.”…he wishes his neighbors could see it as a work of art, and not just a nude woman. His neighbors aren’t alone — Torrenson said his wife doesn’t like the statue’s placement and made him cover with a sheet.
“Until I can work something out with my wife, we’re going to leave it covered,” he told KNXV.
That poor long suffering lady. I read a later article which said Tonneson had added a bikini made out of money to the piece, but I couldn’t find an image of it.
Tonnesen has created a pair of statues — torsos of nude women jutting out of a tower of truck tires — that sit in front of an apartment building at 2230 E. Fort Lowell Road.
In Phoenix, Tonnesen is a bit of a bad boy. Some of his large-scale pieces, often in prominent spots at apartment buildings, are in-your-face nudes. One, an obese nude woman sitting on a wall, faces a church. Another nude — it looks to be of the same large model — holding a urinal at her crotch (presumably an homage to Duchamp) is on display at the front of an apartment building not far from the Phoenix Art Museum. Protests to the works were loud.
Tonnesen, who solicits publicity, loves the controversy his art creates…Tonnesen calls the works, molded from a live model and made primarily of plaster and epoxy with a steel frame, “Domestic Totems.”
Two female torsos sit on top of 11 gleaming black tires, raising the works up to about 16 feet, nearly reaching the top of the second story of the two-story building.
The torsos are white. Each has large, exposed breasts.
The figures are draped with a shawl and have headpieces made of pots, pans, dishes and other accouterments of domesticity. One has an electric hand beater as a necklace, a mop covering her eyes as though they are long bangs, a baby sitting on top of the headpiece, and a mouselike figurine on top of that. The woman’s mouth is opened in a sort of shocked “O.”
The other is blindfolded and gagged, has an egg beater necklace, a toaster balancing on her head, and on top of that a lamp, and on top of that, another mouse-like figurine.
…“My grandson doesn’t like them; he thinks they’re nasty,” says Marybeth Davis, who lives there with him. She, on the other hand, has no problem with the bare breasts. It’s the works themselves that bother her.
“I don’t call them art,” she says. “I call them gaudy.”
So. These creations were “molded from a live model.” Were these excuses for art made as an excuse to get a little hands-on experience? One wonders.
There’s nothing wrong with nudity in art. “Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed,” advised the visionary artist William Blake. Michelangelo’s David, one of the greatest artistic achievements of all time, lets it all hang out. But nudity aside, Tonneson’s figurative sculptures aren’t good. They’re awkward and graceless. The nakedness functions as a crutch, generating a response that the stiff, lifeless manikins can’t achieve by manifesting skill or dynamism.
Quotes from the linked articles paint an evocative picture:
…At first, the pair enjoyed getting to know the charismatic designer and his workers. They even bought a few pieces of his artwork, including one with orderly rows of coffee cups featured in Tonnesen. He assured them it would only grow in value as his art career took off.
But the piece hasn’t aged well; one of the coffee cups has fallen off its backing, and in its place, Dacquisto has stuck a movie stub from Kill Bill Vol. 1. Like the artwork, his relationship with Tonnesen also deteriorated precipitously, after the project dragged on for nearly a year…Worst of all, when the partners went to talk to a lawyer, the lawyer gave them a piece of information that caught them totally off guard: Tonnesen Inc. didn’t have a license to do electrical work, which it had done. Or a mechanical license. Or a plumbing license. Or a residential contractor’s license. Tonnesen never should have been allowed to redo their kitchen in the first place, their lawyer explained….
The Holocaust Memorial:
Tonnesen claims, repeatedly, that Phoenix’s memorial will be the only one in the world to show six million objects. It’s a contentious claim: After all, schoolchildren in rural Tennessee recently collected more than six million paper clips to display in an old German cattle car. It was an improvised effort, without a master plan or a visionary architect, but the exhibit now draws thousands of kids from all over the Southeast….
But that doesn’t count, Tonnesen says, not under his criteria. Sitting in a big pile, the paper clips aren’t visually distinct.
Similarly, he doesn’t count the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, which shows six million numbers etched on six glass towers. “That’s different,” he says.
He can’t seem to acknowledge that any previous effort has hit the nail on the head. This, after all, is a guy who dismisses the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: “Beautiful idea, but immaturely executed.”
There goes the neighborhood, and the Tempe Flour Mill:
…And always, Tonnesen’s sculptures — many of them life-size statues of Tonnesen himself, in various guises: holding an umbrella, pointing at a giant thermometer, perched atop an air-conditioning unit. But his accolades…often are drowned out by the moaning of people who’ve had dealings with Tonnesen.
Like the employees worried that he talks too much about working without proper permitting. And the city officials who felt he was forcing his public art onto the Tempe Flour Mill site, after he sneaked two of his sculptures onto the site on the evening of its grand opening…
“The problem with Bill isn’t a lack of talent,” says a colleague of Tonnesen’s who refused to be named because, he says, any public commentary on Tonnesen leads to days and days of e-mails and phone calls and recriminations.
“It’s that he doesn’t listen, and he wants everything his way. So you ask him for a glass of water, and he brings you a swimming pool. And you say, ‘Put the swimming pool in my backyard, then,’ and he mounts it on your roof and plants 70 trees around it and then encases it in a big metal box made out of recycled refrigerator shelving, because it’s what he wants.”
…”His houses are ridiculous, and they don’t fit in on our street,” says one of Tonnesen’s Tempe neighbors, who won’t go on-record because she’s heard other neighbors complaining about Tonnesen screaming at them. “I got yelled at by people on the block, because I had seven wind chimes on my front porch. But this guy can have a giant metal box and a hundred trees in the front yard, and everyone’s thrilled!”
“I’m hard to work with,” Tonnesen admits. “When I hire someone, the chances of it working out are tiny. I only care about two people’s opinions — my wife’s and my assistant’s. Everyone else is just workers, and I’m hoping they won’t screw everything up.”
“Bill does things first and asks permission later,” that ever-vigilant assistant, Samantha Staiger, says. “That bothers people.”
“You gotta make your own opportunity!” Tonnesen yells excitedly. He’s an imposing presence: 6 1/2 feet tall, wearing his signature uniform of pressed blue jeans and a white Oxford shirt with his last name stitched above the pocket. His smooth hairstyle recalls the blunt bob worn by Gloria Vanderbilt in the ’60s and ’70s. “I’m not sitting around waiting for permission. I try to be proactive and to make things happen…”
“I had some grandiose ideas,” Tonnesen admits of his Flour Mill plans. “I want to do the unexpected. I want people to be curious and confused by the art things we put in. So I drew up an elevated walkway with a hole in it, and we would have someone sitting by the hole, and maybe spraying water on people or videotaping them as they walked by.”…the Tempe City Council wouldn’t go for a walkway with a built-in hooligan, so Tonnesen came up with a second plan: a giant Advent calendar-like cabinet filled with his own custom statuary.
“I had it dripping with my sculptures!” he bellows gleefully. “And of course no one had any money to do this. I would have done it for free! When it’s an iconic structure in my own town, I’m on board!”
To rehabilitate his reputation, Tonneson worked with Alison King, a web designer and co-founder of Modern Phoenix.
Shining up Tonnesen’s public image was no easy task, King admits. “It was among the hardest jobs I’ve taken on,” she says. “Bill wants to be a bad boy. He can’t help it. It’s who he is. He would rather ask for forgiveness later than ask permission first.”
But then, in his most ambitious art move yet, Tonneson got his theme park. Thwarted by short sighted city bureaucrats, he installed his monument to himself, himself. Bill Tonneson went to the Lavatory.
Illuminated by floor-recessed lighting, the bottom half of a 1,500 square-foot subterranean room is suffused in pink, slow-curling fog. By one wall is a life-sized plaster-cast statue of a bare-chested woman, head concealed in cloth, holding a naked infant upside-down. A gaunt female model with an alabaster face saunters languidly through the space, like a mute witness to some macabre ritual. The 50 or so patrons, who each paid a $30 entrance fee, tentatively explore the room’s perimeter, wading through the puffy fuchsia tide, when a baritone voice registers through speakers:“Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to be buried alive.”Following a New Year’s Eve-style countdown, a huge net tethered to the ceiling releases 120,000 three-inch plastic iridescent balls, eliciting instantaneous glee from the crowd. They now occupy the largest, most bizarre, adult ball pit playpen in the world.The “wizard” behind the curtain is 63 year-old Bill Tonnesen, who serves as MC at the Lavatory, a risqué, if not outright scatological, art exhibition housed in a 16,000 square-foot, two-story commercial building just north of downtown Phoenix…in addition to the “pit,” [it} includes other themed rooms (one requires a non-disclosure agreement to enter). Also featured are two claymation cyclorama booths with professional portrait quality lighting conditions; a claustrophobic ten-by-eight foot room filled floor-to-ceiling with 18 functioning toilets; and many, many pieces of artwork by Tonnesen himself.
“A traditional experience at a gallery or museum is to look at a painting on a wall,” the artist told CityLab. “We’re working on a mechanism to make that painting fall if you get too close. My goal is to confuse.”
There is some confusion going on here all right. Clarity can be reached by looking at the broader, top down goals being inflicted on our culture.
Art is undergoing a crisis of relevance. Elitist malfeasance has marginalized the visual arts in popular culture. In doing so, the New Aristocracy of the Well-Connected block access to powerful resources. They deny our society the inspiration to live up to ideals, the encouragement to think and feel deeply, the yearning to harmonize with truth and beauty. As a result, the mass audience has turned away. People instinctually reject the superficial and nihilistic contemporary art championed by an imperious would-be ruling class.
Ruling class totalitarians use Postmodern art as a tool of oppression. Elitists have weaponized art into an assault on the foundations of Western civilization. This deceitful cabal seeks to destroy any principled perspective on the lies, manipulations, and abuses they commit. The scourge of Postmodern relativism as a cultural force is no accident; it’s a top-down driven campaign. Hyping soulless, unskilled art has a toxic, weakening effect on society as a whole.
Sure, that looks like fun, but is it art? No, it is not.
Depsite Postmodernism’s efforts to redefine words to suit the vast agendas of control, real art is the very opposite of the whirl and swirl of the county fair. Real art freezes a particular moment and makes it reverberate with timelessness and deep meaning. It doesn’t immerse us in sensations which drive us to distraction. Real art moves slowly in us, but with massive force. It is an enduring and abiding experience. Real art inspires awe regarding human potentials, and takes us out of ourselves.
The elites don’t want us to have those profound moments. Too much risk of uplifting, transformative wisdom occurring. The ideologically driven artifice they favor can’t provide the moving qualities actual art delivers. So, using their hold over our cultural institutions, they are doing a massive bait and switch. Call something art, but then deliver cheap, lewd variations of Chuck E. Cheese attractions. They substitute the intensity of traditional art with an empty buzz of quick hit one-liners. That will keep the ignorant proles in their place!
The Future of Art?
The Lavatory fails the achieve art. It might pass as a fun house, but it doesn’t really look like much fun. It’s over burdened, trying to prove its art cred by dragging in stale Duchamp references. The images from it suggest a sinister, sleazy vibe, which recent reports only amplify.
Scenes From the Lavatory. Ick.
After the Me-Too style allegations surfaced, the Lavatory has gone dark. Tonneson shut down his Instagram account, and from the vicious commentary left showing on his Facebook page, it seems to be untended as well. Venues have started removing his works from display.
“From Brutality to Livelihood to Discarded Cumbersome Noncompetitive Capital Investment…”
“Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.”
The UK’s Tate Museum holds an annual awards ceremony, the Turner Prize. It’s supposed to be about art, but it isn’t. This spectacle is meant to lavish funds and attention on whoever is judged to be Britain’s best exemplar of the Postmodern establishment’s efforts to undermine Western civilization.
The elites are on a relentless quest to eliminate genuine art from the culture. The long march through the institutions has resulted in our social foundations being riddled with radical hacks. Since colluding Cultural Marxists maintain monopolistic control over society’s mass communications, including the arts, these partisans set the agenda. It’s now painfully clear the program is to reduce art to just another vehicle for social justice activism.
The excesses and absurdity of the Turner Prize are nothing new. It’s been retreating from recognizing actual artistic achievement since its inception in 1984. The Stuckists, the first Remodern art movement, organized protests against the inane non-art of the Turner shortlists for years.
But a shift is happening in the art world. Emphasis is moving away from trends which dominated the art market since the 1990s: obviously silly anti-art.
Not Woke Enough
This junk was political in the sense it was an assault on traditional expectations of artistic excellence. Now even that mask is off, and nothing but pure propaganda will be advanced and rewarded.
Case in point: Turner Prize nominee Helen Cammock. She makes dull videos while reciting derivative observations and slogans. It’s a poor substitute for creativity and skill.
“I think all art is political,” Cammock says. “Even if you make work that doesn’t speak of politics, if you’re not speaking you’re making a political decision.” But the artist feels her message is wider in scope than just a criticism of Italian politics. “It’s a global statement, and it’s the same statement I would make about this country” she says. “We are also living in the politics of the far right, we are just in a different geographical location.”
“The call to action is to everyone,” Cammock says. “It’s not about identifying Italian politics or Italian culture as any more extreme because I believe we are all in a very dangerous and poisonous moment.”
Fascinating. While Cammock’s fellow travelling leftists dominate not only the arts, but government, media, social media, tech companies, academia, corporate boardrooms, and the globalized upper class, she’s lamenting that the “far right” is shaping the environment. Right.
In a way though, she’s got a point. There are threats to the status quo, which was supposed to be permanent. Even though the Cultural Marxists rule, they have not succeeded is forcing all to bow before their usurped power. The people oppose the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected.
Eruptions are happening around the world. From American Deplorables to French Yellow Vests, from the UK’s own Brexiteers to Hong Kong’s Umbrella Protests, from Italian sovereignism to the Brazilian PSL, there are mass movements against our declining Postmodern masters.
This was foretold in the arts, going back to when the Stuckists dressed like clowns as a condemnation of the beclowning of the Tate Museum. Welcome to the next phase of civilization: the Remodern Age. The story of the 21st century will be the dismantling of centralized power. It’s an exciting time, even though the course ahead will not be easy.
The Helen Cammocks of the art world oppose this developing and promising future. They lash out against it because it threatens their privileged positions as useful tools within the Postmodern hierarchy.
Of course Helen Cammock believes all art is political. Her inferior replacements for art are nothing but realpolitik screeds of victimhood and implied retributions. Helen Cammock is up for the Turner Prize because she checks the correct diversity boxes, not because of the quality of her so-called art.
Watch one of her pieces here, if you can bear it: Helen Cammock Showreel. It may have been the longest 6 minutes of my life. A static camera films uninteresting scenes, or stock footage unspools, while a monotonous voice drones on in buzzwords about economics and exploitation. Truly an art for the ages!
Helen Cammock is cashing in on the passive aggressive stance of the establishment’s preferred mode identity politics. Because once people were mistreated, she must be above criticism. Whatever she churns out must be lauded and praised. She presents her stale monologue travelogues as if appreciation is mandatory due to ethical concerns.
The art world set these expectations for her. She’s come so far without displaying any legitimate artistic chops. Does she realize she gets opportunities not despite the fact she is a 40-year-old-female-of-color-Sociology-major-former-social-worker-without-an-artistic-background-who-spouts-leftist-dogma, but because she is a 40-year-old-female-of-color-Sociology-major-former-social-worker-without-an- artistic-background-who-spouts-leftist-dogma? This quote from the article may reveal some lack of self-awareness:
Her affinity for text was something she discovered while studying for her Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art. She was juggling the coursework while running a photography festival in Brighton, and a sympathetic tutor excused her from having to make work for the remainder of the course if she promised write something every day. “That was the beginning of it,” Cammock says.
Wow, getting preferential treatment from an institute of higher learning. Better check your privilege! I feel sorry for all those saps who had to actually do their coursework to earn their degrees.
Not everything has been easy for Cammock though. She ruefully describes this:
“People can be very suspicious of artists,” she explains. “There’s an idea that it’s really surface or superficial, or that it’s a way of stealing, like cultural thievery. But I want it to be an exchange.”
Maybe if her art was better, she wouldn’t be so sensitive to the charges. Granted, the establishment art industry has been superficial for decades. The griping about cultural appropriation sounds like the wailing of other leftists butthurt they got outmaneuvered in the intersectional grievance identity sweepstakes. Normal people don’t think or act that way. But hurling ideological accusations to drag a rival down is a prime tool for leftist status seeking. We can see it playing out in the increasing frantic Trotskyites versus the Maoists dynamic which is roiling the political classes. Stay tuned to see how that plays out.
Postmodernism started off by redefining art into anti-art. It’s now spread. Like a virus, Postmodernism converted every institution it infested into a factory for producing more of the Postmodern disease. Postmodernism makes every worthy cause betray its rightful mission. Remodernism is the correction of this treachery.
In another article, Cammock describes her efforts as “ventriloquising.” I’m confused by the analogy. Is she claiming to be the puppet master here, making her subjects mouth her approved tropes? Or is she saying she is the dummy, and supposedly the downtrodden masses are speaking through her? Is she The People’s Poet? Ryk, the original SJW from the cult TV show The Young Ones, shows how it’s done:
Either way, whether she’s claiming to be the mastermind or the mouthpiece, such a method has nothing to do with the intimate explorations that lead to compelling artistic excellence. Just look at her results.
The art of Helen Cammock is a phenomenon of the elite’s totalitarian effort to squeeze every aspect of life into rigid political submission. Her videos are not art, they are indoctrination. Politically correct Postmodern attitudes would demand we ignore the misdirection and failure on display.
Remodernism rejects this conformist approach. It recognizes we the people have the right to self determination, including the right not to accept a biased, uninspired sociology lecture as a valid replacement for the mystery, the grandeur, and beauty that only real art can provide.
Helen Cammock: Putting Identity Politics on a Pedestal
My previous article on last year’s Turner Prize follies. From May 6, 2018:
Manhattan’s New Museum: A Precarious Pile Up Over Unionized Staff
“My problem with unions is they breed mediocrity.”
-Kevin O’Leary, Canadian Businessman
In today’s corrupt and isolated contemporary art world, mediocrity might be an improvement. One overpriced elitist cloister is about to have a chance to find out.
The New Museum is located in Manhattan. Founded in 1977, the New Museum rejects the whole antiquated “museum as a venue for significant works of high quality which have withstood the test of time” concept. Instead, “New art, new ideas,” is their oh-so-bold mission statement.
A quick review of their history shows just how much they fail to deliver on this simply stated goal. Postmodernism’s predictable style, a fake approximation of culture, means the New Museum is infested with transitory, unskilled installations and pointless performances, all propped up with convoluted rhetoric.
Some exhibit “highlights:”
But is it Art?
It’s amazing such twaddle finds a foothold anywhere, let alone in the pricey environs of New York City. But the establishment’s ongoing efforts to subvert and destroy Western Civilization are very well subsidized. In fact, the New Museum is undergoing a major upgrade: $85 million to double its exhibit space, so it can feature twice as many transitory, unskilled installations and pointless performances. But wait: it will also allow them to expand “more experimental programs like its business incubator and the urban-policy think tank that it runs.” It’s the Postmodern mandate that every enterprise just serves as a front for social engineering activism, and the arts are particularly scarred by that presumption.
However, discontent is brewing in the ranks of the establishment’s ongoing psychological warfare against the populace. Some Millennials felt they weren’t receiving the Special Snowflake pay grade and working conditions they want.
“…current and former museum employees who spoke to artnet News often complained that entry-level salaries are unsustainable—around $35,000 to start—and that some departments discourage workers from accurately reporting their hours in order to avoid paying them overtime. A spokesman for the museum says it offers competitive salaries for its location and size. The spokesman also said the median salary for full-time employees who were eligible for the union vote is $52,000.
“According to three current and former staffers, turnover rates are high and the museum can take months to refill positions, leaving the remaining staffers to do multiple jobs on top of their own.
“’The low salaries breed turnover, so it’s just this constant flow of people that makes everyone burned out,’ said one former museum employee who asked to remain anonymous. ‘I took the job because I would’ve chopped my arm off to work there at the time, but it just wasn’t sustainable. I didn’t have a safety net, no support from my parents. A lot of people get to the point where they’re like, ‘I’m working a job meant for rich people.’
“Another concern is that there is virtually no consistent, designated venue to air professional problems…I think the general sense is there’s not much of an HR structure or grievance system in place,” Kopel says.
“Many of these issues are emblematic of problems that staff at other institutions are grappling with: low pay, long hours, and the absence of a clear reporting structure. But some employees say the environment at the New Museum is uniquely challenging compared to other places they’ve worked. What’s more, the museum—founded by Marcia Tucker in 1977 after she was fired from the Whitney Museum—has a reputation for forward-thinking exhibitions and programs.
“’It’s hard when you get hired by an institution with such progressive rhetoric and you don’t have a voice,” said one former employee. “The New Museum sets the standard for a lot of institutions, and they are setting a lower standard.’”
“Art institutions need to take care of their workers plagued by high-cost city living, student debt, and hopes of a stable financial situation that allows them to work at an organization they are passionate about.”
Translation: This is not the glamorous, prestigious, and well-compensated future my Masters Degree in Intersectional Feminist Ceramics should rate!
These art museum workers are still stuck in their university mentalities. It’s probably because they switched one form of isolated elitist playpen for another; they expect to retain their inmates-run-the- asylum habits. Their career path seems to involve endlessly rehashing the contents of sociology term papers and asserting that is productivity. Observe some of their own quotes on their inane exhibitions, which are uniformly dedicated to various leftist tropes and NPC talking points that have been stale for 50+ years. .
“…dedicated to providing pro-bono legal representation to undocumented immigrants and their families facing deportation…
The work…touches on urgent themes such as migration and displacement. Addressing trauma in the US as a consequence of the country’s foreign policy actions…
…ongoing explorations of the complexity of collectivity and the human and social consequences of imperialist ventures…
…reflect on racism and power, migration and national identity, and the layers of historical memory that comprise our sense of community and belonging…”
Since the wage slaves feel they are not being justly rewarded for lolling around in an institute that serves up such incoherent academic gobbledygook, they get to indulge in another collegiate pastime: organizing resistance and socking it to The Man. Some of the lower caste drones of the collectivist hive mind decided they weren’t getting enough of a kickback on the culture racket. So they decided to bring in some union muscle.
Because working in an elitist pretend-museum is just like working on the line building Detroit rolling iron, the New Museum pussy hat brigades and soy boys voted to join up with the United Auto Workers.
One of These Things is Not Like the Other
Top: Staff at the New Museum
Bottom: United Auto Workers Strike
Another whole article could be written about how the management of the New Museum reacted. As true progressives you would expect them to be all in support of bringing in hired gun extortionist goons to explain how to better spread the museum’s wealth around.
Nice cutting-edge creative space facility you got ‘ere…
Be a shame if anything ‘appened to it…
Museum management did try to understand the hot water they were getting into by contacting a firm with a reputation for defeating union initiatives. The art world scolding and shaming was so intense the New Museum had to disavow any attempt to explain why a union might not work out. A spokesperson groveled:
“The New Museum is a relatively small institution with a strong mission—we have always worked closely and collaboratively. We don’t believe unionization is the best way to preserve what is special about our culture or advance change. We value the creativity and input of the entire staff, and we will do everything we can to maintain our distinctiveness.”
Good luck to the staff of the New Museum in getting a union to produce Manhattan sized results for a gaggle of expendable specialists in a useless boutique endeavor. At least the New Museum didn’t take the route renowned art world charlatan Jeff Koons did in 2016:
“Postmodernists are parasitic. They are so other-directed, they can’t lead an independent existence. Postmodernists rely on a mob mentality to support and reinforce their irrational ideas and behaviors. As their intellects cling to group identification instead of independent thought, and their stunted emotions merely mirror groupthink expectations, Postmodernists are primed to sell their souls to fit in. They deny there is any such thing as a soul anyway, so it’s easy to give it up. The price doesn’t even need to be high. Postmodernism is a poverty-stricken ideology, so its practitioners have meager expectations. Most will never live the jet-setting lifestyle of their globalist masters. These influencers don’t have to operate within the perimeters they inflict on others. Postmodernists strive for the opportunity to bask in the reflected glory of their controllers.
“As Postmodernists are in thrall to the limiting collectivist fantasies of Marxism, it makes them anxious followers. They want to be in with the in-crowd, part of what they are assured is the inevitable winning side of history. It is the dream of every progressive to join the most favored status clique, where their ilk gets to call the shots. This conceit plays into the leftist assumption that in the utopia to come, some animals will be more equal than others, as Orwell predicted. They acknowledge no God that created all men equal. Leftwing rhetoric of fairness for all is just hype designed to deceive. Once triumphant, the radicals will punish their enemies and reward their friends, just like Postmodernist President Barack Obama urged them to do. Postmodern minions want to make sure they are in good with these brutal inquisitors. Postmodernists will commit acts of senselessness and violence when top-down social pressure is applied.”
The Contagion Spreads: Protests at the Museum of Modern Art
UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please visit other articles for more commentary on the state of the arts.