Art that is produced during a pandemic
of commercialism, all the more than 3,000 pieces of which were on display here. One is tempted to say that todays painting is the expression of a public nature, but with the aestheticization of the art object it can no longer be said that. The artist and the consumer are both aware of this. The product of the art market is no longer the art object but is, rather, the product of an atmosphere of pressure from above. The artists working in this regard have already shown that there is more than one way to make art. The price has gone up, and it is no longer clear how much of art must remain private. Nevertheless, the two artistic fields, which were once separate, are now interchangeable. And both of them are moving in the direction of the social.
Art that is produced during a pandemic of Chinese-speaking nationalism, the hope that postmodernism will rid China of its rampant cultural imperialism is nothing other than a promise fulfilled by the ongoing construction of the Chinese state. Although the good will and national rejuvenation of China has brought the country to the point of industrialization, the country remains, in its present state of economic inequality, mired in a state of history—history in the manner of capitalism. In The Cultural Landscape, Hans van Veir presented a case study in the current state of affairs in China. His contribution to the show was twofold: first, a recording of his daily practice in the city of Dalian, a city built by the Chinese state to support its industrial economy, and second, a display of his work in a gallery. The exhibitions centrality lay in the fact that it took place within a private gallery, thereby demonstrating the difficulty of reconciling the political with the artistic. The political is a form of art that can only be a strategy of a state. A state that constructs an art world and a state that needs art as a political tool. That is the very essence of art today, of course. The art world has to be a more active part of the cultural landscape. This can only be achieved through the artistic process itself.The other two galleries in the exhibition, however, chose to show work by artists who have been influenced by the state and its efforts to consolidate power. The history of this body of art has been extremely brief. In the twentieth century, the state erected a wall between the public sphere and the private. Between the walls, the public and the private became separated, and art and the public became separated. This was the case with the most influential artists, who were able to express their political views openly.
Art that is produced during a pandemic of cultural stagnation in which the arts have been reduced to a passive role. In this way, the use of the name is ironically one of its own making, as this is precisely the use of the name that the artist has used to assert himself as an artist.The recent installation An Old Thesis, which was created for the MoMA show, was based on a combination of the artists personal experience and the work of another artist. The installation, which consisted of several smaller paintings, took its inspiration from the sculptures of the late Marcel Duchamp, especially the iron bars he made with the anthropomorphic elements of his Iron Curtain sculptures (1969–70). In this installation, the artist combined the physical presence of Duchamp with the concept of the iron bar, which was used by the curator and critic Robert Fisher to identify the artist as an artist of the line. The installation, which consisted of a series of small acrylic paintings, was a direct attack on the artists past achievements as a sort of meta-art. The paintings were divided into a grid format and were covered with a layer of white acrylic paint, with which the artist had applied a layer of thin white paint on the canvas before painting it. The paintings, which were on the order of six by ten feet, were divided into two large sections, and their interiors were filled with a thin layer of the same thin white paint, which had been applied to the paintings. Each painting was then covered with a layer of white acrylic paint and covered again with a thin layer of paint. The white paint and the white acrylic paint were then covered again with a thin layer of paint and the paintings were covered with a thin layer of white paint, with the exception of one work in the piece. In other words, the paintings were covered with white acrylic paint, and the paintings were covered with a thin layer of white paint. The white paint was then dripped onto the white paint and dripped onto the paintings.
of political activism. The consequences of this tainted collaboration have been dire: it has turned into a revolutionary nightmare, a nightmare of the media and the academic establishment. Isnt it time to start again? Who knows? The upshot is that we must ask whether the resistance to the authoritarianism of the West is still a long way off. Karl Wirsum is a frequent contributor to Artforum.
Art that is produced during a pandemic of consumption, or the art that is the result of an act of violence, or of a botched social contract, and these are the themes of Mardens work, which always retains a certain epistemological distance from and critique of the objects it imagines. One is never forced to take the social as the site of critique, nor can one really do so; Mardens art does not claim to be about that which can be lived with, but simply to offer a means to look at, to think about.The show included paintings, objects, and installations from Mardens ongoing series of Two Walls with Out the Black Box, 1992–, and also included two new works that deal with the deconstruction of the monument. These are presented in an installation, based on the classic art-historical model, that is as old as the history of painting, and includes works by the likes of Brancusi, Caravaggio, Degas, Nolde, and W. H. Auden, among others. These pieces are made of painted wood that has been thoroughly mutilated, and they have been cut to pieces, torn up, and discarded. They are thus stripped of their original function as a monument, and subjected to a process of deterioration and decay, in which the wooden support is treated as an inert material that will eventually decay into a waxy residue. In Degas painting, a middle-aged woman holding a stick lies on a bed, staring out at the viewer. The images that hang on the surface of her bed—an image of a face, a womans head, a door—are all but erased, and a sense of individuality dissolves. The woman is being dismantled and then recreated, but the same destruction is involved with the man on whom she is lying. The two works are presented in a room that is furnished with an old mattress, a bed frame, a bed frame with a frame, and a mattress.