November 21, 2007

Sarah: Shades of Gray

Some days I really like school. A few quotes from class this week:

What then must the avant-garde artist do to remain avant-garde? For it has by now become a question of survival both of the artist and of the individual. In both art and life today we are in danger of substituting one conformity for another, or, to use a French expression, of trading one's one-eyed horse for a blind one. Protests against the mediocre values of our society such as the hippie movement seem to imply that one's only way out is to join a parallel society whose stereotyped manners, language, speech and dress are only reverse images of the one it is trying to reject.

It's an interesting concept that if you merely react against a stereotype or philosophy and become the opposite, you are still being defined by that stereotype.

Today the avant-garde has come full circle - the artist who wants to experiment is again faced with what seems like a dead end, except that instead of creating in a vacuum he is now at the center of a cheering mob. Neither climate is exactly ideal for discovery, yet both are conducive to it because they force him to take steps that he hadn't envisaged.

We discussed in class that you have to explore a space that not only you haven't explored before, but a space that hasn't yet been imagined.

I thought this was interesting food for thought. I hope you do too.

Both quotes are from "The Invisible Avant-Garde" by John Ashbery

Posted by sarah at November 21, 2007 08:34 PM

Those are very provocative thoughts. To free yourself from stereotypes you almost have to become completely selfish. What I mean is free yourself from what anyone else thinks by becoming completely self-centered which leads to self-awareness, no? Okay maybe I don't know what I'm saying anymore.

Posted by: Jeremy on November 21, 2007 09:24 PM

I have been waiting for this blog since you told me about it. I think that is a really interesting concept, and is sort of something I've been battling with all semester in my own little art world. It's really frustrating to think that your work is "cliche" because it's what is in right now, or because it's what artists do.

Obviously I could talk about this for hours... But I'll save it for non-blog space :)

Posted by: Mallory on November 22, 2007 10:32 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?