Art critique: New media &
The artist, the times and the creativity.
History of Art
has allways been primarly a thinking process, only afterwards a junction
between inner and outter in a unique creation. The Aim of Art was a Message;
either from this world to another or vice versa, while the artists are
channels through whom flows a sensibility of a particular culture. Traditionally
art is thought of as a way of picturing or acting upon the reality and
the values in and around us. Art had monopol over image.
the dawn of photography basic art definitions have changed; and art had
to redefine it's relation to image. Faithful replication of the natural
world, materialisation of the values through the art creation nor the very
artistry or taste are the factors that define or evaluate art. Art has
now been percieved as a hammer that breaks the traditional understanding
of the world and Cezanne the pioneer of the new wold announcers. In contrast
to their predecessors, at the beginning of 20 ct. the artists have become
the challangers of the society in every way. Then in mid. 50ties art actually
drowned in its own undertakings in the spirit of the times it produced.
is said that all the planes are connected, that there are equivalents (
as in heaven so on earth) in both. Also, that planes interconnect. Formerly
in every era of human history and in every culture on Earth, people left
beind neaty, functional and mistic buildings, paintings or other objects
that glorified the wholeness of Life / World and that paid respect and
praise to etheral ideals. Art in traditional sense is based on acknowledging
the existance of structures greater than self, only then it is creative.
Space and creation within were the fields of expression of economical,
political and ideological organisations, with interdependant relations
in Nature and the unceasing existance of even greater system which would
produce necessary outcome in current reality/ read: greater harmony.
In post -modern society the endeavors to communicate with Harmony greater
than ourselves are lost, bounds or mediums drifted and mixed, just reflecting
the crisis of everyday reality. The question is do the endevours to communicate
in modern art correspond to planes overlapping. In present global hi-tech
gibberish silkhat everything can be art and all approaches are allowed;
the multiplicity of approcahes is to be explored, after multiple experimental
- isms, Concept is glorified as post moderna art mutation. Common, Everyday
and Trivial gains on importance, frequently just on account of unusual
mode of expression. Literal verbal communications have significant importance
but are often uncomprehensible just because of transition in another medium
not addapted to that kind. Canvas painting has become just another medium
in art, drawing back or simulating the new media.
technics of ancient religious art, any art period or "school" can
be reproduced, but effects are lacking because the objects are removed
from its natural environment. An reneissance altar piece surrelly does
not have the same effect as it had on the people of its time. Same is with
any past art tendencies. The present day painters who still follow previousely
made templates create say, a reneissance work without knowing it, without
creating and surrely without effect on anything ( maybe their income if
good copycats :-), simply do not create. Same is with followers of dadaism,
surrealism, cubism, op-art, minimalism or post modern art outside their
time frame... These 'artists' are like the mechanics or souvenier makers..
A mechanic can work on your car, but lacks knowledge of the engineer who
created the car.
engineer or a programmer has a better chance of creating objective art
than our contemporary artists, who through documenting are making a material
evidence of their non existant creativity. What differentiate Modern Art
from periods earlier when artwork was the transmitter of the Message, is
Need to transgress the very media of expression through pure artistic
act ( whatever that may be). But is this enough? Can the combination of
just pure symblical act of channeling energy into desired hopes needed
for modern society, define present- day- art? This defines religion, not
had always been grounded in the phylosophycal reality frame of that era,
society or culture, taking them step further. Until today. Today it lacks
any relevant background if not just 'art for art'.
art is and what is not
an art performance projection of a well known croatian artist shown on
a TV and in reputable galleries, Slaven Tolj documents his besotting on
a video. He drinks 2 lit.of spirits on variouse places changing just the
sort of alcohol to suit local traditions where the besotting takes place.
translation: the intention ( drinking) is important in comparison to the
type/ material used ( read: alcohol). Fairly performed intention always
gives sure results; bessoted artist and a video recordings. The essence
of material used ( alcohol of any kind) defines one part of the action
efficiency ( here whether one will get drunk or not), video recording is
a time constant, appearing as rapport. Artist Message; that he needs to
get drunk no matter where he is and that art is a provocation of reappearing
unconsciousness, possibly to vomiting result? The Message or Motive why
the artist gets drunk (everyday stress, depresion and dissapointment, love
hurts, business failure, or celebration on the other hand) are taken outside
art formula of today could be following: type unimportant, essence/ contents
( of thought) definite, regardless of result in comparison to traditional
arts: type important, essence/ contents transcedental, result variation.
art produces plentitude of paintings with nothing to see. It recycles past
forms into present ones. The cream of contemporary 'happenning' artists
devotingly torture, bleed off, scourge oneself on, kill turkeys in public
squares, collect junk, self- complace ( literally and implied) in
galleries, ie desire to shock in any possible way in the name of art -protest
and/ or social actions or simply to capture the attention and promote themselves.
There is no forbidden, no unacceptable actions. Judgement criteria, enjoyment
in art are lost along the way. Broad audience either has difficulty 'reading'
art and imagery, they lack knowledge, education...( do they?) or indiferently
pass by 'it'. Mess in contemporary art unveils the breakdown of the
secret code of aesthetics.
art lacks what should be its main features; imagination, foreseeing,
and dignity and hardly has what it claims to have: social impact.
and post- moderne are concerned with the contents of the real world ( mostly
with nature of light) and the subjectivness of experience, with roots in
theory of relativity and pertinent natural and liberal sciences of the
given time and space. Avangard was a replica of social discords, cubism,
conceptualism, minimalism and other -isms have shown to be only the starting
handle for creating the mode of living ( read: fashion trend).
art moved to fields of liberal arts where it conveys the conditon of
our atomic civilisation; but undestructible quantity and kind of our archeological
remains speak about us better than anything else; and that is other than
art lost its innitial purpose and does not relate too well to the life
of the modern man.
purpose is reduced to kitch decorative accessory, outrage
and/ or deviant shudder. Lots of people find modern art funny and interesting
but also often pretentious, part of status symbols or trendy or just meaningless
( being this an idea behind the work or not, unimportant).
the spiral of reality, past art periods can be roughly devided after their
purpose and the general maturity of the human spirit on; ritual- magical,
emotional -documentary, theoretical and finaly art as applied conceptual
ie interdisciplinary events ( performance - multimedia - virtual ) to end
in hyperart, net activism digitally transceding to Post atomic age
of humanodroids and beyond.
art is dead but it has risen through fast pasing art trends, design and
fashion and became the religion of modern
art is just like humans in search of a constant or a way to live in fluidity
of Now as well as of a back-bone structure on which to grow. Is it Digital?
Community based? Cognitive virtuality? combination of all these however
we name it or something else yet to emerge?
- Timeline: 1st
written 2002 -revised in 2004
ART & POLITICS: financial
networking and new media freedoms in Croatia
I often check on ArtEfact:
Interesting themes, good
authors, nice design no doubt about it. After official portal http://www.culturenet.hr
and websites of a few smaller galleries and artists, this is all there
is about the relevant modern croatian art.
Nevertheless, here some objections;
as soon as Artefact puts forth the new issue and releases a new Call for
submittions the deadline is out and the materials can be submitted only
by those already involved or connected with ArtEfact, because no one else
can manage to send anything due to lack of time left ( 2-3 days or less!).
Recently I asked them why
Artefact does not run any Forums/ Guestbooks or some kind of open-to-public
input option, but there is none there.
Taking into account advertised
portal orientation ie. strategies of resistance, one would expect otherwise.
No matter the content, in controlled closed systems open-to-public inputs
are not possible.... As the folks wisdom has it, they "seek to exchange
ideas about the questions of both culture and art" and pray for not having
one. No matter my liking of the authors like Dalibor
Kuluncic and others, when you scratch a little beneath and follow background
partner linkeage, one comes accross www.anetwork.org,
and then you have it in clear that the background and Sources are
political, hence non- transparency and closedness. e
As much as it could appear
normal to percieve modern artists as avantgarde- rebel- liberal many are
just bussy with omnipotent image building of themselves, reduced to become
artists-entrepreneurs, artists- tramps or system correct artists. Croatian
culture sceen is since ww2 highly elitistic, purse-net nicely indulged
into secured financial flows of political projects. Succesful artists are
being just the advertisers for the political platforms and orientations
or for the expansive corporations assisted again by the politics... and
if you think of it - that is not some kind of progress in comparison to
Our politicians think that
pure membership in some club ( in this instance European economic union)
has to do with one's own cultural success and achievement in general. This
is pure snobbism that creates environment suitable for growth of nothing
other than a colonial culture or Art as a means of manipulation. AGITPROP.
That mobile goes on just
because of the assumtion that Croatia has to prove again its 'europehood',
as if this was what it has lost in the latest war (?). Regardless to connectedness
and likeness of the culture in global village, when we hail and admire
artists or return to the favorites of the past politics, it is forgotten
that they all live and contribute to different realities, first with very
few refferences or journeys in their own past ( ie. territory).
At the same time, the very
existence of the remained artists is reduced to survival of the endangered
spieces because as Leonida Kovac points out; in public sphere are allowed
only those with verified identities.
Further reading on croatian
cultural policy: http://www.culturenet.hr/v1/english/category_read.asp?cat=3
Non-freedom is determined
everywhere by clique and their planns, NOT the Technology by itself.
Ideology propaganda is the rudiment of 20 ct.
Recent Establishment of avantgarde
rebell artists of the 20 ct. in Croatia shows nothing but a change of fur.
As means, technology usage and accessability shows for what and to whom
it serves, while the goals do not have to be ( but can be) always presented
and justified. It is no good when the technology becomes the main tool
and strongest weapon of the political and ideological propaganda. Specially
when it uses past good efforts for its poor deeds. Svi složno naprijed
u Veliku Evropu.
- art group Exat 51- (short
for "experimental atelier") constructivists (1951-1956) //
Gattin, Jevsovar, Seder, Vanista, Feller, Kristl, Picelj, Richter
- radical enformel in the
'60ties 20ct. - primary, analitical painting
- New Tendencies (1961-1973)
- Biafra group '70ties
- Art of the Postmodern
in Zagreb; New canvas
- Vjenceslav Richter
- Miroslav Šutej
- Dubravka Rakoci