Friday, March 12, 2010

True, that.

A pervasive idea and true phenomenon is well articulated here by David Hickey:

"Since there is no absolute authority in the art world, or in the economic world either, we may presume that for every opinion, there is a contrary one. Thus, the social value of a work of art, or an art critic, or a theory, or an institution must be distinguished from its social virtue, since bad reviews, stupid acquisitions, and theoretical attacks, even as they question the social virtue of an object or investment, must necessarily invest it with social value. The raw investment of attention, positive or negative, qualifies certain works of art as "players" in the discourse. So, even though it may appear to you that nearly everyone hates Jeff Koons' work, the critical point is that people take the time and effort to hate it, publicly and at length, and this investment of attention effectively endows Koons' work with more importance than the work of those artists whose work we like, but not enough to get excited about."

Of course, I could quibble with this idea a little bit, but that would just invest it with more value. Dang!

Quote is from Hickey's essay "Dealing" in Air Guitar; Image from Seen Reading


flight + hotel said...

Thanks for this.

I'm thinking this might be one to keep for when somebody gets upset about what I write about their work.

I take it you recommend Hickey's book?


P.S. Thanks so much for linking to my blog.

Leah Sandals said...

Hi Rhonda,

Yep, it's a good quote to keep at the ready.

I actually haven't read the whole book -- some parts appeal to me, and some don't. But I do recommend having a copy around (or borrowing one) to see what it might do for you.