Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I must be getting old

The amount of very dark scribble is a reflection of my very deep seated irritation at the level of discussion at college last night, part of which focused on the Marcel Duchamp instillation below.

So last nights class was unceremoniously moved from the Tate Modern back to Goldsmiths, we had been usurped by people loaded with far more money than we could ever dream of, and so we had to sit and watch the dreaded PowerPoint....

Death by PowerPoint is never good, especially when it should have been the real thing. We were discussing curatorial issues, which itself is like trying to wrestle with a barrel of monkeys, since much of what we discuss is so ephemeral and difficult to present cohesively.

Our tutor has a very specific viewpoint and those that do not quite follow the party line are frequently muffled by a silk blanket of a barely suppressed academic put down.

Our tutor is clearly knowledgeable and also has a very unnerving way of correctly pronouncing every foreign artists name, I don't know about you but I can barely get my own daughters name right sometimes, but some of the more complex Portuguese names we studied are real tongue twisters.

Anyway our tutor gets them spot on, but when she does the whole tone and inflection of her voice changes so that it's like she has been possessed exorcist style. Each time a name comes up I have to check her head isn't spinning.

So back to Duchamp. I spent too long reading The White Cube by Brian O' Doherty on holiday which delves long and deep into the mysteries of curating. This very room above was discussed in the book at length and my own personal reading of it was that yes, Duchamp is very clever, he can out fox the best of them on and off the chess board. Yes, he had genius ideas, very challenging one too. But this? If my work was put up in an exhibition and someone did that my first thought would really have to be what a self centred twat. My second would be get the scissors. Really could he BE more selfish? I put this thought slightly more academically phrased to the group but I was politely smothered by a knowing smile and was told that I was missing the point, who cared about the work when such genius had altered the view point? One student went so far as to tell me that it would not be a problem to just step over the string!! Really like cats cradle with feet? Yes, I am sure it would be simple to do a Celtic line dance across to each painting.

So my scribbles got darker and I decided maybe I was just a little bit too old for this stupidity!

Effing inspectors are in tomorrow, so see you Friday.


Claire Cooper said...

Have decided all academic speak is unnecessary. My tutors would come uo with some flowery description and compare work to some or other philosopher (art) while the other would rest head on hand and nod, adding agreeing "mmmm" sound now and then.
BTW hope inspection goes ok.

materfamilias said...

No Emperors will get to parade past you walking naked. . . you'll keep your teacher honest!

indigo16 said...

Mater, after I wrote this I thought of you and felt a bit mean, because I know you work so hard and I know academics have to write and present ideas in such a way, but sometimes...