The victim pulled the trigger on itself, detective Garth Clark says, but it was under the influence of Art.
That’s Art, no last name, sometimes known as Fine Art. And though the corpse keeps getting tricked out for public events like the stiff in the movie comedy Weekend at Bernie’s, the actual time of death was, oh, somewhere around 1995.
This was the premise of a fantastic and provocative lecture that was held at
What is this art envy? Good question.
Surely it has something to do with money.
And surely it has something to do with reputation, with being taken seriously. Artists are simply thought of more highly, as more creative beings, more intellectual, and therefore more important (and, let’s underscore, more worthy of high prices in exchange for their work).
Perhaps it has something to do with escaping an eternal past. “Craft has been overdosing on nostalgia,”
So, he said, somewhere around 1980 craftmakers simply started referring to what they did as art. Museums and other organizations began to drop the word “craft” from their names — sort of like snipping their horse-thieving uncle from the family tree. For a few genuine artists who were trapped by their association with craft — people like Jun Kaneko and Robert Arneson – it was an escape with just cause. For others, it was wishful thinking. “Craft was strongly and sometimes pretentiously influenced by fine art,”
And there might be some truth to that. Still,
What, then, is the difference? When it came right down to it,
And craft’s stress on physicality,
Then again, he says, fine art’s embrace of traditional craft materials has more to do with “postmodernism’s promiscuity” — hardly a marriage of minds. And, he pointed out, in the mid-20th century fine art underwent a more than equal and opposite reaction, “away from craft-based values” and toward conceptualism — a conspicuously idea-driven form of art (even if the ideas are sometimes half-baked) that gets big media play even as it often rejects the entire concept of craftsmanship as old-fashioned and irrelevant. No wonder crafters feel a little loss of self-esteem.
Still, the question remains: What do we mean when we say “craft”? Maybe it’s a little like
One man in the audience last night asked
So maybe the more interesting question is, What is the relationship between art and craft? Does art require craft? If not, has the art world suffered for its loss?
For the 2-part podcast click HERE and scroll down to 10.16.2008 CraftPerspectives Lecture Garth Clark (Part 1 & 2)