Thursday, June 23, 2011

Art ??

For the June/July issue of Art in America, Rirkrit Tiravanja was asked to make art that the readers could remove from the magazine and keep.
Tiravanija is a conceptual artist who's art is considered relational.
So is his postcard sized piece with the words
"Where is Al Weiwei"   art???

I read the editor's letter explaining the removable art.
Then I read the article on Rirkrit Tiravanija. Still not getting it at all.

Next I read, also in the same issue, a piece on Al Weiwei. It turns out that Weiwei is a Chinese artist that is considered to be their Andy Warhol with a political kick. He is openly critical of the Chinese government. On April 3, as he was boarding an airplane for Hong Kong Weiwei was arrested. For now the artist is a missing Chinese dissident.

I think because China is becoming such a "global player" their human rights record has faded from our minds. I applaud Tiravanija and Art in America for bringing Al Weiwei's story to our attention.

Back to the question, is a few powerful words on a piece of paper art?
Every ad on Madison Ave. has to be high art in that case.
What and who defines art these days?????

( I will admit that half the art presented in Art in America makes my blood boil and I wonder who made the dicision to classify it as good art.
 I understand the concept of art not being just decorative, but come on.)


  1. Art is so subjective and what we like, we like, which is not what everyone likes. Thank goodness there is so much out there to see. I usually avoid the highbrow mags that dictate what art should be, but a story about a Chinese dissident is a good one to read. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I thought of you when I saw the new CPS self portrait challenge and wondered what you come up with? xox Corrine

  2. This is a cool story and commentary. Perhaps a letter to the editor at the same time?

  3. Hmm tricky! Did I miss your name in CPS? You should have been in there ;) WAsn't it great to see Ro Bruhn, tho?

  4. The question "what and who defines art?" was a question I asked myself many times before. But over the years, the question has shifted a bit more inward to - "are my ideas and creations good art to me?" It never fails when I see something really crazy and off the wall whether in a museum or gallery, I think to myself.. "see Hannah, your ideas are not that far-fetched. Keep going!"

    You are certainly hitting on a philosophical point here. That goes way beyond this particular political art piece. And all I can say is it's "Art for art's sake!"