An art writer for The Guardian recently published an article that seems to elevate his own bias against a medium to what others should and should not do in the art world.
When articles like this come out, it makes me wonder if the writer is simply looking to stir things up and make a name. I see no compelling discussion, just a repeated statement of opinion. Opinions do matter in the art world, and we give weight to those that come from experience, education, or even just appear to be thoughtful.
While the author may have the first two elements of experience and education, I just don’t see much insight beyond knee-jerk reaction. In another article (“Don’t tell me how long to look at art”), the writer decries video installations and performances art as being an absurd restriction on the viewer. “Video and performance that have a beginning, a middle and an end belong in the cinema or theatre or on TV, and should be kept well away from art galleries. If it ain’t on a loop, it ain’t art.”
So the irony is here is a person who is complaining about being told how to enjoy art, then complaining about and proscribing what can be considered art. He is effectively clueless and gives the impression of someone who feels it is his place to be above others, above the plebeian enjoyers of art. Unfortunately he takes the approach that the best way to appear to be enlightened is to insult people who disagree. A pretty clear sign of someone who’s given up learning, or even enjoying.
To be clear, I don’t have a problem with his opinion. I have a problem with him trying to impose his opinion from the pulpit of someone who is ostensibly an evangelist for art. You can’t do that very well while attempting to exclude an entire medium.