Sunday, July 12, 2009

Gormless Gurning

Conceptualist Tony Gormley, a substantially subsidised intellectual ex-public schoolboy and deep thinking sculptor whose rusty works supply a metaphor for all that is (not) new, exciting, shared, (or) inclusive in Britain, and whose conceptually common experience of Britain mediated through the mind of an artist who can empathise with the average Briton so much they attract £140,000 of gambling tax to elevate pedestrians seven meters above Trafalqar Square for the incredibly creative removal from the common ground, (so) the body becomes a metaphor - has today been honoured for his contribution to the Culture of Foetry and Flarf, with an audience of compliant participants in stationary behaviour his genius has contextualized into generating Art whose Conceptual gravity and merit is wholly spurious, it has been alleged by Allegro Cortina, the grand-daughter of Conceptual Art founder Marcel Duchamp.

Ever since her grandfather's reverse-psychology upended the art world by prioritizing and framing ideas instead of material Creation, by the simple act of rotating a standard Bedfordshire urinal 90 degrees, giving it a title of Fountain and signing it "R. Mutt 1917" - the subsequent success of Conceptual art has been assured.

A success contingent not on the quality of the physical, but on the proclamation, promotion, propagandizing and publicity in the mass media organs, of whatever theory, idea and intellectual scaffold the artist can convince others to believe as, Reality.

R. Mutt (Duchamp) so signed this toilet 'sculpture', because he didn't want his fellow jurors on the selection commitee of the Society of Independent Artists - who had announced it would exhibit all submissions for their 1917 Exhibition - to know it was him submitting the 'sculpture'.

The only terms for inculsion to this show of a Society claiming itself Modern, was a six dollar fee, which generated $12,500 from 2,500 entries.

Duchamp, who had very wisely decided not to be a proxy murderer for a small bunch of closely related multi-millionaires who instigated the first mass-mechanised orgy of slaughter so their class of (so called) civilization could continue - on arriving in neutral New York, found himself already a celebrity with numerous (wealthy) art lovers offering him patronage.

He fell in with a group of anti-art surrealists and dadaists including Italian Futurist Joseph Stella, and Walter Arensberg, a wealthy American art collector and the son of a steel company president - who all rejected the 'reason' and 'logic' of bourgeois capitalist society, whose Ideology they believed had led to the insanity of the first world war.

The dadaists exhibited this in ways which appeared to embrace irrationality, and because the Modernism manifests in behaviour we have not experienced before, its conception and first becoming attracted global interest solely because of its novelty and Uniqueness - coupled to highly developed self-promotional abilities and the eloquence of a handful of artists.

Arensberg, Duchamp and Stella bought History when they attended J.L. Mott Iron Works on 118 Fifth Avenue, purchased a urinal, and at 33 West 67th Street:

"..took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view - (which) created a new thought for that object."

After much debate on the artistic legitimacy of Fountain by the commitee members (most of whom did not know R. Mutt was one of them) the toilet bowl was excluded from the catalogue and hidden from view during the show, with Duchamp and Arensberg resigning from the commitee after the exhibition and setting about stage 2 of the psychological heist.

In the second (and final) issue of their mag The Blind Man, poet Lousie Norton attached her name to an article on the 'disappearance without disussion' of Fountain (in which the quote above appears) - mocking the bourgeois aesthetic and proclivities of the jurors on the committee and obliquely referring to them as 'ornamental monkeys' - because the object was irrevocably associated in their atavistic minds with a certaion natural function of a secretive kind - (having a leak)

She began by likening humanity to the philosophers in Dante's Inferno, their heads set the wrong way on their shoulders. We walk forward looking backward, each with more of his predecessors personality than his own. Our eyes are not ours - the author wrote, before introducing a host of contemporary writers, paraphrasing the' sacred marriage of ideas' from La Dissociation des Idees, by a recently deceased French Symbolist poet and highly influential critic (when alive) Remy de Gourmont.

S/he claims someone likened Fountain to ladies legs in a Cezanne painting, introduces a counter quote by Montaigne 'the very "essence and motion of folly", followed by a rebuttal of this 16C French authority, before the wisdom of a now unread Gertrude Stein pops up along with a famously forgettable quote by schizophrenic Friedrich Nietzsche, and ending with the weight of the most recently cleverest deceased, de Gourmont.


The difficulty for those who follow them of course, is that conceptual Art is what American Poet Laureate Thomas Brady has noted - 'very professional, very protocoled Author Bio statements in the journals, Museum-performance brochures, and University of' - Gormley's (mission statement) "..of metaphor, the context of Trafalgar Square with its military, valedictory and male historical statues to specific individuals, elevation of everyday life to the" blah blah "elevation onto the plinth, and removal from the common ground..position formerly occupied by monumental reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in contemporary society": ie, you and ME, skint in a bedsit being a concept/reality.


1 comment:

Totalfeckineejit said...

Working class/underclass meself but always liked Gormley's statues etc,not mad on the plinth -taking the pith a bit, didn't know his background, perhaps it's relevent, depends on the context,a handy tool for slaggin for shure and (mea culpa) I would be the first to grab it.Everybody has a stick they can be beaten with.Chacun a son gout and criticise the things we don't like as best we can?