Thursday, 16 December 2010

Contemporary Art and Worthlessness

Oh no oh dear oh no oh dear oh no idea oh no idea...

On some works of art, and not the most minor ones: they have all the appearance of worthlessness; they say they are worthless and they truly are.

This is where the whole ambiguity of contemporary art resides: Laying claim to worthlessness, insignificance, non-meaning and banality; straining for worthlessness, when it is in fact already worthless. Aiming for non-meaning when it is in fact already insignificant. Aspiring to superficiality in superficial terms. Minimal thought had already met the same unfortunate fate.

Everywhere the same incantation: I'm worthless, I'm worthless! Now worthlessness is a secret quality which cannot be claimed by just anyone. Insignificance is the secret quality of a few rare works, works which never lay claim to it. The claim of worthlessness is, for its part, merely bluff and blackmail, aimed at extorting credit and a sense of importance a contrario, the implication being that the work cannot possibly be so worthless, that there must be something hidden in it. Contemporary art plays on this uncertainty, banking on the guilt of those who understand nothing of it (that is to say, those who have a precise intuition of what there is to be understood).



  2. could one, if one chose, substitute 'worthless' for 'pointless' (or chose links between),and enjoy oscar wilde with added vigour? Read decay of lying, a very similar predicament you'll enjoy it, similar frustrations