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Re: [BKARTS] Drucker Article



I'm encouraged by this debate, and what I've just read in the Drucker
article.  Patrice and Matthew, I think perhaps that your desire for no
labels needs to be looked at more closely.  Matthew- you offer that a
work should stand or fall on it's own merits, regardless of how it is
defined.  I would argue that you can't have one without the other.  
Patrice- you speak about something that is made well and designed well-
right there you are creating definitions and boundaries.  There's
nothing wrong with this, of course. Nothing exists on its own-
everything is seen in relation to something else.  If we have no canon,
or body of criticism, as Johanna Drucker mentions, then there is no
basis for comparison by which to judge something. Something cannot be
judged on its own merits, by the very definition of the word judge,
which implies a comparison.
Do we even need to judge something? Well, yes, we do- collectors do,
artists do, critics do.  It's that natural process of creation,
selection, editing and new creation. It's called growth.
Do we judge an artist's book as a sculpture, a book, a narrative?  It
may be all of these and more, but certain parameters need to be defined.
Now of course there will always the Conceptualist Art Contingent who can
get very philosophical and flustered about this- about symbol and
content, and deconstruction, and relativism and all those sorts of
things people talk about in The University and the self-help section of
the bookstore, but when it comes down to the majority of artists, good
art is produced when a visual vocabulary or set of tools is agreed upon.
Having only eight colors in one's paintbox never stopped masterpieces
from being created. It's confining on a certain level, but allows plenty
of latitude on others.
With regard to calling oneself a book artist- there are lots of
dilettantes in all creative endeavors.  And the warm fuzziness certainly
does exist.  I agree with Johanna though that criticism isn't a bad
thing and more of it is needed as this artform develops.

Anyhow, keep the thoughts coming...

Doug Sanders
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Patrice Baldwin [mailto:patbooks2@xxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 2:48 PM
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: Drucker Article
> 
> I agree with Matthew's point of view on art/craft/whatever... no
labels. If something is
> made well, designed well and presented appropriately, it's either good
or bad
> depending on the onlooker's point of view or what he had for breakfast
or if he just
> ran over the dog. 
> 
> > I have
> > to admit I'd prefer a world without labels: as I imagine it, a
creative
> > work should stand or fall on its own merits, regardless of how it is
> > defined. 
> --
> _

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