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Re: [BKARTS] insider outsider art



I'm just musing... on some of the things I've read onlist recently regarding
what book arts are and I'm particularly interested in the paradox between
inside and outside.  I think it comes down to the problem with nomenclature.  Name
a point, name another one.. now you have a line and you can measure it.    We
name things and once we name them, we define, categorize, relate and critique
them.  Without standards, categorization, theory... an art form or  movement
can not be a form or a movement.  It can only be another example of "we don't
know what".  You can't circle the wagons around that.   The form must be
formalized to have advocates.

As for who is in and who is not... In nearly everything, it's true that "in"
is often a matter of social greasing, but that being said, it's not all about
inner circles.  I think some of it is just sweat equity.  As with any other
art, those who study the art and commit their lives to it usually have a
superior aesthetic and skill to those who do not.  That seems elitist, perhaps, but
it isn't... it's about hard work.  Why should the person who never studied math
past the 8th grade be considered on the same level with the PhD in math?
They shouldn't.  Is art more of an entitlement than math or any other craft that
requires work and practice?   Those who work hard, study art, understand the
history of the movements that precede them, practice their craft every day are
better positioned to represent it formally than those who don't.    I believe
that hard work is the price and the reward.  The part time artist may have a
very good reason why they can't, but it doesn't change the fact that they
haven't.  The part timer, jack of all arts, dilettante, noodler, scrapbooker may be
worth appreciating for what they do with what time they have for art, but
they shouldn't expect to be in the same league with those who give everything.  I
call that reasonable humility.

If the way the trained artist articulates their own work can sometimes seem
a little oblique, they can hardly help it.    It's one of the by-products of
an art training that people do not speak in plain language often enough.    The
MFA grad student can't just like making boxes, he has to know why he's making
them.  He has to somehow figure out that he is actually "examining the
intimate space of the psychological interior juxtaposed to the alienation of
external boundaries using scale as a means for representing the isolation of the
individual in the body politic."  Sounds better than "I like boxes, especially big
ones.", doesn't it?

In any case, there's nothing to worry about.  Someone is always challenging
the established canon and when the challengers become the canon, someone else
comes up to challenge them.   In that sense, art remains fresh.  Even cyclical.
 Each iteration attacks the wall of what it is established to create new
forms or revisit old ones in new ways.  There will always be someone is always
around to challenge the structure.  (Although sometimes I think we need someone
to challenge the unending belief that everything should be challenged... that
gets to be a bit oldschool, too.)

Thanks for such an interesting thread.

Audrey

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