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[BKARTS] Re SPOD Books in the bookart realm ?? !!



> There's room for SPOD but not in the same realm I hope. Will there
> be book art shows that will have to exclude such books like fine art
> shows exclude glicee prints?
>
> I like the idea of doing a SPOD book as the 2nd edition to a "real"
> artists book and selling it at a considerably reduced price as a
> affordable reproduction but then there is no attempt at calling it
> something it's not.

The introduction of new media and/or techniques for artistic work has
historically been denounced by certain sectors of the contemporary art
scene, but that has rarely stopped them from eventually being embraced
(and sometimes even becoming the status quo).

Especially suspect have always been those things that smack of the
ordinary or have too many commercial associations. The Impressionists
embraced the new synthetic, ready-made paints that were being created
in by the industrialists of their day and were roundly criticized by
traditionalists who rejected their claims to art both for the
brightness of their palette and what they were doing with it. Likewise
went the adoption of acrylic paints in this century, not to mention
the use of household paints by artists who now hang in museums around
the world.

I find it difficult to understand the equating of medium with
art--either positively or negatively--especially when we have learned
time and time again that it is not a particular media that defines
something as art, but what the artists does with it. A painting cannot
claim to be fine art just because it has been painted in oils and lots
of great art is painted in oils, any more than a painting should be
rejected as art just because it uses some new type of pigment. The
media is not what is essential about art, though a particular media
might be essential to a particular artist's artistic expression as it
might possess all the necessary qualities to convey that artist's
vision.  But I think it a mistake to try then to translate that into
any kind of universal.  Doing so confuses the means with the ends; the
tool with the vision.

But if we are to learn something from history, then I suppose that we
must too learn that you are probably right in predicting book arts
shows that reject particular media.  There is well-established
tradition for such artistic conservatism.  The Academie excluded the
Impressionists from the Salon for not painting in their approved
style. The Dadaists were denounced as sick and destructive. Of course,
we also know what little effect such exclusion tends to have on
long-term standing in the art world, but that doesn't make it any more
pleasant or comprehensible to live through in the meantime.

Elisabeth Long

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