Richard Phillips: A gallery of death, an interpretation by someone obviously not from an American. A schism between instrumentalization and diversion o politics and misinformation. Third Reich art, for example.
Sheri Pasquarella: Narrative art as a social structure has been used by the oppressors to create a schism between high and low class? For example, the Nazis choices of art between good and bad as between abstraction and representation. Another is contemporary Asian art and the lack of "great art". What people are responding to is artists who market a hegemonic "asian experience" that target the low rather than push contemporary art.
Fred Tuten: Song Dong's MOMA presentation is amazing.
Pasquarella: Not trying to be dismissive or insulting but regarding the artists who are art market ready. Zhang Huan's performance work are beautiful but as her became better known, he started working on narrative paitng made of ashes, which are less engaged, culling images from Chinese newspapers, sentimental, and allegiance of the Western art market.
Tuten: Polish posters during the Cold War were beautiful as it lack materials but as soon as resources became available, they started slipping.
Pasquarella: Polish artists, textile wool, hand knotted sculptures were volvic and sexual, did not have use value in art but 30-40 years into her career there is lack of innovation.
Alexander Dumbadle: A couple of things: symbolism has a 1-1 correspondence but what I'm interested in the patterns of interpretation and changes of belief as it changes in time. Contemporary CHinese artists for example feel they have to tackle both their art as well as Western art. When interpretative conventions come together, they become messy.
Joseph Bartscher: Going back to Prose, Moby Dick, insisting literalness seem over the top that there is a tension to keep it not too literal.
Francine Prose: In all the art we like, there is something mysterious to it. In Melville, the only way we can approach it is to give all their information and to give something that lacks iinformation, keeps it in the mysterious.
Dana Schutz: Interesting that the idea of interpretation has changed and how the media changes, esp looking at The Kitchen's show on abstraction. I didn't think of it as Appropriation at all. It's really the curator's concept. Appropriation is so inherent in the way we work and the way we see art. I'm reading an essay by David Foster Wallace and I wonder how he would interpret images on the internet.
Prose: What do you look like on the internet?
Schutz: Nothing! I was painting stripes and my friend Mark is painting stripes and we discover that the stripes mimic the stripes of the Yahoo label. I think young artists today do not think about allegory right now.
David Salle: Who does allegory well now?
Schutz: I'm thinking of the difference bween Curin and Trecartin.
Pasquarella: Discovered by Myspace, etc.
Phillips: They are incredibly structured though. For all frenetic energy, they are all accountable and the windows of the windows, etc. are on purpose, simulateneous organization of form and images.
Dumbadle: Formalist criticitsm overrides all other kinds of intepretations. Some art criticism can take away all content, a kind of default mode, which to me is a kind of cope out.
Schutz: It's hard to talk about formal language without sounding it just as "formal."
Pasquarella: David and I were talking about a curated show with Phillips is the way we talk about art is on one side is conceptual, the other is formal. If you want to be smart conceptual, conservative, formal. This has been divisive, and organized artists in non-productive ways. The divide has been a "hoax."
Salle: Catherine Ann Porter wrote an essay on Gertrude Stein discussing on Stein talks about people, can be categorized by attributes of physics, some are 'pushing,' others are "receiving." The types are not conceptual or formal but rather physical. Its hard to do this kind of shedding but I feel like we need a new vocabulary to describe the work. How is Robert Barry different from Charles Scheeler?
Tuten: Museum of Jurassic Technology.
Simone Subal: CLUI. I was just with Baldessari, discussing California conceptualism, History is understood as a line, and the only way to understand now is by looking backwards. To understand history is to understand where you are drawing the line.
Prose: People are very uncomfortable when not being able to classify something. This is perhaps an art education than an art practice problem.
Tuten: What would it have been like to have seen Van Gogh for the first ime?
Pasquarella: Have you not seen something new that is now canonized?
Tuten: Of course!
Prose: Art has become embarrasing in that way.
Chris Dorland: But that is the function of art, in changing. Art for me now functions as critique. Thinking about images about images about reality, which is what painting in general has always been about. We are loosing our grip in reality because of technology and the speed. Art when it functions best is not about feeling than a shift in changes of ideas and relationships to space, and not to emotions like literature.
Pasquarella: Do you think about your audience when you paint?
Dorland: Yes in the context of images in the context of images people perceive. For me, art is about complexity of the way you perceive the world rather than how you perceive the world.
Prose: What would be the ideal response for a viewer for you?
Dorland: I just want them to laugh, snarky laugh. I've just become increasingly cynical. Another thing that we haven't talked is how art can shift from being good to bad and how it relates to the art market.
Tuten: The difference between to me is that an artist can be successful with 10 collectors, a writer can't. A writer needs to think about his audience more.
Pasquarella: Artists, do you shift in order to become more accepted?
Phillips: An artist is not without control with what they do. Whether you choose to ignore that and passively produce to fulfill an art market, then that is your choice. Artists have the potential to shift the debate. People will produce work that they will feel satisfied with, even if it is considered to be currency and sub-contracted to other people's ideas.
Artists have the ability to control images and symbols from the first concept to its final display and marketing. Artists can be engaged, both conceptual and non-conceptual art. The division really was created by dealers.
Dorland: As art moves to the art market things become more complex. Students now are studying not art production but the art market. Jeff Koons' complexity in his production can be traced back to the 1970s.
Schutz: To me artists do not think of this. For me its about meaning and making "meaningful" work.
Dumbadle: Meaning though is something created by the art market. Its not about the production. But the market cannot erase the mystical, spiritiual feeling of art, like the early work of Damien Hirst. I think the market has taken away the responsibility of artists and the role of meaning and criticism.
Susan Cappa: I do question though the universal emotional idea, that people everyhere for example had an emotional reaction to 9/11.
Prose: Most of the best writing regarding 9/11 is not about it exactly but rather in the shift in changes in how people lived.
Pasquarella: I've alwasy thought of the art market as a good indicator of what's happening socially and culturally. The market had a direct relation to 9/11 as the euphoria of suriving connected to the art boom. The highest priced work in an auction by an American artist is Warhol's green car crash, dark, morose but consumerist.
I think there is a difference to make between consumption and the market. People can be consumed without being quantifiable by the market.
Dumbadle: 9/11, memorials, photos, its like watching a movie.
Michaels: Everything changed and we are only now figuring out how everything changed. It was a symbolic event.
Salle: Stockhausen as it was an artistic event.
Dumbadle: Literature was focused on emotion and I'm wonidnering if the visual artists can't reflect this because of this.
Salle: What artists do this work?
Dumbadle: Isaac Julien's work does this in some ways, wiht multiple perspectives and questions of temporality.
Michaels: We no longer have any philosophers to point the way?
Pasquarella: Everyone keeps referencing the same philospophers of the 1970s, Barthes, Baudrillard, Lacan, etc.
Subal: Well I just did a bunch of studio visits in Berlin and they were very sincere. They were less theory focused and more about feeling, more present, less cynical.
Michaels: I feel like Warhol changed all of that.
Salle: I can't think of anyting more acidic than Warhol. Does that trump everything else and why bother or start from him?
Pasquarella: I think artists now are appropriating minimalism as a new process, like seriality.
Salle: I just think its bad taste to appropriate the Kennedy funeral just a year after.
Dorland: What I think Warhol did is that he fused conceptual and pop art to discuss capitalism. In America, our new relition is capitalism. It isn't till 9/11 when things change and the after effect of the economic crash, now we are in a different world.
Salle: If I did a painting of twin tower image, the image would overwhelm the painting. Warhol though the painitng trump the image without losing the power of the image.
Prose: But everything is the conceived of as the same though.
Pasquarella: I'm not sure if Warhol is though. I think in general is the de-sentizisation of how we perceive the world. Bourdieau's study of car crashes and in relation to the Warhol sale. The art market justified the aesthetic complexity of the image and its prespoderance. Its a complete social change.
Dumbadle: Interesting that we have mentioned about medieval art. By analogy we are making art blurred by life.
Salle: Identity is so suspect right now.
Michaels: What is our belief systems now?
Schutz: Someone said painting is pointing. I was on a panel, and everyone said the same thing, which is trying to find truth. Which is very weird. I never thought of my work as trying to find truth. Everything seems collapsed now.
Pasquarella: Do you think there is an absence of belief?
Shutz: I think you can have belief. You can have both, belief and speculation.
Michaels: To me its about belief in the work, not about Marxism, etc., but about belief in the power of the work, in the ephemeral. This connects me to 9/11, the shock to our moral systems.
Phillips: But I think the idea of making work, of beauty, is not a huge assumption of beauty of the work that I would not agree with. There is a malevolent purpose to the work but then there is terrible circumstances to life which differ and shift.
Prose: But I think its about compulsion, the need to produce work.
Phillips: Is working in art sincere? Berlin has become the Bangalore of the art world.
Pasquarella: Do you apply sincerity or skepticism in your work?
Phillips: I use both.
Pasquarella: Is this about context.
Phillips: Yes. Warhol was the first to expand the consumption of his work.
Dumbadle: Everything seems to start with Warhol. All these various ways are riding in various sensitives.
Salle: How can artists cannot be trumped by images by popular culture? Ruscha has a way to doing it. Any other artists.
Pasquarella: Both high and low culture have embraced him, which is very interesting.
Salle: Let's put a mometorium on Warhol but the point is his audacity in appropriating imagery in which he held the upper hand. When I see artists doing that, they lose. Popular culture will always win.
Bartscher; What about Kentridge's early films.
Salle: Seems more like agi-pop to me. I think literature works better.
Prose: One think Caravaggio and Warhol have in common is that they were right without knowing it.
Dumbadle: Maybe what separates this generation than Warhols is that the need to trump, to be the most original artist has changed. I think there is a less of an impulse to trump now. Our model of revolutionary change has become passive, as in Tiannamen Square. I think this has a relationship with the artists.
Salle: To me to trump it is to not sentimentalize it, the image.
Pasquarella: I don't know how an artist can control and make work that has the same currency in the art world as in the popular culture. It ends up being very limiting. If I want to expand my audience then I limit my critical audience.
Schutz: I don't even know how to make something populist.
Pasquarella: What about the tapestry with Yvonne?
Schutz: I won't do it again because of the divorce between art and not art, high and low, unlike in Europe.
Pasquarella: Maybe its not acceptable to be both and just exist in the art context.
Schutz: I make work in the context of my peers and that's enough, a good sample audience.
Prose: I write for my friends and for dead writers. Of people who get this, I write for them.
Dorland: I like Richard Prince's work. I think Eric Fischl for example wears his allegory on his sleeve.
Prose: What they have in common is their obviousness, though.
Schutz: What about abstraction? For my generation, abstraction is very allegorical, the gesture means something, the brushstroke being a representation of a brushstroke, etc. It's not clearly tied to a representation.
Dumbadle: Mary Heilmann's work for example is allegorical but not.
Phillips: Tony Smith too.
Tuten: I can't have the last word on Warhol. His definition of capitalism is you can be the richest and poorest but you can't change the taste of Coca Cola.