Friday, December 09, 2011

Reminder to myself

I'd say the required ingredients for real achievement in the arts are inspiration, talent, skill, industriousness and an unwillingness to be cowed by orthodoxies (without creating or adhering to an even more stifling counter-orthodoxy, the political analogue of which George Orwell so brilliantly articulated in "Animal Farm").

Diatribe of the day

The more I think about it, the more Modernism (and its close cousin post-Modernism) represent a repudiation of everything I believe about Art. Everything, except for the value to be found in the noble spirit of energetic experimentation (though the energy side of things has mostly evaporated in the case of listless post-Modernism). However, the elevation of the largely middling results of these often sprawling experiments to a gargantuan significance on par with the canon's masterpieces seems to me a colossal arrogance, an Emperor without clothes. Some will resent this position and accuse me of arrogance myself, and will deconstruct my use of "canon", "masterpiece" etc ad nauseum, but I simply exercise here a basic freedom; the freedom to think, to hold to my own values and to come to my own conclusions without allegiances. And to share those thoughts on Facebook. (By the way, don't get me started on media-driven "popular culture" either, I can't work out which is worse, especially given the marriage of convenience between pop-culture and po-mo!). I also need to add that of course many individual artists work loosely under the umbrella of these stifling orthodoxies and still manage to come up with work of true value.