“Floating Culture” and the Thickness of things…

Check out these two last posts on Henri Art Magazine:

In Hyperaesthetics – 19 sixty he describes our culture – POMO (Postmodernism) of an unacceptable lightness:

We are somnambulists and voyeurs, lost in the hallucinatory world of light-speed and lenses. We are no longer grounded. We float in the digital subjective, our voices not quite our own, because we have merged into the great electronic collective. (…) We lack depth and heft. We are light as a feather on the breeze – a world of Forrest Gumps. (…) We signify rather than converse. We develop games rather than create poetics. We program applications rather than create mythologies. Our vision determines nothing in the free floating vacuum of space.

Hm, interesting… It reminds me about Japanese Ukyio-efloating world, floating culture from 19th. century, which Hokusai captured in his great woodcuts. That was the world of hedonism, light-weight and extravagance, ‘unbearably light’ as M. Kundera would say. In Hokusai’s ” Great Wave” a disaster strikes dwarfing the frantic efforts of men in boats, who are about to perish. A big metaphor and vision at the same time?

Then, Jerry Saltz is being quoted as commenting on the “Generational: Younger than Jesus” (what an awkward title, after all) exhibition:These young artists show us that the sublime has moved into us, that we are the sublime; life, not art, has become so real that it’s almost unreal. I would disagree – that “Man is the measure of all things” – that’s nothing new; in fact, it has been said in 5th B.C. (Protagoras) and has been repeated endlessly in different forms from then till now. But, hardly ever before man was less ‘sublime’, if one takes traditional/dictionary meaning of the word as : elevated, noble, lofty, awe-inspiring, majestic and out-of-this-world… Well, one could agree on the last adjective Floating in today’s cyber-space, creating avatars and entire parallel worlds/lives online, living in the complex, globalized, absolutely commercialized spacethe contemporary man is, indeed, out-of-this-world. But, if the world he inhabits belongs to the ‘sublime’ experience is rather a questionable point…

Another post: Rough Trade – Thick is a logical consequence of the first one. We are too light, our art is too light… Solution? We have to become thicker… Actually, I find it fascinating – this author from another continent, another generation expresses, in slightly different terms, what I defined as: painting independent ‘living organisms’,  rather than just another image/representation. We echo each other intuitions, as if this mood and a need of a change was in the air:

It is not the “fresh air…around the painting” that we need to be looking at. We’ve had fresh air around painting for FAR TOO LONG. We need fecund, thick air in the painting itself. We need to be panting, gasping for air, in front of the painting. And it’s here that we get to the thickness of things. It’s like when one holds a thing in one’s hand – it has heft and weight, volume and form. It has temperature and texture, it asserts its existence. These are exactly the same things that happen when we look at things without the critical play, when we look at things straight away and it should happen when we look at art. We should see the Thickness of things and by seeing it, we should feel it…

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Henri – Mark Stone – is an American painter. To see his personal site click here.

About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

5 responses to ““Floating Culture” and the Thickness of things…

  • Hans

    Hello Katarzyna,

    how are you ? Great interactions going on at Twitter, same on Friendfeed. The Web moves from sites to feeds now. Would be nice to find you there: http://twitter.com/artclubcaucasus or http://friendfeed.com/grijsz

    Best regards, Hans

    • skonieczna

      Hi Hans
      Long not to see… Sorry. I’ve been trying to pull together different things, also in terms of my artistic development… I’m not sure about those ‘chatty’ sites… I guess, I’m still a traditionalist in terms of communicating via web – I mean – take your time, craft your message carefully, add something enriching to what is already there… Not simply generate more electronic impulses sending countless links, feeds etc… Though – must confess – I’ve just joined Facebook and quite enjoying it! It’s a great time-waster – in one evening one can meet and tease guys from the college, play poker with them and find out ‘what mental disorder are you?” in one of many weird quizzes… See u there then!

  • Danilla

    Занимательная интересная статья Да и в отличие от большинства других подобных советов воду в уши не льешь

  • Marinkina

    1 п. “Не имей сто друзей, а имей сто шекелей” тоже хорошо рифмуется🙂
    8 п. Ты никогда не потеряешь работу. Когда закончатся фотографии можно размещать рисунки (да хоть бы и конкурс объявить на лучший рисунок Одри (-:), аппликации и фотографии поделок из пластилина…
    9 п. Сто пудов !🙂

    • skonieczna

      I’ve been flooded with Cyrylic recently… Regret but don’t have access to the language to answer you. If u get in English – I don’t get u in Russian – I mean, I know the meaning of words, I don’t get the meaning of this all ‘per se’. I’ll be forced to ‘spam’ ur comments in the future, or translate them (if they’re legible) in order to make it accessible to all my viewers. Regards.

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