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Poll
The new breed of modern artist
Bores me shitless 42%
Irritates but never shocks 9%
Fails to register even as a small blip on my cultural radar 21%
Would be lost without semen, faeces, urine, blood, corpses etc etc 27%

Votes: 33

 Fuck Cunt Shit Piss Cocksucker Motherfucker Tits

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 12, 2001
 Comments:
There was a time when the very title of this article could have gotten me arrested. Unfortunately those days have long gone.

Now, in the nobrow culture which is so prevalent today, it has become necessary for me to exploit profanity simply to attract your attention, you fucking bunch of moronic retards. This '2 by 4' effect was first documented by David Shenk in his excellent book Data Smog.

...in a society where we are overloaded with stimuli, whether in the form of entertainment, advertisements and information, we attempt to block this inundation and bring it down to a psychologically manageable level. This results in, inevitably, more effort by those attempting to get their message across. In effect, they are trying to hit those who the message is directed at with a two-by-four.

Like it or not, 2-by-4 effect is now part of our daily reality.

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Excuse me while I take a piss in my shoe, and then drink it.

In my father's day, an artist was judged by his or her skill in painting and drawing, or by the ability to make a lifelike marble sculpture. Aesthetics was the watchword. One went to an Art exhibition, and came out refreshed, having seen the results of painstaking skill and artistic talent. This was true Art. It required artistic talent, and technical skill.

Excuse me while I smear fresh moose and elk droppings over my erect nipples.

These days everything has changed. The very meaning of the word Art has become compromised. Today Art is only valued for its ability to shock. And if it isn't shocking - it isn't art.

A man drops a headless bull carcass stuffed with fireworks from a helicopter whilst hanging naked and bleeding from a crane

Gunther Von Hagen uses real human corpses as sculpture.

Andreas Serrano pours urine on a crucifix in a bottle

Chris Ofili paints the Virgin Mary using elephant dung

Damien Hirst presents us with animal corpses in formaldehyde

A public library has 21 ceramic penises hanging from a rope

Michael Ray Charles thrusts racist imagery in our faces

Ron Athey cuts himself with knives and other bladed instruments

Artist Karen Finley smears canned yams on her bare ass in a work entitled 'Yams Up My Granny's Ass'

Art students fake a seaside vacation

Various individuals publicly suspend themselves from metal hooks embedded in their own flesh.

So common are these pathetic attempts to shock, they have become the subject of parody and ridicule in the mainstream media.

As an adequacy reader, you might be expected to enjoy such controversy. After all, that's why you enjoy reading the most controversial site on the Internet. But I expect that like me, you are really too sophisticated for all this juvenile posturing and have grown bored with the sheer predictability of it all. It has got to the point where we are seeing 'controversy by numbers'.

After all, one dung-smeared canvas is very much like another.

Excuse me while I take a dump in a polystyrene cup and throw it from the 20th storey of a tower block onto the rotten decaying corpse of a horse.

Anyone can have a Turner prize worthy piece of art these days . It just has to have some of the right standard ingredients. Pick any three from the following list and become a well paid 'artist' overnight; Semen, blood, urine, faeces, the Holy Bible, cadavers (human or animal), genitalia, racism, curse words, self mutilation, anything it would seem, apart from any actual drawing or painting ability.

Excuse me for just one moment while I slash my arms with a razor blade, while urinating on a holy bible, and shouting racist abuse as passers-by in an 'ironic' style.

One can imagine it won't be long before we see a Microsoft package, "performance artist" with a 'semen wizard' and a 'cliched blashphemey shortcuts' menu option.

Its clear that the controversy cannot go on forever. The public can only take so much semen, urine and faeces before it grow tired of the same old same old. They begin to suffer from 'controversy fatigue', failing to be outraged by anything at all, no matter how obscene, blasphemous or simply distasteful. Thus it becomes harder and harder for the artist to communicate anything of value.

Excuse me while I fill a swimming pool with pigs urine and proceed to swim around it, completely naked, shouting obscenities, and whipping myself with a cat and ninetails.

The controversy arms race means that the bar has been raised to such a height that it is impossible for a struggling artist to gain recognition without falling back on the old standbys that never fail to get media attention.

What can we the public do to stem this flood of fake controversy, to dam the tide of tedious cliche masquerading as controversy ?

Not much it would seem. Even childrens pop music has now fallen prey to the 'controversy for controversy's sake' brigade, with the band Slipknot leading the charge. It seems we are doomed. Doomed to a world of semen-encrusted bibles, corpses daubed with faeces, 'ironic' racial insults, multitudinous erect penises, rivers of urine, buckets of blood and yam-smeared buttocks.

A sobering prospect, I think you will agree.

I know that adequacy has a number of artists amongst its readership, so what do you think ? Am I off base here ? Or should I simply break out the elephant dung, scrape up the roadkill and start masturbating myself to riches ?


What art is. (none / 0) (#2)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 11:38:10 AM PST
People need to understand what art is really all about:

Art is about communicating subconscious mythological archetypes.

That, in concentrated essence, is what separates art from non-art. All of us live among cultural archetypes, archetypes we usually do not even notice. (This isn't related to Jung, BTW.) These archetypes are formed subconciously; this is just a part of socialization, the part that separates an anti-social maniac from a healthy human.

Now, true art is supposed to bring these archetypes to light, to showcase a part of our collective subconscious. This, in fact, is the attraction of art -- to bring light to concepts that normally are hidden deep enough so that they become unnoticable. This helps us come to true understanding and harmony with ourselves and our society.

Now, as ask you, does this epatage so-called-"art" fit any of these criteria?

I think even the most hypocritical liberalist can answer that question for himself.


--
Peace and much love...




I knew tkatchev was artistic ! (none / 0) (#37)
by Inden on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 02:33:46 PM PST
I'm so pleased to finally read tkatchev comment on something he seems to understand and appreciate - Art. I had just guessed because of his Russian-ness he was artistic - that was a total shot in the dark. But here I find I may have guessed lucky!

Molodets Gospodin Tkatchev! You are confirming our altruistic plans for your people in the next age of cooperative imperialism!


 
History of shock art (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by fluffy grue on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 01:51:35 PM PST
Actually, the "self-cutting art" practice dates back quite some time, to the affluent period before the Great Depression (i.e. the 1910s). Back then it was even more hardcore. What would happen was well-off showmen would buy the life of a nihilistic would-be performer; the agreement was that the showman would lavish the performer for a week, and in exchange the performer would cut pieces off himself in front of a crowd of others until he died of blood loss. The rich folk really liked to go to those shows; they could spend their money to see the lower caste destroy themselves for their amusement.

Shock art is nothing new.

Oh, and on a related note, around the same time it was widely believed that the meat of animals who had suffered would taste better, and so there were recipes for things such as cooking and eating a goose while it was still alive.
--
meep

 
A video is available online (none / 0) (#4)
by dmg on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 02:58:24 PM PST
Of the helicopter/bull carcass performance. It is at Wolfgang's website.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

 
It's awful (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 03:09:23 PM PST
What are people going to do to get our attention next? Crash airplanes into buidings? For crying out loud!!!



Jokes aside. (none / 0) (#13)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 09:40:34 PM PST
Actually, people in the modern "art" circle have already said that the WTC crash is the ultimate post-modernist artwork; in fact, after the WTC crash, it's pretty much pointless to do post-modernist art.


--
Peace and much love...




true (none / 0) (#14)
by nathan on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 09:52:50 PM PST
In particular, the nutty German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen really got in a lot of trouble for saying that. Stockhausen is totally out of his mind, and is btw a graduate of the Hitler Youth, so it's a real pity he's such a fantastic composer; but there it is.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Naw... (none / 0) (#17)
by noah Oneye on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 09:16:20 AM PST
Stockhausen is totally out of his mind, and is btw a graduate of the Hitler Youth, so it's a real pity he's such a fantastic composer; but there it is.

How is that a pity? I dare say, if he hadn't been a budding Nazi, he wouldn't be the composer he is today. Good artists are, without exception, freaks.


"...and in your free time you can make me sandwiches..."

I don't know... (none / 0) (#18)
by hauntedattics on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 10:22:08 AM PST
were Bach and Haydn freaks? Was Vermeer a freak? It seems to me that the idea of the artist as mad genius is a relatively recent construction, only really taking root in the early - mid 19th century. Before then you were just sort of a glorified employee of some rich aristocrat.



Most old germans were Nazis. (none / 0) (#20)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 11:14:12 AM PST
You cannot argue with the statistics. The Nazi party had millions of members in its heydey. Most children were in the Hitler youth. It was similar to the boy scout movement.

Chances are if you go to Germany and talk to a german over the age of about 50, there will be at least some Nazi connection in their background.

Alright, not all of them were in the Waffen SS, but plenty of them enjoyed a spot of goose-stepping from time to time.

It is for this reason that the English are less than enthusiastic about their membership of the EU. They see it as a Nazi inspired 'fourth reich'.


 
artist as mad genius (none / 0) (#21)
by nathan on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 11:33:45 AM PST
It's thanks to the European bourgeois revolutions (some peaceful, some not) that there exists anything other than aristocrats, professionals, and peons. And the peons really were the pee-ons - they had nothing. As the aristocrats controlled all primary resources and means of production, *cough*, most wealth generation took place under their control.

Mozart and Bach were not aristocrats, and their employers jerked them around right left and centre - by our standards. A good composer was valued about as highly as a good chef. The industrial and political revolutions that established the bourgeois, industrial class as an economic power in its own right took place, in Europe, in the generations between Bach and Beethoven. Beethoven was the first composer to be self-employed, more or less, although he had his share of wealthy patrons and commissions.

You can't have the artist as mad genius unless he can be economically independent - primarily concerned with his art rather than with his employment. Enter the XXth century, postwar, with money sloshing around like water. Now, most composers are academics, and it shows; and art is as rare as it always was.

History in a nutshell, courtesy of
Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
Interestingly... (none / 0) (#6)
by hauntedattics on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 03:14:47 PM PST
I read an article recently in which the cleaning staff of a London gallery inadvertently cleaned up an 'exhibit' consisting of a blank canvas on an easel, paint brushes, paints, an ashtray full of cigarettes and other trash around the easel. The cleaning staff thought it was some careless art student. Fortunately (?) they were able to retrieve the 'exhibit' from the garbage and 'reinstall' it at the gallery. The 'artist' responsible for the 'exhibit' was said to be highly amused by what happened. The irony, subtexts and double meanings here are just way too much for me. Give me a nice Monet, or even a nice Jackson Pollock.

(NOTE: if this article was actually a link from adequacy a little while back, my apologies. My poor little head is so bombarded with info these days that it's hard to remember every source.)



I think you should lie down, dear. (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 04:06:49 PM PST
It is all too much. The hallmark of modern 'art' is the complete lack of emotion it inspires. These cleaners weren't shocked, or awed, or moved, they were fundamentally bored by the exhibit, as is everybody else who has to look at it.

Modern Art is boring, and the more shocking they make it, the more boring it becomes. The only people it shocks is the 'establishment' of the art worls, this seems to be the number one aim of today's artists. Unfortunately, unlike artists of the past, such as Warhol, Picasso, etc, this means they aren't speaking to their generation, but rather trying to shock the last one, which is nearly dead. They will ultimately be forgotten.

The same holds true for modern architecture, btw. It exists only to shock the establishment, not to speak to the masses or the peers of the creators. It is all worthless and forgettable. Modern Art apologists like the illiterate animal zikzak completely fail to see this point, and shame on them. They insist on a 'trickle down' theory of aesthetics, which is nawt but pompous nonsense. These artistic bourgeous are sealing their own fate with their arrogance, and will be washed into the forgotten lakes of mediocrity (along with the Brutalists and such arseholes from the past) when the coming, rising tide of proletariat artistic consciousness sweeps up and replaces them with a true artistic revolution!

NOTE: if this article was actually a link from adequacy a little while back, my apologies. My poor little head is so bombarded with info these days that it's hard to remember every source.

That's okay, just you lie down, perhaps have a sleep, bless you. You must be tired, probably had a long day! I think you should let me make you a nice cup of tea while you rest here, then I'll rub your feet and clean them with a pumice stone as you drink the Oil of Bergamot scented Earl Grey and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer!


you repulsive animal (none / 0) (#8)
by osm on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 04:21:02 PM PST



I know :( (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 04:54:39 PM PST
I can't help my protective urges towards females, or my romantic nature :(

I enjoy serving them :(


No frowns (none / 0) (#16)
by hauntedattics on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 05:54:19 AM PST
You just have to find a female you find worthy of serving, who appreciates everything you do for her and gives back. For instance, you could rub her feet during Buffy, and she could give you a neck message during WWF Smackdown.

As for the comment about modern 'art' - I agree with you that it's boring. What was too much for me was the 'statement' that the artist was trying to make by leaving trash around an easel. Why can't we just see some art, recognize that it's art, and enjoy it for what it is?



is it? (none / 0) (#19)
by alprazolam on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 11:02:13 AM PST
modern 'art' - I agree with you that it's boring

damn, didn't know that. no more for me i suppose.


 
Shocking (none / 0) (#10)
by SpaceGhoti on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 07:57:20 PM PST
In the interest of brevity, I'll keep this short and sweet. I'll borrow from the venerable Mark Twain to make my response.
"We despise all reverences and all the objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our own list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us."



A troll's true colors.

 
hurf burf duh (5.00 / 2) (#11)
by nathan on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 08:14:19 PM PST
My main problem with this stuff isn't that it's shocking. It's that it's friggin' lame. Juvenile antics like smearing yourself with food just leave me bored and distracted.

You want shocking? Listen to those incredible suspensions in the introduction to the first mvmt of Mozart's 'Dissonant' quartet. You don't know where the hell they're going. It's tough to hear them, especially today since we have come to take dissonance for granted, but the effect is totally unlike anything else (including far more dissonant music; this Mozart shocks me more than eg. the Schoenberg G major quartet.)

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
Plenty of good art still remains (5.00 / 3) (#12)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 09:08:36 PM PST
There is plenty of quality art being produced today, art that does not rely on cheap shock value to draw an audience. The wide populaity of the Norman Rockwell retrospective that toured various museums in 200-2001 is proof that there is still a large audience willing to see quality art that is funny, touching, uplifting, and beautifully rendered.

One artist presently working that I would particularly like to call attention to is the painter Thomas Kinkade, whose works easliy outsell those of "artists" like Damien Hirst or Jeff Koons. Kinkade's paintings of cottages, villages, and New England landscapes are representational, yet can be analyzed on many levels, especially through Kinkade's use of symbolic imagery emphasizing his strong belief in the spiritual power of traditional family values (I use this term in a positive sense, not the hateful way it has been wielded by certain political groups). I strongly receommend that anyone with an interest in the state of art today take an honest look at Kinkade's work, work that has truly touched thousands of lives for the better.

Thomas Kinkade is just one example of a modern artist who relies on traditional artistic methods to create works that uplift the spirit and heal the soul. He is proof that an artist today can be popular and yet artistically successfull, without having to rely on shock imagery, or words like fuckbucket, coozeflap, douchebag, cocksocket, shitpit, ass-eater, titlick, fagsucker, dicknose, asswater, cockjockey, cuntface, shitpile, dogfucker, or dildo-head.


 
Piss (0.00 / 1) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 03:41:31 AM PST
Piss is a bad word you've got to be kidding.

Why do they have both fuck and Motherfucker does that mean buttfucker is ok?


 
ANTHRAX GUY (none / 0) (#22)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 09:43:32 PM PST
DMG

Sorry. I just can't take any of your posts seriously since your ANTHRAX MUST CHANGE THEIR NAME rant. Your an idiot.


Like I give a shit. (none / 0) (#26)
by dmg on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 03:09:04 AM PST
Fuck off and die then.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Struck a nerve huh? (none / 0) (#28)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 05:03:33 PM PST
Play nice kids. It takes all kinds to make the world go round. DMG fills a necessary role in our society. He must be terribly embarresed by his previous posts and there is no need to criticize him any further.


 
why do you degrade yourself to this? (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Nov 15th, 2001 at 07:57:27 PM PST
With such a well written post (tho you could have removed of view of the "shocks"..we got it) why do you give back all your repect in the form or pure feces?


He's human (none / 0) (#30)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 16th, 2001 at 03:43:42 PM PST
He felt hurt and posted a vulgar response in haste. Quite natural and perfectly forgivable. Poor guy.


Not quite (none / 0) (#34)
by dmg on Sat Nov 17th, 2001 at 08:32:09 AM PST
He felt hurt and posted a vulgar response in haste. Quite natural and perfectly forgivable. Poor guy.

Not quite. I posted in the persona of a 'modern artist' using the 2x4 effect to illustrate the point of the article. Come on, keep up, it wasn't that subtle!

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

 
oops (0.00 / 1) (#23)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 09:44:44 PM PST
forgive the mis-spelling

Yur an idiot


 
Blink 182? (none / 0) (#25)
by Tycho on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 01:34:13 AM PST
Since when have dodgy quasi punk band lyrics been good article titles on Adequacy?


Ever since... (none / 0) (#27)
by etherdust on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 11:27:33 AM PST
it was done by George Carlin as part of his famous routine Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV. Recorded in 1972, a time when the lads of Blink 182 were not even born.

You can't seriously believe that they (Blink 182) came up with it on their own.


--
That is all.

 
Hmm, I don't think so (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 16th, 2001 at 04:48:57 PM PST
At least as far as the Virgin Mary in Elephant Dung example goes, this is not shock art. You're totally missing the point. It's not like the artist plopped a big old turd on Mary's face. Elephant dung is an African symbol of fertility, and by painting a virgin who miraculously gave birth in such a symbolic medium, the artist makes a powerful point. You still may not like it, as was the shallow-and-evil-despite-his-"heroic"-recent-leadership Guilliani(sp?)'s opinion, but it's incorrect to dismiss it as simply "shock art" with no artistic value. Research your rants.



blah blah blah (none / 0) (#32)
by nathan on Fri Nov 16th, 2001 at 05:33:55 PM PST
I bet sticking her on a big ol' PHALLUS and symbolicly having her ride an ELEPHANT'S WANG would be an even better way of getting the point across. I mean, come ON. Since when has art been about "making a political statement" primarily? Since "Social Realism" and the Soviet Union, that's when.

"Breaking down the bourgeois conventions of society while making profound statements about intertwining meta-levels in the symbolic re-appropriation of a purportedly universal symbol of love" is no way to "reclaim our souls from the conventions of colonialism and internalized oppression;" it's just art-school shenanigans, and not particularly good or original ones at that.

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Thanks nathan (none / 0) (#33)
by dmg on Sat Nov 17th, 2001 at 08:29:10 AM PST
You saved me the bother of replying :-)

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

that post was fun to write. (none / 0