wow. I went to Grayson Perry’s “My Pretty Little Art Career” exhibition at the MCA today. he’s so prolific! and varied. there were pots/ceramics, paintings, tapestries, a digital room with interactive displays and screens plus his books and many others on ceramics etc., films, interviews, sculptures. I hadn’t seen his pots up close before – only images on occasion. I was thinking how great an example of collage they are – he has text, paintings, photographs, tradition patterning, modern styles mixed with the older styles. so layered! I was getting dizzy just walking around each one to see everything, and I think I missed looking at everything in detail and will need to go back again once I read through the catalog. loved the tapestries – the large ones were there – taking up long walls, and filling the room. such bright colours. I saw the ones from his tv series on social classes. my favourite was marked as a hand-embroidered piece, “Britain is Best”, which is quite substantial. so many French knots! and so neatly stitched. perfect rows. I also loved seeing some of the pages of his sketchbooks which were on display. I wish I could have seen more of these. he really seems to think in pictures, and add text notes, rather than making text notes with added images. it was great to see the preliminary sketches / ideas dump for one of the tapestries (from the tv series). loved his work, he really puts himself into the work, both in effort and as the subject. and I loved that Alan Measles, his teddy bear was featured quite often. as was Princess Diana. and Claire – even one of her dresses, and some photos. so much social and modern commentary and analysis in his work. loved the maps too – very intricate, and I could see some marks similar to Piranesi also. we were allowed to take pics too which was nice. some closeups below for things I wanted to remember in detail as great examples for inspiration.
I recall earlier this year there was a large discussion about “International Art English” (IAE) on some of the mail lists – on empyre-l, nettime-l, and articles on triple canopy and hyperallergic & the guardian newspaper site.
there was a conference held this year on the topic also — “Critical Language — A forum on International Art English”. I’ve posted the blurb below for reference. I’ve asked them if there was a recording of the sessions to listen to. will add links if they reply.
some other articles about it:
users guide to international art english — on the Guardian website
When Artspeak Masks Oppression — on hyperallergic
International Art English — on triple canopy
Grayson Perry talks about it in the 2013 Reith Lectures
A forum on International Art English
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 4:00–6:00 p.m.
$5 suggested donation
“International Art English,” published in Triple Canopy in July, has circulated widely and generated debates about the relationship between language, legibility, and power in the art world. The authors of the article, Alix Rule and David Levine, analyze a corpus of press releases circulated by e-flux in order to describe the language of contemporary art. They trace the particularities of this language to English translations of critical texts published in the 1970s in journals like October. The widespread use of the Internet has, they argue, accelerated the development of IAE, turning it into a kind of lingua franca; the proliferation of international variations—French IAE, Scandinavian IAE, Chinese IAE—ends up diluting the authority of critics, “traditionally the elite innovators of IAE.” Given these developments, Rule and Levine ask: “Can we imagine an art world without IAE? Without its special language, would art need to submit to the scrutiny of broader audiences and local ones? Would it hold up?”
With this forum, Triple Canopy hopes to provoke a critical response to the article, consider questions and perspectives eschewed by the authors, and solicit the perspectives of those who work with (or resist working with) IAE, whether they are critics, curators, educators, or publicists. Specifically, the discussion will focus on the political implications and uses of IAE, within and outside of the art world. “Thanks to International Art English, the artist can still appear vaguely subversive and the host state committed to openness, a mutual saving of face,” writes Mostafa Heddaya in a recent essay for Hyperallergic. How does such “critical” language direct attention away from the suppression of political dissent, especially when employed by institutions—and their proxies—operating in environments marred by human-rights violations, such as China and the UAE (or even the US)? How does obfuscation slip into propaganda? And do those who regularly produce IAE experience the language as burdensome or liberating, a welcome tool for the diffusion of power or another step toward a global standard of ambiguity and opacity?
The forum will be facilitated by Nathalie Anglès, Wenzel Bilger, Lauren Cornell, Mariam Ghani, Mostafa Heddaya, David Levine, Alexander Provan, Yael Reinharz, Alix Rule, Lumi Tan, and Hrag Vartanian.
I had a listen to the first lecture of Grayson Perry – The Reith Lectures 2013 a couple of weeks ago. I loved his comments and disregard (?) of the artworld and his analysis of International Art English language.
since coming across this, I heard also that Grayson Perry and Brian Eno are working together. I can’t wait to see/hear what comes of this collaboration!
the BBC blurb:
“The award-winning artist Grayson Perry presents the 2013 BBC Reith Lectures, titled Playing to the Gallery. Across four programmes he discusses what makes him an artist, the limits of contemporary art, how to gauge the quality of new artworks and the future of the avant-garde.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/reith – podcasts of the lectures & related material
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03969vt – Democracy Has Bad Taste: Grayson Perry: Playing to the Gallery: 2013 Episode 1 of 4
I see that the first lecture is also available on youtube
Grayson Perry- Reith Lecture No.1: Democracy Has Bad Taste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtehJ3O3vMk