adventures in dysthymia

Friday, February 01, 2008

Great writing appears to change the world but in fact what it does is to reveal more of what the world truly is.

That's a quote I lifted from one of the various manifestos and essays at the Stuckism site (www.stuckism.com). Though 'Stuckism' (and 'Remodernism') is more an art movement than a literary one, I've been aware of and somewhat in sympathy with its ideals for some time. I wouldn't call myself a Stuckist, but I suppose I'm close to it.

And I wouldn't use the label because I do disagree with a few of its tenets, such as the idea that Modernism and Post-Modernism intrinsically differ. I'm with Tom Wolfe on this one -- both are essentially based, for better or worse, on the principles of conceptualism. The Stuckists try just a little too hard to bash what they consider 'anti-art.' Most anti-art may be bad art (and sometimes is so intended!), but that doesn't mean it isn't art.

But I do agree that the time is past for the current academic conceptual stuff. It is time to rebuild, to actually paint, to actually craft art of all sorts. Yeah, it's okay to present a piece of 'objective' art and let the meaning be in the eye of the beholder. It's also rather lazy. And if you don't actually have something to say, a discovery to make and share, what's the point?

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