Thursday, October 25, 2007

Then again...

Was thinking about what everybody including me were saying at the Daily Disclosures forum re video art necessarily excluding narrative, mtv, documentary (etc). Just realized that my work Eisenstein's Monster (still showing at the Lopez Museum until March of 2008) is roughly narrative (as it can fairly be described to be the account of Frankenstein's Monster's creation as told from the viewpoint of the monster) and, as the sound track contains the entirety of Tony Bennett's "Stranger in Paradise", can also be classed as a kind of MTV. Yet it doesn't seem to NOT be video art...

One possible moral of the story is that if the limits of any genre are pushed far enough, the specimen becomes extreme/outside/weird/puzzling/engaging enough to persuade us to call it art.

Another possiblity is that I was/am mistaken, and that Eisenstein's Monster is not, in fact video art. Or that it is, in fact an MTV. (This could eventually be judged to be the case. Some artworks start out in one category and wind up in another, according to the flow of history. Some of Nam June Paik's looped pieces (eg "Button Happening") used to be called films.)

Another possibility is that the "No MTVs, Narrative etc" rule is equivalent to insisting that a work must somehow transcend/exceed conventional boundaries for it to be considered "art". Perhaps our search for "art" is a search for the strange, the uncontained, the transcendent, the new, or maybe even just the unfamiliar.

At any rate, for this idea to have completely slipped by me for a couple of months illustrates how creation and criticism/analysis/philosophy can SOMETIMES proceed apparently independently of each other. I prefer to make stuff naively, following the trail of fun or whatever, but everything made, (however it was made) should be fair game for analysis, after it's made. Just because it was made in the absence of rational analysis doesn't mean that it should be immune from rational analysis. Evaluation doesn't have to parallel the creative process.

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