Text originally printed over the course of 10 posters produced between
February 2017 and January 2018 and distributed through Art Monthly magazine.
For Wall Exhibition, Class Use, Audio Visual Presentation, Lecture, Epidiascope &c.
TEN TO ONE:
SUPERNUMERARIES TO ARTHOOD.
For only whoever stands outside their boundary in some sense know that they stand within it, that is, knows it as a boundary. Kasper Hauser did not know that he was in prison until he came into the open and could see the walls from without.
Our Aporias are Evident. This is What is.
...but from the point of view of practice, art constitutes an autotelic entity. What such conditions of production require is a more that heavy handed form of criticism of the celebration of art as protracted do-it-yourself maintenance job. But it appears that arthood is content only to endlessly consume yesterday’s productions today, in readiness for them to be shat out afresh tomorrow.
Artists produce with assurance so long as the artistic institution itself is considered unproblematic. If the institution is problematic, practices not content with just affirming the institution rightly become troubled with critical doubt. For practices to function critically, they need to be critical of the system in which they operate. A simple saving truth.
Do Not Exhibit, Submit to the Grand Inhibition.
… whilst allowing ourselves to be preoccupied by what appear to be overly obvious questions that are constantly hamstrung by ailing solutions, normalised and taken for granted: why exhibit? Why produce art?
Exhibition in Trance. Cul de sac. À la fin de la route.
Artists, in celebrating and affirming the wholesale privatisation of their own relations of production and distribution; subjugated and sucking vigorously on the drip-feed of contingent opportunities of late capitalist structures, have seamlessly setup the conditions for the maintenance of a system long devoid of purposive function. These conditions might be defined by a cultivated failure to construct a criteria for judging the validity of arthood’s own output. Is there an alternative to producing work subjugated by the drip-feed of contingent opportunities of late capitalist structures? Should critical art practices engage with current institutions with the aim of transforming them or should they desert them altogether?
...might ensue if it is understood that the rudiment of criticism is a criteria to make distinctions between bad and good work. It follows that if art fails to validate its judgements, interest in art whether operating autodidactically, or under the pretext of some vacuous nodding academic research can only be part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Forms for Demonstrations of Work.
How can we display a work in a public context while functioning clear of the contradictions of exhibitionism: that art professes a kind of transcendental freedom while simultaneously functioning as a by-product proselytized by the institution and the market, that eliminates criticism. Is it possible to produce an exhibition that wholly criticises exhibitionism?
Fossils Seen by Neanderthals.
The front pieces are ostensibly a reason to ‘engage with our contemporaries’, [Corris email] and all raise the spectre of the artist vowing themselves as self-importantly connected to a special revelation and alleging an incongruously grandiose resource of insight with no justification provided - the artists stating “ If I say it is so, then so it is.” Their quotes are redolent of a kind of genteel and complacent authoritarianism of contemporary ‘artspeak’ when artists speak of the presumed significance of their work, all resting on an idea where marketing yourself as career and brand is the presumed correct and unconsidered tactic.
Every artist, bar one, makes assertions in which there is no structure of argued logical succession.We should be rid of this kind of brooding over the artist’s interior as a sacred mystery because arthood rests easy here. The confluence of dealer, curator, consultant, adviser and agent roles, and their sublimation to a mere mechanism dominate the relations of production in the words of these morally pathetic, unreflective accommodators to routine. But we’ll give them this, even the catatonic are allowed a knowing look by some psychiatrists.
People of Mark and Prevailing Norm.
These ten posters constitute something to distribute, as 2000 cuckoos within an ailing Art Monthly or mailed directly to 50 austerity art colleges. The text, at base, represents further attempts to improve the practice. On the verso we have made for ourselves, month by month, a small gallery of mugshots, a portable pantheon to carry down with us to that oasis of horror in a desert of tedium within the walls of arthood.