Monday, July 12, 2010

not all art is conceptual

oh very well, so i was wrong. i should have said `all referential art is conceptual' or something like that. or (anyway, most interestingly): `all figurative art is conceptual'.

and still that would miss the mark of accuracy, since a substantial part of art is about the direct (mostly visual) experience. which is not always referential i believe (although there might be scientific debate on how much referential activity goes on in the brain when looking at art), and indeed there is in our time quite some art which is completely about the direct experience. one could call this experiental art, let me look up this term to see if it has been coined already.

so it would be perhaps not so interesting but more accurate to say:

most figurative art
has a large
conceptual component

but this type of statement obviously has far less appeal than postmodernized statements like:

not all art
is conceptual
(but this is)

anyway, to continue where the previous post left off, why coin the term `conceptual art'? this term is generally reserved for art which is mainly conceptual, meaning that visual referentiality, artistry & craftmanship play a lesser role than in other art.

in the most extreme cases, the conceptual artwork is not even physically realized, other than as a description of a physical possibility (perhaps even impossibility).

as an example, below ralf kwaaknijd's conceptual artwork `touch mahal':

`A large army transport-helicopter filled with crude oil flies above the Taj Mahal, and spills the oil on the white dome. Riots break out, the clean-up is lengthy and difficult.'

kwaaknijd himself says: "This artwork targets the vise of religion & capitalism in which the world is held, ultimately leading to strife, war, poverty and global pollution. Black-and-white thinking blocks any serious effort to address these global problems. And we are content to let the status quo continue, until some catastrophy forces us to act."

For some other interesting examples you might want to check out Monochrom (or not, then sorry!).

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