Via James Lileks-Hip Docents & Radical Chic

I’m guessing every time a reasonable person indulges the latest performance protest at an art opening or public event, they incentivize more such behavior.

If an institution indulges it, however:

‘Upon googling the event, I discovered that it featured The Guerrilla Girls, who are art critics wearing primate masks. This is the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s website:

”In anticipation of the takeover, Mia asked the Guerrilla Girls to evaluate our collection. The results were shocking! How many women were on view? How can we bring equality to history? Discover the mysteries of Mia’s collection.”

Oy. Well, as to the first question, I imagine they mean how many women artists, and the answer for the pre-Modern collection is probably “near zero,” because there weren’t many, and the answer for the Modern collection is probably “close to zero except for Georgia O’Keefe,” because the mostly male art world devalued their importance. I’ve no reason to assume that the abstract expressionists or the action painters or the Pop Art lads were any less dismissive of women in art than the rest of men in various endeavors.

Hip and edgy institutional appropriation of such radicalism, insufferable as it is, also indulges the real radicals/activists.

Does that do the arts any good?

Via David Thompson:

If you build the art museums, some people believe ‘culture’ will follow, radical chic or not.

Thompson on David Byrne of the Talking Heads (featured in the NY Times):

‘I refrain from calling Byrne a socialist, but what goes unsaid here is that our objections are to a prior assumption by believers in state power, namely that because some undertaking is worth doing, that the state ought to be doing it. If Byrne is addressing society in the above quote (and I think he is to some degree, although largely by not making Bastiat’s distinction), he is doing so as if it were an aggregate, even an abstraction. This may be the essence of the statist mind: that an abstracted aggregate of other people ought to be devoting their energies to the effort I deem noble. It’s from there that the demands flow. The collectivist is not asking you to give up expenditures on your hobby to support his (even if his has been fashioned into a career), he’s asking the abstract aggregate to change its trajectory or support the arts or something nebulous and lofty like that. Cargo Culture springs into being when such demands are met.’

Related On This Site: When poetry went into the universities: Repost-From Poemshape: ‘Let Poetry Die’

Philosopher Of Art Denis Dutton of the Arts & Letters Daily argues the arts and Darwin can be sucessfully synthesized: Review of Denis Dutton’s ‘The Art Instinct’

Conservative Briton Roger Scruton suggests keeping political and aesthetic judgments apart in the humanities:Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment

How might Nietzsche figure in the discussion (was he most after freeing art from a few thousand years of Christianity, monarchy and aristocracy…something deeper?), at least with regard to Camille Paglia.  See the comments:  Repost-Camille Paglia At Arion: Why Break, Blow, Burn Was Successful

Hopefully it won’t go this far:  From Big Hollywood: ‘The National Endowment For The Art Of Persuasion?’

From NPR: Grants To The NEA To Stimulate

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