Aftermath of Thomas Albrecht’s Performance at Grace Exhibition Space, Body / Mass, Feb 7, 2014
Preliminary remarks:
I decided to forego the no-capitalization
policy I have tried very stubbornly to uphold. I wanted to create a more casual
and approachable aspect to my writing, and also attempt to eliminate hierarchy
that capitalization sometimes bestows on words, concepts, names, etc. But it
seemed that the content was as casual or unapproachable to many, as well as
just making it difficult to read for those who are not comfortable reading long
teenage personal diarrhea on the web.
And the real stuff:
A few recent observations about the “art
world” and “artistic discourse”:
1.    
No matter where you go, a
social community is inevitably social; i.e. there will be hierarchies and
dynamics that define the relationships between those involved—creator,
distributor, manager, promoter, consumer, etc. etc. but those relationships,
depending on the climate of the locale, may be more fluid than others, more
open to negotiation and flux.
      
I used to contrast my
frustration of feeling “locked out” of the “high art” scene in Venice, Chelsea
of NYC, etc etc with the free love of the “community” in the not-so-financially
supported Bushwick environment, but people are people and relationships will
end up becoming the shitty, standard, fixed, unproductive nonsense that perhaps
“art as commodity” has become unless we are aware of it from the beginning and
take action to protect what is good about the freedom, the raw energy, the
support of people who share common visions, feelings, spirit of a
time/generation.
      
Let Bushwick live at the edge
of art and gentrification; never let it fall fully into either one…

2.    
I made several decisions in the
past few years to slowly step out as “creator,” first, from being an
object-maker to one who speaks about objects, then to someone who “manages,”
helps, induces “creators” and others who speak about objects. So the latter you
can throw together a bunch of “professions” such as curator, editor, manager,
promoter, and I took the liberty of throwing in there “lawyer,” or at least
someone who went to school to learn about boring rules that some old white
farts made and keep making, and use that boring shit for purposes that matter
to me: art.
      
I keep telling people, it’s OK
to run around naked on the street or temporarily “steal” epic art from museums
without a permit, I will get them out of jail. I’m not really kidding. Do what
you need to do in the name of art, or in the name of shitting on art, and I
will do the dirty work of clearing the old white farts out of your way.

Aftermath of Nyugen E. Smith’s Performance at Grace Exhibition Space, Body/ Mass, Feb 7, 2014

3.    
This is kind of 2.5… But I have
sadly rediscovered the importance of CRITICAL art writing—you know, the kind
that actually requires thinking and not reading and regurgitating pre-existing
material, whether they be theory or press releases.
      
When I was told to write
reviews, and when I tried to tell myself to write reviews of art later, I
thought my words didn’t matter. The idiots who try very hard to get published
will get published and I don’t want to fight with idiots to gain exposure over
them because I am too smart for that kind of survival soul-selling bullshit… is
what I told myself to make myself feel better about not being able to write a
book of philosophy or poetry or new theory on the state of art in OUR generation,
since I am still young and all.
      
BUT after removing “art
criticism” as a serious obligation from my own plate, I noticed more and more
bullshit regurgitation passing as “criticism.” I cannot stand it!
Sadly, what pushed me to the point of this, verbal response,
is working on the other side: being a promoter of the creation, and not the
“press” or “consumer” or “critic.”
I wrote and edited most of the English-language press
kit material for a film recently, including the synopsis and press release.
A review was just published after the film’s screening
at Berlin. What do I see? Copy, paste, and rearrangement of what I had written
and edited a thousand times in the press kits.
You think I don’t recognize my own words, buddy? Or
maybe you think because there is no name on there, a press release just
magically appeared. Oh, I guess that’s what you think an “intern” stands for…
so many anonymous and over-qualified writers and thinkers working as “interns,”
producing promotional texts for “critics” and “journalists” to regurgitate as
their own original evaluation of an artist’s work.
Fine.
But to actually recognize someone rearrange MY WORDS,
then publish it as a “review” made me realize that, shit, that is what everyone
else does all the time.

Geraldo Mercardo Performing at Grace Exhibition Space, Body / Mass, Feb 7, 2014

Where is real art criticism? Where are all the critics,
REAL thinkers at?
Stop publishing bullshit, because real thinkers are not
damn machines that can churn out real words in real time. Creative thinkers
don’t work on Facebook time, Twitter time, or at least in depth anyway. Pay
writers for giving thought to their work, not for reproducing bullshit.
Give real writers and thinkers a good chance to
contribute to artistic discourse. The kind where relationships happen on a
genuine level.
BRING BACK ART CRITICISM!