Saturday, February 12, 2011

"What I notice about writing coming from artists who have emerged more recently from the educational system, however, is that it has begun to look more and more like the writing produced by curators, critics and academics. It is increasingly homogeneous. This should not be a surprise: as more and more art schools become degree-granting institutions, students spend more and more of their time in academic courses and courses that deal with the professional world in which they are expected to function — i.e., courses on curating, critical writing, museology, etc. At the same time the cost of education has risen rapidly, so that many, probably most students need to hold down jobs during their years of post-secondary education as well. All of which must logically leave the student with less studio time, less time to devote to developing his or her own ideas and to the making of art, but well schooled in the thought patterns and linguistic habits of curators, critics and academics, hyper-aware of the art historical context in which they work, and with a pretty good understanding of the art system. The art-school graduate of 2010 may leave school without having made anything of much consequence, but set up to write a pretty impressive sounding artist’s statement. We have moved as far as possible from the position expressed by Barnett Newman’s famous quip that “Aesthetics is for the artist as ornithology is for the birds.” (5)"

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