Criptic Critic Conscience and Known for it

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A somewhat earnest attempt to engage with the works of Simon Denny.

Just listened to a great interview between Mark Amery and Simon Denny about his show The Personal Effects of Kim Dot Com. Starts at 16:10

In this months CIRCUIT Cast; William Kentridge’s...
  • Mark Amery and Samin Son like this.
  • Wells Tao Unfair moan, life's like that alert: eleven years ago I made a huge work at the Adam gallery, where I exhibited a list of art works, or names of things, (Denny, in interview, talks of a list of KDC seized property as a conceptual/ sculptural impetus) and then presented some physical things from that list, simultaneously presenting a copy of those works in another part of the gallery, altering their mediums and scales. Christina Barton made a point of telling me that what I had done was not art, and basically that I didn't know what I was doing. One of the ramifications was, at a point where I thought I was about to enter the art market, I was ejected from it. It certainly helps not to be critical of art and it's system of production if you want to be allowed to "move up" the ladder. Sour grapes for sure, can't help but wonder what would have been, if only I'd been a better artist. It gives me a great pleasure to see Denny making this form work and with his star power have everyone lap it up. Even if his version of the cure appears (from here) to be the same as the illness.
    • Wells Tao That's not the point. The point is about how the game is played and who's winning. When only one side gets to choose both teams.
      Like · 1 · 16 hrs
    • Wells Tao
  • Wells Tao As someone who genuinely attempted to be a state propagandist, against captialism, and was rejected, I can't help wonder at how the guise of "in public interest" that Simon Denny evokes in this interview for me, with the "exhibition" and it's corresponding audience as art work, that the big winner of the day here is not a critique of the 1%'s 'wealth' but a mutual perpetuated celebration of it. Of course it would have to be.
  • Wells Tao And this goes to the heart of the matter, my work had things that fell out of what is valued by the market, (generally by being genuinely crappily made) which situated it (possibly) on a thresh hold of value. By being denounced a judgement was made that preserved the status quo. What possible judgement could be made about Denny's work that could ever threaten it's market value?
  • Wells Tao This is the art OF big business advertising on behalf of a very clever entrepreneur, ( which of course is art) who has trinkets to sell masquerading with a lot of love as a struggle over the meaning of privilege. Could have been me! Of course it is usually stupid to comment on a work that you haven't actually seen (doesn't stop the Walters committee) and also I don't usually think that the artist is the last word on the work.
  • Wells Tao As long as you don't talk about capitalism, you'r in, if you do you are out. As there is only one group handing out the prizes.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 21 hrs
  • Wells Tao On further reflection, I find myself loving this show (again with out having seen it), in a similar way that I love Disney World. I am seduced, I can barely help it. Though it may in the best Simulacra and Simulation tradition that to get to the 'real' it needs to be destroyed. Which for me raises the point of risk, what is truly being risked here, if this is indeed 'social cometary", to whom is Simon Denny actually offering a critique. It's at this point I am reminded of the behavior of the Labour party at he last NZ elections, where they publicly ostracized Internet Mana that Dot Com was a important part. Whatever Labour's reasons were, Denny's actions suggest to me a similarity to what it may have looked like if Labour had instead risked connecting to Internet Mana. But perhaps at the same time got IM to back down it's Feed the Kids stance. Because of the public perception that a party (IM) was calling for direct intervention into the starving of children by a government was reckless 'radical' behavior.
  • Wells Tao My point I think is, it is admirable that Simon Denny is possibly aiming his show at an idea of the middle class that supported the working class, that no longer seems to exist. Given the last election result and the seemingly collapse of an alternative to all out Free Market Capitalism. That is a risk, but perhaps the striking comparison is in contrasting the positions of relative privilege of Dot Com with Denny. In the world of the 1% which contemporary art arguably plays a significant part of, Dot Com, for better for worse joined the revolutionaries, did the hard yards and took the hits for it and risked to himself real personal change. From a sexist pig to well the jury is still in. But he did risk that journey. Dared to go there. What is Denny's role? What did he risk? What changed? I don't see it, in fact that I think would be seen as a failure, if there was change, you don't mess with a golden goose, etc etc...
  • Wells Tao Oh and that bit about the Internet Party having to give up their part that was 'radically' real in order to be attractive to Labour, i.e feeding starving kids is gross. For me, in my experience, critique risks being real, and that isn't attractive to those who don't need to be. Those who are significantly insulated that way and in fact need to promote that style of 'killer' financial pedigree in order to be winners don't need to think. Nietzsche observation, that the powerful don't need to think, they just do. ugh I've lost my train of thought...
  • Wells Tao This should be more thought out possibly before ventured into, but I was hoping to develop the ideas in a discussion of sorts on this format. That hasn't happened. Which I find interesting in itself.

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