(OFFICIAL)BIENNIAL.POST 7.WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF THE OFFICIAL BIENNIAL AND DOES IT FULFILL THEM?FOLLOWING A VISIT TO THE TATE CLAUDE PARENT AND DOMESTIC INTERIORS EXHIBITIONS. BY STEVEN BENSON

One of the overriding concepts behind the Official Biennial exhibits is: “how notions of intimacy, delinquency and inefficiency inform many contemporary art practices today”(Forward, by Sally Tarant, to the Official Biennial Book of reflective essays,”A Needle Walks into a Haystack”,2014).

INTIMACY

The Tate foregrounds many representations of domestic interiors, ostensibly blurring the boundaries between the institutional(ized)gallery and the actual home; but representation it can ONLY be. We ARE, when all is said and done, in a gallery; certain rules pertain. We may sit in the armchairs of the mock apartment but we cannot change the TV channels. So, however instructively and stimulatingly ludic: NO; there is no significant intimacy, no boundary is significantly nor any other than theoretically blurred; its an intellectual construct of intimacy, a representation(though it can, like all good art, of whatever genus, INTENSIFY our experience of direct lived life!)

DELINQUENCY

I  take this as in the sense of challenging/breaking down hegemonic rules. Yes, modern art,of various hues, DOES challenge the way we see things in real life: cf the de Chirico exhibit .It breaks rules; art can do this;we then perceive the thing as re-envisioned and re-appropriated; here the realm of the domestic as broken instead of harmonious( as a {sometimes falsely}Utopian concept)

So,if you like, creative delinquency. However, delinquency, even when (re)- appropriated(not dissimilar to queer)- STILL has over/under tones, pejoratively so,of pathology. So a complex, contested word.
INEFFICIENCY
Art for arts sake; the Pater-esque late Victorian Decadent movement; I like that; politically useless but playful; but perhaps NOT politically useless because decadence, and meta-politics is, by definition, still very political, in its reaction to the stifling establishment. Again, the re-useage of the former Trade Union Centre{http://decayetude.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/biennial-2014post-1the-ex-trade-union-centrere-using-old-spaces-by-steven-benson/}has, as I have outlined, put anything apolitical (if there is such a concept)into question; its attempted “reborn” half-life is full of political implications and realities.
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So is it all a load of self-indulgence? Is nothing really achieved but the curators’ phantasy/vision of creating their quirky assemblage/constellation of random art-works(some of whose status as artworks will be contested anyway!)?Yes; and no.The Claude Parent installation– up and down, aslant, queer pathways/architecture at an angle to everything-makes you consider how the architectural, (historically hegemonically privileged) grand narrative is replete with vertical and horizontal lines and surfaces (only).It is critically thoughtful and healthy to challenge that.
Generally speaking, however, the theme of some of the Official Biennial exhibitions-the domestic interiors leaking into the PUBLIC, institutional realm-seems, ultimately, to be a failed theory/phantasy.Performative, joyfully so; but it stops there. The former Trade Union Centre, once one of the hearts of the politicization of the domestic interior(s) of the marginalised, is dead; and is to made into yet more apartments for the upwardly mobile. That is a real political statement. The Official Biennial is only brave enough to make that statement by implication and through art theory discourse language(mainly); however, the Open Eye Gallery(post to come!) is a different story, and, indeed, is part of that very Official Biennial; but it slipped through the net. I hope to show why-soon.

 

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About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
This entry was posted in alterity, art, Biennial 2014, Birth of reader, life mirrors art, Phenomenology, queer, queer geography, Quirky captures, Re-envisionning, Uncategorized, Utopia, working outside hegemonies. Bookmark the permalink.

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