A bigger splash, painting after performance, Tate modern

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

A bigger splash, painting after performance, Tate modern

Postby jasperjoffe » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:40 am


As has been said elsewhere, something cynical about digging up the poster friendly hockney to hawk tickets for a show on performance-art-painting. I always like to see old okcneys they are less finished, grubbier, than they look in books. Opposite is a Pollock on the floor, like he painted it, oh yes and then videos all over the place, proving that it's all about the performance. Well almost any activity requires movement but that doesnt make all life performance art, and if it does the term by encompassing everything then becomes meaningless.

The rest of this show is videos and stage sets, with a few curiosities and artists I hadn't seen before. The Splash has a rather depressing premise, one that conveniently require millions of monitors to be set up everywhere, as though looking at still handmade things isn't in itself radical and unusual, and requires dressing up with the blaring moving image. Elsewhere in the Tate the only place where things are left alone to speak in their own language, the Rothko room, is harrassed by a noisy Kara Walker video (a good artist still), the rest is all signs and context and some curator telling you what to think.

And the fact that painting has to be shown as performance indicates the institutional distrust of the elitist medium, one which requires skill, bravery, and intelligence to produce, and similar qualities to enjoy but can also be grasped without any knowledge, just by looking. Painting is not after performance, it is what it is, which is an extremely good thing, let it be without the noise, and trust the audience to look at it, rather than be heckled by posters and videos into a correct reading. Painting is part of the world, and at its best has something that is not found elsewhere, but by drowning it in contextual crap, it is lost.
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Re: A bigger splash, painting after performance, Tate modern

Postby CAP » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:02 pm

Couldn't agree more. If people want to watch TV do it somewhere else!

Keep galleries quiet or issue everyone with headphones. The soundtracks are just distracting for looking at paintings.

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Re: A bigger splash, painting after performance, Tate modern

Postby sara aziz » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:52 pm

yes, well put. there is a deep misunderstanding and mistrust of painting, and what u've described here (i haven't actually seen the show) seems to suggest another curator who actually does not understand what painting is; and in their own attempt at understanding they drag in a whole load of confusion. people seem to have really not recovered from the question: is painting dead? the question was as inevitable as it is defunct. i guess it parallels nitzsches statement: god is dead. the simplicity and essential being of painting is something that seems to absolutely elude so many, but this in itself is a symptom of trying to understand only through the mind and disregarding the heart and soul, in fact the mere mention of these is enough to throw off and confuse if not down right embarrass those who only see with the intellect, but without a connection to these u cannot penetrate art.
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