Rhea Myers

NEWSgrist - where spin is art: Endgame Art: Fear of Form

NEWSgrist - where spin is art: Endgame Art: Fear of Form

I would call all these strategies fear of form, which can be parsed as fear of materials, of working with the hands in an overt way and of originality. Most of all originality. Can we just say it? This far from Andy Warhol and Duchamp, the dismissal of originality is perhaps the oldest ploy in the postmodern playbook. To call yourself an artist at all is by definition to announce a faith, however unacknowledged, in some form of originality, first for yourself, second, perhaps, for the rest of us.

(Quote from referenced article, not NewsGrist)

Even the most original artists remixed (the Sistine Chapel Ceiling is one vast derivative work), but for me recognising this allows us to recognise true creativity rather than simple variation or fashion. And immaterial work (for example code or digital work) is not fear of materials but desire to use new materials that afford particular possibilities.

For me the fear of form is expressed in relational art, in fear of social form that leads to a desire to dominate (or ironise). This is pantomime, even where it is fixed as stage sets or posters. Art as bureacracy in a way that even the conceptualists couldn’t have dreaded.