Thursday, June 15, 2006


For anyone who has ever wondered what on earth "fyrewede" is all's really very simple. It's just a Middle English spelling of fireweed. Fireweed is my favorite flower. I first came upon it when I lived in Juneau, Alaska. It grows everywhere there. It usually comes into its full glory towards the end of summer in August. People in Alaska say you can tell when summer is coming to an end by seeing how far along the fireweed blossoms are in their upward climb on the stem. The closer to the top, the closer autumn is to coming. Fireweed is so called because it has deep and durable roots that enable it to survive a burn. Often is the first flower to reappear after a fire has scorched the land.

But is it *Art*...?

My crusade against the ultra-minimalist mindset of "it's art if the artist (or someone in a museum/gallery) says it's art" is vindicated.

This is what happens when you let just any old thing wear the sacred label of "art."

Now mind you I have no problem with minimalism as a movement. Some minimalist art is *way cool* and clearly took time, thought, effort, creativity, and most important of all -- soul. I'm just saying there is such a thing as "too minimal to qualify as art."

A plain white canvas is just not art. The absence of art, perhaps. But it is not art. And saying "it's artistic to display the absence of something because -hey!- it made you think" is bogus.

Roadkill makes me think too (poor animals!), but that doesn't make it art.

Same with that annoying "Piss Christ" and "room full of dirt" stuff.

Not. Art. Nope.

Merriam-Webster defines art as "the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects; also : works so produced."

Note the words "skill" and "creative imagination."

No skill + No use of creative imagination = No art

A white canvas requires no skill beyond a sophomoric "Hey! Watch me pull the wool over MoMA's eyes with this one, guys!" Would love to know how much that guy won in that bet...

Fact: A rock and a stick are not art. Things to put art *on*perhaps. But (unless carved or sculpted somehow) they are not art.

Witnesseth this fact at work in the amusing news anecdote below below...
"Art gallery loses its head, displays plinth"

Thu Jun 15, 9:11 AM ET

One of Britain's most prestigious art galleries put a block of slate on display, topped by a small piece of wood, in the mistaken belief it was a work of art.

The Royal Academy included the chunk of stone and the small bone-shaped wooden stick in its summer exhibition in London.

But the slate was actually a plinth -- a slab on which a pedestal is placed -- and the stick was designed to prop up a sculpture. The sculpture itself -- of a human head -- was nowhere to be seen.

"I think the things got separated in the selection process and the selectors presented the plinth as a complete sculpture," the work's artist David Hensel told BBC radio.

The academy explained the error by saying the plinth and the head were sent to the exhibitors separately.

"Given their separate submission, the two parts were judged independently," it said in a statement. "The head was rejected. The base was thought to have merit and accepted.

"The head has been safely stored ready to be collected by the artist," it added. "It is accepted that works may not be displayed in the way that the artist might have intended.";_ylt=Ap89nEhLt2pFnyJ5XDmfYrXtiBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--