12 April 2005

random bits of glee and thought in a publicatory environment.

i would just like to say that i am officially ruined for any other internship (or job, for that matter) i may ever find myself in; Brick (Literary Journal, to the uninitiated) is Bloody Fantastic.
and here i find myself again with new snippits, new people... what's the protocol, blogging alumnae? names? no names? the generic and strategic third person for those of you reader(s) who have no idea who i'm talking about?
perhaps i'll just start writing and see...

to start with, the entire office was Rife with the scent of one tiny but ambitious hyacinth plant, which is blooming like some Great Blooming Thing in the window, and made cheerfulness inevitable at the start of the day.

we went to biz depot on a sundry postage mission. when we got there i elected to stay silent about this sudden (and predictable, i confess) desire to purchase all manner and copious amounts of post-it notes. this is real business, i thought; there are more important things at stake than my strange and embarrassing predilections for sticky bright paper.
as we wandered through the aisles, we came, of course, upon them. my heart galumphed for a moment, but i remained strong and walked away empty handed.
then, as we got further away from the danger zone, Rebecca (managing editor Extraordinaire) turned to me and confessed an excessive Love of office supplies that was bordering on addiction. she Too, it seems, had had a moment of reckoning when we were in the post-it notes aisle. when all was told, we revelled like two fellow sufferers finding themselves off the wagon and running amok through the office supplies.

i find things like this very edifying.
(i am, of course, easily pleased.)

later we had a discussion (whilst stuffing envelopes for aforementioned postage) about Humour as the only way to get past taking oneself too seriously. for the first time in ages i found myself thinking once again about Lear's Fool, one of my ALL-TIME favourite characters in Literature, (next to Erasmus' Stultitia in Praise of Folly) .
i Truly believe that humour is the Only way to function properly in a world where no one wants to hear the bare Truth about anything. you say everything you can possibly say, and when someone feels threatened, you pass it off with mirth and mockery.

the unwritten fact, the Glorious wonderful thing, is that if you have spoken honestly, Everyone will know it, even if you laugh it off.

laughing off honesty. heheh. comedy=denial, obviously. back to the opposite of tragedy. how excellent. of course many people cop out of telling the truth when it gets tough with stupid jokes and dismissive comments. Different from Humour. VERY DIFFERENT. that's not what i'm talking about.

everyone should have to read King Lear. sorry, all you anti-Shakespearians out there. but it's true.

what other pithy little remembrances have i got about the day's dialogues....hmm.

i happened upon a Stunning photograph of Carole Corbeil, which we agreed looks like "nostalgia personified"... and i think we all agree that nostalgia is Just Fine, thank you very much. It was really utterly captivating. and very odd, to see such a peaceful photo of someone who has passed away.

my other office cohort and boss, Yohannes, made a comment that the concept "a picture is worth 1000 words" is ridiculous. i agree Wholeheartedly. the problem with pictures/visuals (and probably the reason they are so much more coercive than copy) is that they leave nothing to interpretation. think of the following: a billboard with a photo of some skinny chick on it, and the phrase "some skinny chick" (divorced from the billboard context).
which one is more accomodating to your thoughts?

pictures can only mean 1 thing.
1000 words means... infinity.

and also, you can't airbrush a word.

of course, in addressing arts, one must (must one? yes, i guess one must) address things like those ridiculous balloon installations and whatever other post-modern art pap that should have stayed in idea form on a piece of paper amongst pretentious gits trying to outwit their viewers.
to be fair, the glorious paintings of the Renaissance were nothing short of propaganda, it's true.
but what aesthetically preferable creations to some of the wankery we see gracing gallery walls on Queen West!
you know what it is? those Renaissance paintings were Intensely Human.
balloons on a wall are just party favours.
NOT everything is Art.


kim said...

it note.
King reaL
Shakes peer.

JP said...

A link to more Not Art for you.

steflenk said...

my response to this is delayed, i apologize. i wanted to give jp's link some real attention before commenting. i hereby paste in a snippit from www.goodreads.ca

i direct you specifically about 6 paragraphs down in the article, and quote it here as well, for those of you disinclined to the non-sequitur click:

The problem is that students in art schools, especially at the undergraduate level, are taught the Duchampian paradigm 'it's art if you say it is, and saying it's art when it's not artful is itself a radical act.' They're taught to be suspicious of the beautiful and the interesting, and to follow their quirky whims regardless of the relevance they have to anyone else. They're also taught, without ever being explicitly told, that as soon as something is art, it's precious. As a result, art education creates artists who believe that they don't have to try very hard to make something of immeasurable value.

This is no service to the art world. In fact, I think it's why art is suffering such a crisis of irrelevance to the public at large. The work we're producing is just not good enough to catch the eye of the non-art-initiated viewer, let alone to hold her attention for long enough to make her care.

i'm not suggesting that this is THE definition of art. that would be like saying, there is a God, and this is what "he" looks like.
i am asserting, however, that this is a definition very much akin to what i feel is a big problem with many of today's artistic endeavours.
i would like to temper my response, however, with a tip of the hat to our earlier IRL conversation about this, JP, when we were speaking about Dada, and it's evisceration of all that went before, and how successfully that brought forth a new perspective and a new era in art-making. and art making that i am also a great and loyal admirer of.

i think there is room in the art world (and i mean all arts, here) for anyone who honestly wants to communicate with others. i think the ideas people wish to keep to themselves (by manifesting them in obscure and unwelcoming ways), should be kept to themselves.