Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Splendorous Form of Noise

To see the following video you should enlarge it (double-click once playing).

The above is a compilation of works by the Swiss artist Zimoun.

1. Funny, one keeps telling oneself, enough of the minimal already, somehow feeling that less is a bore should be embraced, and the outrageously overflowing art of the recent years - appreciated and encouraged. And then, something like this appears, and it's irresistible. We've seen things from this universe before, also on this blog, and yet, the simplicity, yes, the damn purity takes over again.

2. I had a chance, recently, to visit several large factories. There were wonders there that could probably match most of the things on this video. Yet there was one thing they couldn't do: be useless. It's the sheer uselessness of it that gives it the power. We are not attached to anything but the thing. Art as the thing-that-cannot-be-used? Not necessarily, not in some purist sense. Great industrial design is to be cherished. And yet, there is a level of insanity here, of out-of-this-world-ness, that takes us to an exotic land, allowing for the silliest and most delicious connections to be made.

3. Luxury requires waste. A truly luxurious lifestyle is one where perfectly good things get wasted, as if to outplay their natural use and dying away. The true master of luxury seems to be saying her opulence is so great, the very perseverence of things is no match - they lose their original function and only exist to the extent they are participating in this out-of-this-world-ness of luxury.
You know what I'm aiming at? Here's the hypothesis:

4. This, this minimalist joyful pleasure-making, is the true luxury. Not the apparent richness of the new complexities. In the world of useless purity, everything only serves the joy of simple aesthetic pleasure. More complex works are not quite like that - they have an inner game to play. The elements enter a dialogue, start relations and societies, with their conflicts and functions and disruptions. Here, there is only the ping of a shot of pleasure. This engine moves nothing. It is here to make me smile (or bring inspiration, or scare) - and I turn it off as soon as I have. And don't be mistaken - if I had one of those and got bored with and could afford it, it would go to waste.

4a. Ah, you might say, but the truly great art is one we don't get bored with. Possibly. Yet how often do we actually go back to contemplate (not just think about or admire or analyze) a work of contemporary "minimalist" art? Does it mean it's because it's not that great? What if it's about something else? What if it is an element of luxury, a game we play with ourselves, to feel the exquisite taste of the sophisticated dish, and then to ditch it as soon as we're fed up? It wouldn't be a question of bluff, of fakeness, of shallowness. It would be a question of use. Of why we crave it, this new. Of how we make it useful after all.

David Foldvari, Wrestler



L.M. said...

This is my favourite post of everything I've read on your site. (having a soft spot for useless purity, while practicing something much less pure, but happily as useless)

vvoi said...

Oh thank you L!
Great to see you back!

The funny thing is, it is probably one of the posts I'm most sceptical of. I rewrote it twice, and still I find it extremely close to a naivete I wouldn't necessarily appreciate had I read it elsewhere. You know, like making sweetly generalized statements about contemporary art, putting the "minimalist" label without as much as clarifying what I mean by that, suggesting this latter type of art (whatever it may be) is not as reusable an experience as some other types... So many vague, ill-defined terms within so little space!
And yet, I published it.
Because I feel there is something there, some intuition, something I don't think I have the tools to better describe for the moment, but which is palpable none the less.
So I'm particularly happy to learn that you appreciated it so much. It means the blog is, after all, a space where risks can - and should - be taken. And will.
Have a great new year!

Femoesa said...

Awesome!!!...great site, keep it up!

Leo Ayres said...

Very nice. But I still prefer the work of Chelpa Ferro. http://www.chelpaferro.com.br


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