I die of love


I wish so much that I had been able to buy Miriam Elia’s book, We Go to the Art Gallery before it was stomped on by Penguin books. I do love a bit of mothering and nihilism in art galleries, you know.



Thanks to Penelope D. for the link. (Cross-posted at blue milk).

Categories: arts & entertainment, Culture, fun & hobbies, gender & feminism, Life, parenting, relationships, Sociology

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14 replies

  1. Oh you can’t get it anymore? Bugger. I love books like that.

  2. Want. So want.

  3. I know the author describes it as satirizing modern art but as a huge fan of modern art I choose to see her as satirizing suspicion of modern art and of motherhood, too, rather than the art, itself.

  4. I think it is gently satirising people like me who don’t understand modern art as well. To do that effectively you need to have a pretty good knowledge of modern art. Maybe one day you could take me to the gallery and tell me how it works?

  5. I think it’s satirising those bland children’s readers too, where all is happy and nice as per a 1950’s definition of nice.

  6. I think it’s actually modern art appearing to be satirising people who don’t get how to properly satirise modern art, and at some level is satirising satire, as well as satirising sartre satire.

  7. In a heartbeat, Mindy. Though I’m no expert. Agree, angharad. YetAnotherMatt, make it stop, make iiiiiiit stop.

  8. Hmm, yeah, but some modern art is pretty shit. And the excuses made for it, too. But doesn’t “The room is blank because God is dead” strike one as being the perfect fatuous, meaningless excuse for bad modern art?
    Considering the artist/author’s blog it would appear she’s very much coming from an art’s perspective herself.

    • Hmm, yeah, but some modern art is pretty shit.

      Just because you may not like it doesn’t necessarily make it shit. In fact, doesn’t such an emotive response mean that the art has succeeded in at least provoking you beyond blandness into a more visceral experience?

  9. Yeah TigTog but I’d say that all arts at all times are made in a critical atmosphere – audiences aren’t expected to be just passive receptacles of art; they can critically evaluate what they experience as well. It’s a characteristic modernist and postmodernist sleight of hand trick though to argue that our critical evaluation of the art as *bad* is itself entirely owing to the skill and talent of the artist or the inherent worth of the art. (I don’t say you’re pulling a sleight of hand on me – but just that this argument has only become common in response to modern and postmodern art and I’m not inclined to take it at face value).
    Perhaps after the advent of modernism (and the various weirdnesses that that entailed – cubism, surrealism, abstract art, etc) such arguments seem more convincing simply because there are so few traditional reference points by which an audience member can critically evaluate art now. But if the only response that a work of art evokes is simply a critical negative, ie, ‘this is bad’, then I reckon it’s not owing to any obscure value in the art or hidden skill on the part of the artist – it probably is just bad.
    You’ll probably know this example: but of course sometimes art work can be shit, quite literally.
    Given that the examples I’ve seen from that book include some of the least meaningful excesses of modern conceptual art – a balloon Jeff Koons puppy and a blank room – I think it would be fair to say that one of the things being satirised is modern art, and the explanations and excuses given for it by its audience.

    • Well now that you’ve engaged in somewhat more substantive critique than merely “shitty” I understand your point of view better. I don’t disagree that the author is satirising some excesses of modern art in places, but it seems to me that she’s satirising reactionary rejections of modern art equally as much, and more importantly than either of those, she’s satirising a whole range of other cultural attitudes as well.

  10. I don’t see the satire of ‘reactionary rejections of modern art’ in the excerpts from the book. Perhaps I could have picked a better word than ‘shit’ though.

  11. Tim T – say what you will about Koons’ work but his influence is everywhere.

  12. I get that there’s an obligation to defend copyright etc, but honestly – Penguin Group Targets Artist Over Satirical Art Book

    This article is a message to let Penguin know that I will not bend to their depravity. If they succeed, then all the satirical tradition of modern art, which is rich with the joyful subversion of pop cultural icons and brands from Picasso to Lichtenstein, lurks in thrall to the whims of corporate enterprise, and its army of devoted lawyers. They will never find the books they seek to pulp, and if they take me to court, I will fight them, however long the battle takes.

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