Monday, May 23, 2011

Umbrellas Unopent in Tempests, Part XLV

“We thought the representative or imitative in art as being about thinking clearly, while spontaneity in art was about feeling vividly. The spontaneously-produced art couldn’t have been beautiful at first—what the word beauty meant did not apply to this dripping mass-- this mutant birth. Perhaps the spontaneously-produced art never should have become designated as beautiful—for it became so through the formation of new sets of conventions, of conventionality” said Itwethey. “I find it disturbing, really. It may have had to do with reception of these works in the marketplace, and if reception in the marketplace had not been a consideration, the ugliness of these works remaining foremost, our experience of them would have remained vivid. Their monstrosity and their vividness were linked, and when the beast became the beautiful, this was a cerebral event, a desexualization, a diminishment and a loss, not a gain. It didn’t happen within the work itself, obviously. It was a process acting on the reception of the work, on the way the work was received.”

“As a receiver of these works, I have to be surprised by them, by their spontaneity—I can’t be expecting it. If I come upon them expecting spontaneity, it really is a neutralized spontaneity—it is spontaneity as “method.” Methodical spontaneity is denatured spontaneity. Unfortunately, all of the great modernist abstract or other art which I have seen since childhood I expect to be spontaneous, I have learned for it to be beautiful, and it is usually spoiled for me, except in those wonderful moments when…Um, I don’t know what it is, but let me say in this context that it feels as if I spontaneously feel the spontaneous and it is returned to its hideous meconium-smeared, vaginal mucus soaked, membrane-still-adhering, skull-still-malformed and fontanelles gaping and only covered by thin skin, showing palpating activity underneath—fragility and monstrosity,” said Itwethey, with a momentary awe, very uncommon for her.

“I may be wrong, but I believe the acolytes and apostles of “openness” (AoA) see the relationship between spontaneity and beauty differently,” continued Itwethey. “For them, the spontaneity is assumed to be beautiful, the beauty is the given of a spontaneity authentically achieved. I may be wrong about this too, but I believe this way of looking at the relationship between spontaneity and beauty could account for their narcissistic vibe,” said Itwethey, self-conscious because the word “vibe” she’d just used comes straight out of the AoA lexicon.

“If my reasoning above about the relationship of the marketplace to the beauty factor of the spontaneous holds, what I may be willing to conclude…And I need to think about this some more…Is that what the AoA affirm, probably unwittingly, is the importance of the marketplace as it mediates in the reception (sensible reception Itwethey means here) of works of art,” Itwethey says, looking upwards and to the right, as if hypnotized, at a corner of the cabin, and then he nods off to sleep.


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