4 April 2013

Quote of the day, yay!

'What’s troubling is the ease with which the institutions of global art have appeared open to capture, lubricated by a mono-tongue amenable to a repugnant smoothing over of rights abuses. The triumph of International Art English is that it is now possible, on some of contemporary art’s most hallowed stages, to hold forth with arguments so yellow they make Pat Buchanan look like George Orwell.

And speaking of George Orwell, this art-language exegesis is hardly groundbreaking. More than a half-century ago he famously warned, in “Politics and the English Language,” of the dangers presented by a degraded language, a smokescreen through which even the most offensive political strategies can be made palatable. Ai Weiwei may yet pay with his life for his artistic subversion, as prisoners of conscience have and will in the UAE, China, and the world over. International Art English is not a cute inside joke, or merely a specialist’s dialect impenetrable to laymen. It is, as demonstrated last Tuesday, a real language spoken by real people who use it to sanctify oppression.'

-- Mostafa Heddaya, "When Artspeak Masks Oppression", Hyperallergic, 6 March 2013

[Read director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, Richard Armstrong's response to the above article here, which is then followed by the writer's own response to Armstrong's response!]

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