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September 13 2010
I am NOT an idiot!
Before we go too far down this path, I want to be clear that I mean I'm not an idiot most of the time. Like most people, I've certainly done the odd idiotic thing (such as failing to change the fuel filters in my boat engine regularly what a jackass!), but in general I like to think of myself as being pretty sensible.

We've just come out of our summer in which we had some very warm weather days when it was too hot to wear a shirt even, but there was no shortage of young people on the streets wearing their sweatshirt "hoodies" with the hoods pulled up over their heads. For them the risk of heat stroke was worth taking to avoid looking unfashionable amongst their peers, all suffering in silence in order to be "cool". Those kids are all idiots, yes, even if they were your kids.

I live virtually next door to one of the major art schools in the country, and it would be difficult to find a larger group of people all in one place that do idiotic things. They pierce their bodies with metal objects. They cover their bodies with massive tattoos that will never go away, ever. They indulge in getting high on all sorts of drugs regardless of every molecule of common sense screaming this is an idiotic thing to do. Although you might expect creative people to be independent thinkers that do their own thing regardless of what everybody else is doing, it seems just the opposite is actually true. The extent of their creativity seems to be to insert a safety pin through the penis instead of a metal stud through the tongue, which someone else has already done. Original for a few minutes, idiotic for a lifetime.

This month the school is featuring a show of "artwork" by the faculty at the school and it would appear being idiotic is not confined to the student body. I have seen enough of the student shows to have extremely low expectations of them with their pathetic determination to be shocking or pretentiously "deep" in a very juvenile way, but I expected an adult level of sophistication from the faculty show. Halfway through the show I found myself asking if these people thought I was a complete idiot. How could they insult me by presenting such mindless crap and thinking it would pass off as actual art?

One faculty piece comprised of a tightly coiled plastic garden hose that had been stretched out enough to form a series of loops, and then tacked to the wall. Another piece was nothing more than a printed note that said the "artist" was actually far away in another town doing a drawing of a sodium molecule on a sidewalk using salt, hoping to generate discussion with passersby about the history, variety, and multiple uses of salt. I couldn't make this stuff up. These are just two examples of the quality of work that fills the entire gallery. I have no doubt that all this stuff is deliberately calculated just to make the viewer feel like an idiot because he or she does not "get" it, thereby giving the so-called "artist" a sense of smug superiority.

How are these faculty members different from the idiots in their hoodies in the heat of summer? They aren't. Obviously the current fashion in the art school environment is to insult the viewer's intelligence as much as possible. Any faculty member that doesn't follow that fashion is not cool. Every single piece of art on the walls for this show is a piece of crap, meaning every faculty member has his hoodie up so as not to stand out from his peers by demonstrating any skill or talent. Well, I have news for the lot of you, insulated in your academic cloister, I am NOT an idiot, and you have not fooled me, nor are you likely to fool anyone else other than your unfortunate students.
Posted by Peter Kiidumae at 07:03
Dolores Delgado said...
Had to laugh at your "Bah, Humbug" remarks, Peter! Indeed they must think the audience are idiots. Sort of the Emperor without any clothes story. Ha. At least the artists were having some fun. One wonders what is going on in the mind of art critics that praise it all. What a mad, mad world indeed. Sep 13, 2010 07:37
Peter said...
Im not so sure the artists did have fun, Dolores. I suspect not all of them are complete buffoons, but in order to protect their jobs they have to come up with anything more idiotic than the next guy. For those that actually have real skill and talent, it must be an extremely stressful environment to work in, having to suppress their talent in order to survive. Mind you, it may well be that all the good ones have already left and the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Sep 14, 2010 08:27
Anonymous said...
Hey Peter, nice to see you turning into a cranky old man......... railing at the rest of us in our age group ! Enno Sep 15, 2010 08:25