art 2004/2

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Mindaugas Navakas. Instaliacija Petasites. 2004, bambukas, đaukđčio lapai, silikonas, garsas

Art Criticism Without an Abstract
From metaphoric evaluation to the “creative misreading”

by Gintautas Maţeikis

Post-institutional web projects infringe the institutional order of reality. Many critics and artists, unacknowledged by the local institutions, are constantly provoking social reality. Alternative symbolic worlds are being born and they maintain themselves, although they are irrelevant to local cultural or social administration. Neo-pragmatic post-institutional guides destabilize the usual orderliness even more. Such things usually happen in Lithuania to projects, related to expectations of anti-globalization and anarchism, self-realization of Queer nation, artistic confirmation of supposed identity, art or cinema representations of unacknowledged nations. All this increases social tension and micro-conflicts, at the same time it accelerates social dynamics, enables appearance of new cultural phenomena and development of constructive tolerance.
R. Rorty relates the truth to epistemological behaviourism, L. Wittgenstein’s language games as well as final vocabularies of symbolical worlds. These language games, symbolical worlds, micro and macro spheres demand constant responsible and creative invasion. Otherwise there would be no such different spheres and their development. The principle of Freedom ensures the presence of these differences, and artistic projects actualize the freedom. Actualization of freedom and variety in symbolic worlds usually corresponds to the activities of institutions that fulfill social hopes. In thes cases the different tactics and strategies of art criticism become very important. The situation of art criticism without an abstract is analysed in the article. Intentionality of creative presentation (S. Langer), tactics of metaphoric evaluation (P. Ricoeur) and principles of “creative misreading” (H. Bloom) are used in the postinstitutional art projects.
Nowadays neo-pragmatism (for example R. Rorty) is closely related to local and web artistic projects and uses notions of cooperative collaboration, creative misreading and pragmatic presentation. Freedom or social hope, artistic game, or meeting actual needs – all these processes are equally important. The main thing is that neo-pragmatism criticizes mythology of cognitive passive mind as well as various ideologies of nature and norm. In most cases normality and objectivity covers various forms of discrimination and violence. Nazis construed decimation of Jews by eugenic requirements. Patriarchy is often based on tradition, the word of God and biblical testimony as well as supposed natural women’s weakness. Queer nation is persecuted, appealing to native naturalism, natural needs and natural expedience. Historical, biblical and naturalistic arguments usually become the basis of various discriminatory rhetoric and politics. Nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, which is aggressive towards other nations, firstly strives to discriminate other nations, in accordance with rhetoric of motherland, ancestors and ties of blood.
I would like to point out the projects connected with Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre and such galleries as BALTIC (Gateshead, England), KIASMA (Helsinki) in the article. I would advise an international project “24/7: Wilno–Nueva York” as a possible analysis subject of my paper (which took part in Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre in September– October 2003). About 30 different art projects from different countries took part in it. The main requirement was that all the projects had to be related with the life of New York City and its problems. Since this American city is the crossroad of many movements of the world, attempts were made to relocate this intersection place of interest in Vilnius. Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre was not the initiator of these projects and official tutor of the “24/7” project Raimundas Malađauskas was neither the author nor the tutor of separate presented projects. The artists and tutors, who had performed their independent projects in different countries connected with New York City, gathered in Vilnius to demonstrate them. Many of the artists were oriented socially and politically and were seeking pragmatic goals: to encourage the world to speak about the struggle of unacknowledged nations, about the rights of queer nation (gays and lesbians), about terrorism and anti-globalism, about the rights of the disabled, and the world-view of Other people. Many conceptual artistic events took place here, where the most active participants became art critics and philosophers, and these events were filmed and broadcasted by different American and Lithuanian radio stations. Reflections and reactions to them were expected in the project “24/7 in order to involve more people into the public global discussion or international art projects and webs of projects. Such type of projects as “24/7:Wilno–Nueva York” are usually called post-institutional, because there is no responsible, legitimating institution, but interaction of different persons and galleries

Translated by the author


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