art 2004/1
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Elżbieta Jabłoņska. Instaliacija Batmanė. 2002
Paroda „Po baltai raudona vėliava“. Vilnius, Šiuolaikinio meno centras (2004 03 19–05 02)


To Produce the Art Fan, or Paradoxes of Creative Industry

by Lauras Bielinis

The contemporary art may provoke a diversity of reactions, yet our praise or indignation at it is not going to alter the fact of its existence. On the contrary, it demonstrates some incredible power to seep into our lives. Yet no objective perception and understanding of art is possible, as both an art fan or an artist can glimpse only a shadow of reality, thus each a different one. The discussion on artistic qualities of art may be witty and elegant, yet futile until we have established general rules or canons to go by.
There is one unexpected and incontestable argument to end the disputes on art: it costs money to ‘make’ art. With the introduction of price the organizers of the process set criteria that will determine the value of the subject of our discussion. A parallel may be drawn between the situation in the contemporary art and fashion. With a new fashion season we buy new stuff not because we have a desire to keep buying fancier clothes, but because somebody wants to sell them to us. The driving force of creative industry is a man who wants to stay fashionable and is unwilling to disappear among other similar looking people. Art takes upon entrepreneurial character and is driven by the need of the new. Art remains individualised, just like taste, but seasonal success is created by publicity. Art is something that is accepted by the majority as a product of aesthetic activity. On the other hand, on the basis of some aesthetic features, an object is attributed to the sphere of art. Often the effect of art is achieved by simply associating with some of such attributes, details, or tendencies. No surprise then that we take a fire hydrant at the end of the corridor in a modern art museum for a piece of conceptual art. We have become part of creative industries.

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