Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why Art and I Have Separated

I know some of you are thinking, "Where's the art?? You've sold out to the narcissistic MAN, Lindsey! Once upon a time I came to your blog to drink deeply from the well of art historical knowledge that is your half-a-master's degree, and you have UTTERLY failed me!! I'm making plans to purchase a Thomas Kinkade print right now to go over my couch."

NOOOOOOOOOOO! For many, many, MANY reasons, I hope that is not what you are thinking. Please, let's try to work this out.

The problem on my end is, art history at the Master's level is NOT the same quaint art history that you read about at your coffee table. While I'm still looking at many of the same things you'll see in the pretty books you buy in museum gift shop (amazing, mind-blowing works of art like Seurat's La Grande Jatte or this lovely, lonesome little guy by Degas):

I'm concurrently reading craploads of sentences like THIS about the artworks:

The supra-natural artifice form that Baudelaire declares to act as the appearance of modernity is, to Seurat, instead the displacement of the natural from the body to inorganic accoutrements.


In this light, the countess's obsessive self-representations are less an index of narcissism-although they are that too-than a demonstration of a radical alienation that collapses the distinction between subjecthood and objecthood.

Yea. You should be THANKING me for not filling my blog with that. You want to know the worst part? Those aren't the actual sentences I read for homework. Those are my NOTES about my homework. Those are my attempts at SUMMARIZING what other brilliant art historians have said. 

So. Let's go back to the main problem between us, which is, as far as I can see, really just a failure to communicate. I assure you, my heart is in the right place; I want to learn about art and history and turn around and tell you about it, but I JUST DON'T KNOW how to shrink it down into an actual, interesting discussion topic.

Even worse, I'm getting to the point where I can't look at art without having the above matrix of analytical thoughts pop into my brain. Only the faintest click of, "That's pretty," or "Love it!" registers to me anymore before I start looking for signs of the subjugation of femininity to the classic reticence of the priviledged male bourgeois gaze in the planar regions of the foreground of the painting or, possibly, in the absence of a male presence in the painting, as we would expect to see in Degas's ballet works.

I'm going to be on the hunt this weekend for pedagogical inspiration. Let's all pray I find it. :) And that I never again use the word pedagogical on this blog without a really, REALLY legit excuse. Ok be back soon.


Maggie said...

This cracks me up. If it makes you feel better I totally understand!

actually I don't. At all. And I sit next to you in class every week.

MOM said...

You're funny. :)