FORUM ARCHIVES


"art or not"

Photo courtesy of Palle Hedemann/Associated Press


An installation by artist Marco Evaristti of 10 working blenders containing live fish
was on display at the Trapholt Art Museum in Kolding Denmark in February.
The display invited visitors to blend the fish. Museum Chief Peter Meyer, was charged with
animal cruelty after complaints by activists. His trial verdict was announced on May 19.
(see bottom of page for verdict)


First, they burned books, then paintings, then entire peoples, to show their superiority. Modernist art depends on ordinary people letting themselves be told by a self-appointed elite to distrust their own judgment, and consider the elite's preferences for a better, truer art - even if it is frankly impossible for ordinary people to see why. Substitute ideology for art and you have the recipe for fascism. We should encourage everyone to trust his or her own judgment.
9/12/03
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Artists will always have doubts about their raison d'etre. They live in a time of less opportunity but greater artistic freedom, and to suggest that innovations somehow indicate a decline in art or an undermining of traditional artistic values is a short-sighted view. As Constant Lambert says: "The dung of today becomes the pot pourri of tomorrow".
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We as human beings are always searching for the answer. Maybe there is no answer. This is the best I can come up with for now.............To escape the dark rooms of my childhood, I'm stretching toward eternity, reaching for the hand with its thousand wrinkles of age, it's found and lost again and again... against the greater tides, my failing body, lives in rooms of disarray, neither beautiful or ugly, neither good or bad... I'm trying for a flight out of time, trying, in my little world, through phases of the moon, in chapters of accidents, my coat of skin is laid aside and grieved for... with the invisibility of my soul, I live in that unseen world of which I have no glimpse, I live in forgetfulness in this yawning arid abyss.
M. F.


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On Imposters...Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly imposters. If everyone would paint, political re-education would be unnecessary. I like all painting. I always look at the paintings - good or bad - in barbershops, furniture stores, provincial hotels...I'm like a drinker who needs wine. As long as it is wine, it doesn't matter which wine.
???
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Bad Art and Non-Art produced in the 20th century. At best it's ugly, revolting, superficial, and spiteful. At worst is is an intellectual vacuum wearing a mask of public acclaim (a public composed of a few "art experts" whose first principles are that art is anything, everything, and nothing, that beauty is passe' and that subjects and meaning are obsolete and a naive concern). With their help, the "artists" of today fill our museums with expensive garbage designed to obliterate the very meaning and purpose of art.
Brian Yoder
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Choose places carefully for your art. Make sure that your art will be seen and not considered litter. If you are ever in doubt, ask for permission before leaving your art behind. If you leave art in a library make sure your art is absolutely dry and not sticky.
Art Help
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It seems to me that the preoccupation of many artist is the invention of new forms or schools of art. Art must constantly change and reinvent itself or it is considered pointless or dead. The way I look at it is- if I feel something it doesnât matter if the style is new or old. Take lovemaking- its been going on since the beginning of time. We take part in it because we feel something from it. Imagine if someone said- you canât make love anymore because youâre expressing yourself in a dead style- you must invent something new. If that was to happen, love making would be in the same mess a lot of art is in. Maybe a kiss is just a kiss!
M. F.


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-Nature is neither beautiful nor ugly, neither good nor bad. It is fantastic, monstrous, and infinitely unrestrained. It knows no reason, but it listens to reason when it meets with resistance. Nature wants to exist and develop, that is all. Being in harmony with nature is the same as being in harmony with madness.
H. B.
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The supermarket Brillo box is commercial art that proclaims and celebrates the virtues of its contents, namely soap pads. Warhol's Brillo Boxes silkscreened row on row looks just like this carton. Now- supermarket blenders plugged in ready to go have turned into killing machines. We've reached a stage in our culture when anything can be considered a work of art. Live ammo and dead sharks, self-mutilation and self-pleasure, wads of gum and rags encrusted with pus- all have been claimed as objects of art......The tradition of no tradition, is the deadest of dead ends.
M. F.
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but then there is the responsibility as a human being to not destroy life for the pleasure of it. There are artists who say "but i'm an artist. i have to live for my art. i'm making a statement." cop out. They are just too lazy to think of something clever and original without taking life. sad really. they got their reaction alright. put them in a blender and call it reactionist art
merk
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True art must invoke a strong, emotional response, be it negitive or repulsive, is inconsequential to the artist. The artists job has been accomplished when can derive such feelings ie: negitivity, humor, sadness etc. in the expression of ones self. Blending fish to me is a little morbid, but perhaps that was just the vehicle for the true expression of his or her piece. Perhaps the actual art was determinning how many people wanted to push the button. Timothy C Smith.
Aug 16, 2003


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Hey, Elitist Bastard....what are you doing on an art site anyway?...re: your opinion: Who gives a fuck?
SB
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Art is 'tra' spelled backwards. Who gives a fuck?
an elitist bastard
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now thats what i call interaction
merk
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Dear Somebody with a brain: The word "interaction" means to act on each other. What was the "interaction" from the fishes point of view? You say "Whether they were harmed or not I guess is up to the fish and consequently in this case the judge." A metaphor-- Someone pushes a button and a bomb falls on Hiroshima. Whether they were harmed or not I guess is up to the Japanese and consequently in this case the judges.
M. F.
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Dear Fishbrain: If you'd read the topic and the "verdict" at the bottom of the forum...you'd conclude that the whole point was to invite people to touch and even press the blender button... it's called "interaction" and that 2 fish were "blended" Whether they were harmed or not I guess is up to the fish and consequently in this case the judge.
Somebody with a brain


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Asking us to decide whether or not goldfish in blenders are art or not art is a stupid question. Asking us to explain what goldfish in blenders might be a metaphor for, or what we think the artist might have intended, or what we think about it as a piece of art are infinitely more interesting questions. Personally, I think it's a little trite. It's in a gallery. The fish are likely in no danger of being harmed. Most people who visit gallerys know that it's improper to touch the art. As far as metaphors go... your guess is as good as mine. If the artist intended to invoke fear in the audience, I didn't feel it.
brad@charmbracelet.org
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Nature is neither beautiful nor ugly, neither good nor bad. It is fantastic, monstrous, and infinitely unrestrained. It knows no reason, but it listens to reason when it meets with resistance. Nature wants to exist and develop, that is all. Being in harmony with nature is the same as being in harmony with madness.
H. B.
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a holy and jealous god...lol... thank you for supporting my view on religion in one simple line.
merk july?
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Of course the fix we're really looking for is peace and enlightenment and those can only be seen by looking within. Sometimes art helps us to look within, more often than not art helps us to avoid looking within. Perfect moments cannot be manufactured but if we're quiet and not too fucked up, we can close our eyes and hold on to a glimpse of something marvelous. We're all trying to avoid that slab of gray. We're all trying to ignore our frightened dying flesh.
M.F.


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Everything is shit. The word art must be redefined. This is the age where everyone creates... You've got to start your own movement or nothing's going to start.
Patti Smith
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Moon Flower said "art is the God within" Artist watch what you say .... what God said .... "You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." .... Consider the carefully fashioned golden calf that Aaron created for the people when they complained that Moses was never going to return from Mount Sinai. Most likely it was an artistic marvel, but it was an abomination before a holy and jealous God.... Think of it; the painter does not have all the Creator's colors on his palette and can only approximate a sunset. The photographer can only produce a glimmer of what can be seen with the naked eye. The dancer is limited in movement to how his body is constructed. The writer has only those words that are part of her vocabulary. And so on.
L.O.V.E.
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What is Art?... This passionate attraction our Art society has to all that is dead, decayed, putrid, sickly.... Old Art now is sold by peddlers of death. We are now living with a woman who is ill from her son Art's birth and who will never quite forgive Art for causing her such pain. If we could go back in life, back to the womb, and not into the here and now there is a possibility of rebirth. Now Art is dying from ingrained primal patterns of dysfunction based on unresolved trauma from early Art experiences. We need a rebirth, and in the process try to find new and unimagined resources. Art within, perhaps from beyond. Art is and was the fulfillment of the erotic, the Song of Songs, the relationship between the soul and the divine, an urge into one's love, a shaft of insight, a mystical high, albeit often temporary.... Art feels like it could last forever because, Art is the God within.
Moon Flower
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What is art?.... Art is a non-disposable relationship that last a lifetime.
W. R.


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What is art?--- If it matches your sofa, buy it!
Rob V.
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Dallas critic, Jim Fowler, wrote, "Painters attempt to capture the world around them and color the image with a little bit of their insides; artists attempt to capture the world inside them using the images they see in the external world." What's inside of you? What do you have to say?
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what is art? its what spills out of me when the sun goes down and burns through my flesh when it rises again. just like love its different for everyone. defining it only pushes it farther away. thats all i know. if i know it.
merk
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Merk, I agree with what you said below. I was hoping to get off the goldfish. What are artist suppose to do when there are goldfish murderers and god knows what else out there. Should we start a war and clean up artist of art destruction with President Paint Brush. Should we start an art army. You said it- "lay back silent too long and there will always be someone to change the world for you." Isn't that a perfect description of the art world. There's always been art dictators telling artist what art is and what they should do with it. I have a dream of artists in their studios minding their own business painting naughty nudes and not hurting anyone or any living thing. Will someone answer this question- WHAT THE HELL IS ART ANYWAY????
Moon flower
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change is never instigated from 'live and let live'. Don't stir it up just for the sake of stirring it up & causing some shit, i agree, but lay back silent too long and there will always be someone to change the world for you. I'm sure at the rise of the nazi party alot of people said 'live & let live', they'll go away in a few years. Let them speak for now. And now we have people like Bush. lol
merk


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artists are in their studios minding their own business painting naughty nudes not hurting anyone? there's a picture above of goldfish in a blender... i'd say some of them have left the building.
merk
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Anybody who paints and sees a sky green and pastures blue ought to be sterilized.
Adolph Hitler
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What Wittgenstein, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said is "we must remain silent." "we must be careful with our insults." What I get from this is live and let live. Artist of styles or isms gather in separate little bunkers all shooting their little cannons off. Each bunker spokes person saying I'm right and your wrong. GOD it gets tiring. I think people that destroy gold fish need some bricks thrown at them. Or anyone who murders for their own gain or glory should be punished. Adolf Hitler deserved tons of punishment. BUT- this is art who are we hurting? How many paintings, and sculptures have caused a world war. Artist are in their studios minding their own business painting flowers, or maybe a naughty nude. They are not out in the streets raping and shooting people. Adolf Hitler wanted to go to art school. He was turned down- imagine what would of happened if he was excepted!
Moon Flower june
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but what if the holdinng back of insults is absurd? sometimes you have to throw some bricks to get the mobs attention. If you have something to say, say it, don't be afraid. Say what is truly at your heart but no more. Don't be afraid to disagree, but don't disagree because you are afraid. Say what lies within you but know your limits of knowledge and wisdom. Speak your heart & move on. "Of what we cannot speak we must remain silent."-Wittgenstein
merk June16
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He who wishes to exert a useful influence must be careful with his insults. Let him not be troubled by what seems absurd, but concentrate his energies on the creation of what is good.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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consider me off the wagon.
merk


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Artists Anonymous was founded in the year 2000 by a person from Winnipeg who was at one time an artist of renown. It was not instituted as any sort of millennium project but rather as a purely magnanimous gesture to offer services for those poor, troubled, bedraggled and harassed artists who are discouraged, downtrodden, disenfranchised, or just plain tired of knocking their heads, hearts and souls against the brick wall of the Art World.... The primary goal of AA is of a supportive nature and entails helping artists who want to help themselves. In other words, we attempt to assist artists to quit making art and in the process, become better human beings. All races and genders of any age are welcome. However, we do try to discourage painters of birds, anyone who's art practice involves searching their roots and anyone who thinks the Dionysian work of Herman Nitsch is even marginally interesting.... We realize that our aims are alarming to some artists and to all visual arts support systems such as galleries, museums, art consultants and yes, even such governmental support systems such as the Canada Council. However, the analogy might be pointed out that our friendly sister organization Alcoholics Anonymous has not destroyed the liquor industry as it only attempts to assist those individuals that want to be cleansed.... We are neither cry-babies nor naive Pollyannas. Rather, we are sane realists and accept our rejections because as corrected artists ourselves, we are accustomed to such treatment. We continue the good work of trying to help those of you who want to kick the art habit. We know full well how hard this terrible addiction is to eradicate and we are fully cognizant that there is no such thing as "ex-artists"... only reformed ones.... Oh, just think about a world without practising artists! Try to imagine if you can, the feeling of contentment that would prevail. Imagine the absence of rejection, frustration and all that useless art that would no longer exist. Oh yes... such a world would be a beautiful garden of delights without the weeds of creation that have always attempted to strangle the beautiful flowers we call non-artists. Come join us on our stroll through this pastoral and bucolic garden of rhapsodical alacrity.... DON'T MAKE A BAD IMPRESSION.....QUIT!
A. A.
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Merk it's a beautiful idea! Like-minded individuals are somewhere, waiting to crawl out of the woodwork toward a Woodstock Festival. peace, love, tune in, turn on, drop out. Peace and love are free, but only if you can find it. The unknown forces that control us- ego, greed, money, fame, drugs, sex, take over and soon it is just a concert, just an organized event where the DJs and promoters are Rock stars or Preachers and the creativity that is awakened in a few is used to once again control the masses. In spite of the old clouds which pass, the angels keep their ancient places, they turn into stone--- grave stone.
Moon Flower june 2003


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wow. Jesus Christ dropped in some comments below. heavy stuff. and true. And to you Moonie i agree. we artists have gone to the wayside. its the age. why go to a gallery when you can see it on the net? its the disassociative age. see everything without seeing anything. places like galleries were areas for social gatherings for communities. That doesn't happen anymore. We really don't have communities in the same sense anymore. cities & suburbs spralling across the landscape like a jutting scar creating no more 'community togetherness' than they do unity in numbers. what we need is something big. a BIG gathering or artists and idea makers. i guess like that 'idea' thing in TO. Its on right now isn't it? something like that in Guelph. In a field. a huge field with thousands of people. A woodstock (maybe it should be in Woodstock Ontario? ha). art, music, food, community, children & adults. culture! raise your brushes high and say YES! or something like that. just an idea
merk june12 i think
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I would call a Guess or Calvin Klein advert more artistic than this...it reminds me of the "Frog in a Blender" email that went round a few years back...that too was more artistic. This is pathetic and I cannot believe anyone would consider it art.
J.C. 13 June 2003
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I don't know if you've been to an art gallery lately? I find them empty, no people, just me and the silent show. I think the laborers of art have been replaced, portrait painters, book illustrators, mural painters, paintings of great events, hand carved monuments, etc. Yet, there are probably more artist now than any time in history. Artist have gone with the blacksmith. No one needs an artist. Private Galleries now are artist run. Birds of a feather get together. They encourage each other and buy each others work. Artist now are in the same category as- The Society of Stamp Collecting, The Model Train Builders, The Kennel Club for English Setters, The Duck Hunters Society, The Canoe Builders of Canada, and now- The Pretentious I'm Deep like the Ocean Installation Movement Gallery.... The problem is these poor art children need a job doing their art for money, respect and dignity like our politicians, police, and school teachers. So artist start thinking- how can you be an important part of our society. Imagine- When you walk down your street people will say, that's Bill he's a very successful artist! or your children will brag at school saying, my mom is richer than your mom because she's an artist!
Moon Flower June 2003
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that is supposed to say emotions, ethics & personal morality below. i'm not sure what devcil button i hit to create that symbol but that is the clarification. 'nuff said.
merk june 11 extra
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so the media doesn't cater to us. no surprise. so does that mean we have to become the conceptual whore just to get their attention? (don't get me wrong, an occassional good self whorin' is good for the soul). Do we need to get the media's attention? 99.9% of the time we don't have it anyway. those who are interested will find it. we're creative. we'll find ways to get the world's attention, other than destroying life for our own pitiful self gain. The sad thing is that artist is probably saying "oh look people are talking about it. Discussing their emotions &Mac221;ics & personal morality. THis is all i was trying to do. really. isn't that what art is about? getting people to think?" yes yes it is. But the artist must think too. But it is done and all is for naught. nothing can be done. except salute those little fish for their unknowing sacrifice and hope for sweet nightmares of gargantuan goldfish with blenders in their bellies chasing the artist every time he closes his eyes. every time he enters the dark. that or a scorching case of herpies.
merk june 11


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The kid you knew in grade school who got his dick stuck in a vacuum cleaner. I think that was mentioned in the Guiness Book of Records. You ask- Does anyone really enjoy these things? You will notice we are not talking about a Matisse painting of gold fish we are talking about putting gold fish into blenders and calling it ART. Blaming the media is a cop out?- When is the last time you heard a mention about art from the media- unless something has been sold for millions by some dead artist or some living artist has performed a disgusting act- by some pretentious art school graduate swimming deep in an ocean of excrement or call it an installation bowel movement......I think artist are putting the concept of chance on to the Casino Rama crowd....... Where are the unknown depths of the subconscious, in symbolic and mystic form, structure and delight in the hidden subconscious. What saint of roses has made this divine act flow into veins and bone?......
Moon Flower June 2003
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... so if i shoot someone in the head & they die instantly, does that mean it was 'humane'?
merk June +1
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curious how you blame the media & then mention the '15 minutes of fame' bit. irony. sweet & subtle like a kick in the teeth. blaming the media is a cop out. the media may create the set, design some of the props and point the audience towards the stage but they don't make the actor pee on the crowd. too many people who never learned in kidergarten how to take responsibility for their own actions and recognize the same autonomous thought in others. They put the fish in blenders. They knew they were putting fish in blenders. And they know what blenders do. end game set & match. ooooo what a daring idea. wow it really moved me to be so challenged & disturbed. so edgy. I am so sick of this art school pretentious 'i'm deep like the ocean' installation movement. I know guys who do the blender/fish trick at highschool keggers. If you like it i can hook you up. Does anyone really enjoy these things? or are we so afraid as artists and the art community to challenge something like this? this doesn't strike me as particularly creative, current or interesting at all. Its about as imaginative as this kid i knew in grade school who got his dick stuck in the vaccuum cleaner. Should we give him some gallery space? have him sit in the middle of the room & give the audience access to the on switch? 'the hoover installation' now showing in Denmark.
merk June
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I think the media is the blame. The only way to get a mention is to do something shocking, crewel. Like GRINDING UP GOLD FISH, public suicide, slicing off fingers, skinning a cat alive, dropping a cow from a crane, throwing darts into some ones back, using piss and poop as pigment, etc. I have a great idea! Put the artist in a large tank of water with his head above water. You will need an automatic metal gate that opens with the push of a button in the middle of the tank. On the other side of the tank is a man eating shark. It will be up to the members of Godâs public, should I push that button or not? This will give the artist his 15 minutes of fame!
Daigneault May, 2003
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FISH BLENDER VERDICT
Museum Chief Peter Meyer was acquitted after a court ruled that the
two fish killed has died "instantly" and humanely"

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