I do not heart Lacan

Oh man, how much am I loving Jonathan Blaustein these days. If you're not reading his articles for A Photo Editor you should be because he's a no-holds-barred kind of writer and I love it. (Full disclosure here: he's also a friend, but I guarantee you if you ever have the chance to meet him he is just as outspoken and hilarious in person.) Get a load of this, from his piece "Cash Rules the Conceptual Art World":
The art world plays by a different set of rules, and I think that can boil photographers’ blood. Artists view everything as fair game. The rules are there are no rules. And this can often lead to sophomoric bullshit, like Vito Acconci jerking off beneath the floorboards. Or Richard Prince so blatantly ripping off some Jamaican portraits, slapping them on canvas, and marking the images up 10,000%. Then he had the gall to claim it was his right, as the source material wasn’t creative or original enough to merit copyright protection. Seriously? That’s like the school bully stealing your bologna sandwich and then taking a crap on it in front of the whole school.
ROTFL as they say. Another gem: "Many photographers equate the art world with inane video installations backed by dense press releases packed with large words that bludgeon the average viewer." Reminds me of all the postmodern crap I had to read in art school. Every time I think about how long it took me to figure out the distinction between "signifier" and "signified" I shudder. I wonder whether kids these days are still forced to suffer through Lacan or if he's finally passé. I like to reread George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" from time to time as a good reality check: it helps me remember that Lacan is incomprehensible not because I lack the correct psychoanalytic (and by extension art-speak) chops but because, essentially, he writes pretentious gobbledygook.


Brilliant and so true! Thanks!
Anonymous said…
You said it sister!
Matt williams said…
Oh you and your being so sick of all the things that I am sick of too. Being raised with a post-modern pacifier plunked in my lacunae I had hearted all things Frenchy and intellectual. Eventually I realized that the French translation for "signifier" was "merde alor" thus ending my long romance with La Philosophie.

I still read the "Poetics of Space" by Bachelard and "The Empty Center" by Barthes. Glutton for punishment.

You are great.

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