I have always mixed feelings about a project like Art Licks. It was first launched with its website and weekly listing in January 2010. Since then it has run fortnightly Art Lick Tours and launched the quarterly Art Licks Magazine which is in its eleventh issue. According to its creator, the very entrepreneurial Holly Willats, 2013 is ‘a great year as they launched their new art festival (the Art Licks Weekend 4-6 October 2013)’. But… is Holly Willats the solution or an intrinsic part of the problem. I am referring to that tricky euphemism called Emerging British Art.
The Problem With Art Schools
I think that the problem lies in a combination of self indulgence, lazinesss. lack of creativity, boredom and, sometimes, the bad influence of an academic jargon that transforms everything, even a fart into a indexical ready made work of art. Are these people too bored and over educated?
Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowsky
In every issue there is an article and interview dedicated to an artist. It is called: Artist Profile. The tenth issue included a survey of the work of ‘artists’ Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowsky who are together ‘Das Hund’. The independent ‘curator’ living and working in London who writes the article is Attilia Fattori Franchini and in her introduction says: ‘The artists duo SL and JL have a long-standing collaboration. Their practice takes multiple and various forms as immersive installations, performance, experimental music, photography and printing. Each format is used accordingly to the idea it has to deliver, following an organic evolution of language and tool’.
Pompous artsy fartsy jargon such as ‘‘long standing collaboration’ (by which they mean ‘being together’), ‘practice’ (by which they mean ‘what they do’), ‘installations’ (by which they mean ‘things spread around’), ‘performance’ (by which they mean ‘gigs not very well produced so as to make them pass as something imperfect ‘on purpose’), ‘experimental’ (by which they mean ‘short of professional’ or ‘not serious’). It is here where their attitude is profoundly annoying. According to the article Levack and Lewandowski has a gallery called French Riviera and since 2010 they compose and perform music in an ‘experimental’ band. Why is it ‘experimental”? Aren’t they using all these pompous words to excuse themselves from growing up and delivering a proper ‘work’?
Performing Experimental Music for Joy
The confusion grows when Franchini says: ‘the pair use transformation and participation as artistic drive, focusing on the audience and the impact of their work. The hedonistic ritual of dance, freedom, joy and exuberance of the self, are a few of the recurrent themes the artists explore when adopting music as performance’. Let’s unpack this. Basically, they gather to dance in a ‘free’ way (which means ‘without a choreography or a style to adscribe to) and that is pointed out by their sheer presence and ipso facto transformed into ‘Art’. The question is aren’t we using words like ‘installation’ and ‘perfomance’ to manipulate the audience and to hide behind our ‘work’ in order not to grow up? Is this the next step to a spoilt childhood in a city like London that allows you to fashion into what you want to claim you are? Who are these idiots? Needless to say that even the pics registering nothing are catalogued as if they were museum pieces. For example: ‘In Babylon – Cosmic Fall (Zizi, Leslie, 1 ) (2011) 76 x 101 cm, C-type print. FUCK YOU!
Two Apparently Anti-Institutional But Very Institutional Vomits
Levack and Levandowsky even transformed that ‘chat’ or ‘interview’ with the magazine into a ‘collaboration’. Franchini asks them: ‘How is it for you to engage with a medium as a magazine”? (I guess that Franchini means whether they like to be interviewed or whether they are enjoying it or something like that….). Das Hund answers: ‘The Art Licks COMMISSION has provided a great opportunity to realise a project that has been close to our hearts for some time -recording and producing our experimental music. Making the inserted band poster and publishing the download codes (which are shit) in the magazines makes it available to a wider audience and avoids a common problem with many self published artists’ publications and recordings..”. The Art Licks COMMISSION? They clearly transform a fart into an institutional representation of the presence of the body of the artist in relation to its contextual environment. How full of shit can one be? What a waste of papers and I would say, in a more East London way, of trees and nature? If we bare in mind that this magazine costs 8 GBP, someone should be put the jail here! What a bunch of idiots!