READER BAMBALL AGAINST THE JARGONIZED ART CRITICISM:
‘Rodrigo (and Avila), I sincerely enjoy your writing because I see how you sincerely want to cut through the BS and talk about the art and its value to “the conversation”, damned be the critics or blowback for your positions or opinions. I, for one, come here from the deserts of North America (literally) to read what you have to say to learn and to add depth to the way I already view art and the world. My goal is to learn and be as comfortable discussing modern & contemporary art, as I am when in my own world of architecture–making up for too many years away spent in the pragmatic world of “building”, trying to get back into the art & architecture worlds, where ideas and concepts hold value on par with Function. I get frustrated when I open a review or magazine and read the jargonized Artspeak (as well as Architecturespeak) because my goal at reading criticism is to use it to get to a better understanding of what the work is (or isn’t) and what the artist’s intentions were (or weren’t). I want to learn how to read a good piece of art, and write about it (I know what I like already, I just want to learn how to interpret & write about it in as straight forward a way as possible, but it’s hard to get away from jargon these days–where can I go? I ask-What are the best least jargon-ized journals or magazines where I can learn from?). I often read the jargonized Artspeak and say to myself “this is so erudite, but how could I…”, before realizing that maybe the person who wrote this may be more academically pedigreed than me, but not necessarily more understanding of the work, it’s just they like feel compelled by the world they move in to use more syllables, adverbial phrases and adjectives. Ego and Classism. Which is sad–the line between good writing and good marketing can be thin. And like in the UK Arts Council pieces you wrote about, (and exemplified in the materiality of the Frieze works you showed), it seems like the art, and artist, and art schools) are suffering because the criticism has become so obtuse and thick that nothing can be gleaned from it to actually know what or how to improve the work, because answers aren’t nouns or verbs anymore, they are ethereal adverbs or adjectives.
Many more-traditional-taste people I know would be more sympathetic to modern/contemporary art (and architecture), if they could understand what the hell the Critic is talking about. Which means explaining what the art is talking about. The obsfucation only serves to reinforce the Artspeakers privileged and insulated-from-reality sense of class-and ego-based feelings of superiority. So it seems use of Artspeak ends up being more about the speaker than what they are speaking about. Just now, it’s so integrated into the world, and art schools, can we ever get away from it? It’s frustrating for someone like me–I’m smart enough to figure it all out, but sometimes, it’s just gets so irritating, like it’s condescending. Which it essentially is. Which is ironic, I guess, because I sit here and condescend on those folks who use it. Who just don’t get it, I guess, because they keep on keeping on.
I used to teach in undergraduate architecture studios in an US architecture school, and there’s nothing worse than a student who gets up to defend his/her work, resorting to argumentative realtor salespitch language to bring coherence to what’s obviously a mess. Today, the $$$ involved and corporate marketing only seems to add to the inanity (Okay, there I go–Inanity = BAD; Inanity = Lacking Depth & Authenticity).
So, I repeat my questions to you, in my quest for “authentic” knowledge & learning–where can I go? What are the best least jargon-ized journals or magazines? And thanks. I just wish I could read Spanish.’