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living in a bubble

Don’t know if this is legal, but, it is in good faith.. I think this is worth reading: an excerpt from The Critique Handbook: A sourcebook and Survival Guide Kendall Buster & Paula Crawford. Prentice Hall © 2007 Pages 96 and 97

Cliché and Originality“When someones work in critique is labeled clichéd, or references are made to another artist’s work, the complex subject of originality will arise. This can be confusing. We praise originality, along with freshness and inventiveness, and yet we insist that to achieve these things one must be well versed in contemporary art and art history. Is this not contradictory? To avoid cliché, isn’t it best to isolate yourself from all that influence? Wouldn’t this improve your chances of creating something truly original? Doesn’t the instructor’s insistence that you look at so-and-so’s work undermine your quest for originality? Are you not in danger of becoming derivative?

“In fact, research into contemporary and historical art has the opposite effect. For in our daily lives, we are all surrounded by images and examples of art, whether we study it or not. Hence, we are continually being influenced not by creative interesting solutions, but by provincial, second-tier, watered-down examples of art. The result is that we are influenced, not to produce highly original inventive, work, but rather to make work that resembles what we think art should look like, indeed, what we are used to seeing.
“One way to understand this is to consider the music world. Imagine attempting to engage with an alternative music scene having only listened to your grandparent’s country collection. This could be interesting in an oddball conceptual way, but your exchange will be a lot more richer if you have studied and are familiar with lots of music, both mainstream and obscure.
“This is not to say that art about art is necessarily desirable. It’s simply that knowledge of your field enables you to be part of the larger conversation, to see your work as it will be perceived publicly. This, knowledge of the world and culture can only enrich you, whether literature, scientific study, personal experiences, or travel. Knowledge of historical and contemporary practice places you in a larger stimulating conversation. It can make you bolder and more inventive. Worry less about being original and more about being informed. You will end up being less clichéd!
Kendall Buster, sculptor, MFA from YALE, some info: here
Paula Crawford, painter, MFA San Francisco Art Institute, some info: here

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