Alexander Adams: New Order – September 2017

Alexander Adams seeks to explain how identity politics, Feminism and New Criticism underpin the ideology of a google_ad_slot = "8637400688"; generation of curators, and concludes by discussing the probable direction of the Tate under Dr Balshaw

An Allegory

Once upon a time there was a society which made objects that had meaning and that people enjoyed looking at. The society put these objects in museums so that more people could enjoy them. Then an elite of that society decided that the objects did not matter so much but the skin colour and reproductive organs of the object-makers mattered a lot. Displaying objects made by people of certain skin colours or possessing certain reproductive organs pleased other people and made them feel virtuous. The elite counted the numbers of museum objects made by people of certain skin colours or possessing certain reproductive organs. These statistics measured how virtuous the society was compared to other societies. More and more people were encouraged to visit the objects to display their virtue or to acquire virtue. The elite wanted all the people to visit the objects even though some people preferred to do other things. When the elite persuaded people of certain skin colours or possessing only small amounts of money to visit the objects, the elite said it made society better when actually all it did was make the elite feel less guilty. It was known that most people liked meaningful google_ad_height = 90; or beautiful objects

but it was decided by the elite that the virtuous statistics were more important. The elite decided that people’s unhappiness about the elite using people’s money to buy for museum objects that were neither meaningful nor beautiful was caused by people not being virtuous enough. Some people thought the idea of virtuous statistics was silly but most of them did not say that because it would have been rude.

Murder Machines

This year a sculpture by Sam Durant entitled Scaffold was erected in a sculpture park managed by Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. The wooden sculpture juxtaposed elements of playground-activity structures and gallows. One minor aspect of Scaffold referred to the hanging of Dakota Native Americans in 1862 as part of struggles between the Dakota Nation and the American government. That reference had been missed until it was pointed out, at which time a campaign to remove the sculpture was google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; begun by the Dakota. “This is a murder machine that killed our people because we were hungry,” said a member of the Dakota Nation, equating Scaffold with an actual gallows that hanged members of the Dakota. In May the museum destroyed Scaffold and the artist renounced his work.

This year there was a protest by some black artists against the display at the Whitney Biennial of a painting of murdered black activist Emmett Till. Black activists lobbied to have the painting by Dana Schutz, a white artist, removed as offensive and hurtful. “The subject matter is not Schutz’s,” google_ad_width = 970; said one protestor, claiming ownership and authority over the representation of a historical event.  

In these two cases, activists claimed ownership over aspects of history in order to suppress art works. In one case it resulted in the destruction of art. Pressure groups have google_ad_slot = "7160667483"; noticed the weakness of curators, administrators and politicians and their unwillingness to protect art from censorship. Sympathetic towards notions of social justice, administrators sometimes submit to emotional blackmail by groups which demand censorship.  

Delacroix did not

have to be Greek to paint Massacre at Chios; Sargent did not have to be either British or a combatant to paint Gassed; Callot did not seek approval of relatives
of hanged men before publishing prints. These are iconic touchstones for appreciating events in world history, yet according to supporters of identity politics such art should not be made now. Groups should own their histories, curb free speech and suppress or destroy art deemed offensive. There was a time, not so long ago, when we derided Soviet agronomists’ dismissal of Mendelian genetics as “bourgeois” and Nazi ministers damning branches of science as “Jewish”, yet today art can be “too white and male”.

Identarianism

Identarianism (or identity politics) is a political belief system which

has had huge influence over politics in Western countries for the last three decades. It sprang from New Left principles developed in the wake of failed attempts at revolution in 1968 and revelation of the atrocities and failures of Communism. It seeks to advance social justice and enforce relative equality through incremental advances in social capital of supposedly disadvantaged subsets such as women, ethnic and sexual minorities and so forth. There is commensurately punitive retraction of rights from supposedly advantaged groups such as men, white people and so forth.

Identarianism is essentially a political manifestation of Post-Modernism which acts by harnessing factional interests. In the same way Marxism co-opted movements of emancipation, workers’ rights, anti-clericism, anti-colonialism and so on, Identarianism gathers factional interests under the umbrella of Post-Modernist relativism by promising social justice.

Here are some tenets of Identarianism:

Every person

一口价出售中!

has involuntary affiliations from birth (ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, physical ability, family religion, etc.) and shares a common identity with other members of his or her subsets. These identity subsets are not generally mutable. (Mutability of gender and sexual orientation are controversial issues within Identarianism.) Subset identities necessarily form a strong part in determining one’s outlook. People do not have universal qualities (as in the Enlightenment model of universal rights) but have compound qualities derived from their subset identities. Equality is therefore relative not universal.

  1. Every person has involuntary affiliations from birth (ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, physical ability, family religion, etc.) and shares a common identity with other members of his or her subsets. These identity subsets are not generally mutable. (Mutability of gender and sexual orientation are controversial issues within Identarianism.) Subset identities necessarily form a strong part in determining one’s outlook. People do not have universal qualities (as in the Enlightenment model of universal rights) but have compound qualities derived from their subset identities. Equality is therefore relative not universal.
  2. Subsets are subject to pervasive networks of personal, institutional and social prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage. This oppression is collective and endemic.
  3. Social, legal, political and financial power – and its converse – is heritable.
  4. Privilege and guilt is collective and heritable.
  5. Subset members have a right to demand redress or

    域名Domain Name:jb54.com

    reparations for collective discrimination and oppression by oppressing subset(s).
  6. Subset members can work together to promote the fulfilment of their potential (called “equity”; see below) and to src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> reduce power/privilege of other subsets. Subsets can work together to form tactical alliances in order to achieve social and legal change. Dialogue is power negotiation between
    inherently unequal subsets; compromise is acceptance of oppression.
  7. Identities are formed of multiple subsets and these overlapping

    definitions are described as examples of intersectionality.
  8. Some subsets experience more discrimination (or privilege) than others. This is (relatively) quantifiable. An individual’s

    position is determined by his or her specific intersectionality.
  9. Culture and language are sources of power/oppression and should be used to enact social justice. Social justice is either a) the relative equalisation of power/privilege of subsets or b) realisation of potential in unequal ways (see below).
  10. One cannot understand or judge members of another subset. A subset culture is unique and the experience of its members is unfathomable. Only members of a subset have the right to speak about the experience of members of that subset.
  11. It is injurious for a person to use or appropriate culture, history or language of another’s subset.
  12. One best understands – and is understood by – members of one’s own subsets. Each subset has a shared culture. It is not expected or encouraged for a person to form voluntary personal affiliations across subset boundaries except for purposes of temporary political action. Strong affiliation for another’s subset is akin to appropriation.
  13. Exercise of imagination, empathy and

    purposes should be dismissed, subordinated or suppressed.

    Women’s art

    Due to multiple causes, in terms of proportion, women artists working in major art fields were in a minority until the late 20th Century. The lack of women in the Western canon is complex and relates to at least four social factors which led to one significant consequence:

    1.   Social pressure strongly discouraged women of upper and middle classes from pursuing manual crafts for income.
    2.   Women had difficulty in studying art because of restrictions on entering academies, apprenticeships and gaining access to male life models, which led to few women gaining high-level skills, experience and qualifications.
    3.   Women were often barred from joining guilds and societies and were therefore impeded from engaging in professional commissions and making their livelihoods.
    4.   Childcare and domestic duties often restricted the amount of time women had to make art.

    Consequently, women artists rarely practised large-scale history/religious oil painting and stone carving – genres and mediums that were central to art historical canons. Instead women artists often practised the “minor” arts of drawing, watercolour painting, pastel painting, crafts and folk art. These fields have traditionally been classed subsidiary to oil painting and stone carving – much to the chagrin of practitioners both male and female. Therefore there were relatively few women artists working at a professional level before the late 19th Century and thus there is little historical

    具体交易流程可“点击这里”查看或咨询support@goldenname.com。

    art by women in museums.

    Here is the sleight of hand which justifies affirmative action: “Look at the statistics of how little art by women is included in art-museum collections. This demonstrates there is an implicit masculine bias in judging what is suitable for art canons and proves there is a campaign of exclusion and suppression which continues to this day.” Historically there were specific restrictions on women entering the fine arts. However, today cohorts of fine-art graduates are often female dominated. Many administrators, curators, tutors and scholars are women. In my experience, lower and middle ranks of arts administration are hugely dominated by women,

    通过金名网(4.cn) 中介交易

    who are rapidly
rising to top positions. Of the journals I write for, half have female editors; every single editorial assistant is female. The staffs of publishing house press departments are almost all female. Roughly 90% of the museum press officers I have liaised with are female. I would love to meet a caste of oppressive bearded patriarchs in the arts so I could gaze upon them in wonder and curiosity. I could shake their hands and wish them farewell.

A statistical imbalance from a broad swathe of history is used to justify affirmative action applied to the current art scene where no exclusion exists. The just campaign for equal rights has been won; the

我要购买>>

new cause is for preferential rights. To the assertion that women/minorities faced worse discrimination in the past and that quota programming is a small price to pay, one can say two things: firstly, the price is heavy enough for individuals who have to bear the burden of this “historic redress” and, secondly,
discrimination in

Sept/Oct 2017

Tags

Share:

read more