Healing from PTAD (Post-Traumatic Art Disorder) by Emily Auchincloss

by powhida on October 27, 2010

#Rank Discussion: Healing from PTAD (Post-Traumatic Art Disorder) Contemporary art is defined in this moment by labels such as Pluralism (what does this mean?) and Post-Modernism (soooo old). Why? Well, no-one has bothered to come up with anything better, or no-one knows… But is anyone TRYING to know? As an artist, I cannot attempt to quash these ungainly labels and/or define their applicability or non-applicability as they pertain to the art that is being made today. But I feel like WE must try, as the critics are falling down on the job. Critics today have art fatigue: they are suffering from what I call “Post-Traumatic Art Disorder”, or PTAD for short. PTAD results in un-critical thinking and wishy-washy reviews, the ones that describe each artist and their work as if they were a universe unto themselves, without context or connection to quality, truth telling, craft, or intellectual- emotional impact (ie, JUDGEMENT issues). I often read a review and can feel the resigned “eh” of the reviewer’s point of view radiating off the page. I hate this. So: let’s grab Pluralism from the clutches of defeatism! Help refine the legacy of Post-Modernism! Great art is being made right NOW, so let’s look at it and help critics start the healing process from this painful disease, and learn how to give a shit again. I will use case studies of artists that make work that helps us understand what the world is today, what WE are, employing a genuine sense of curiosity and rigor. They should set a standard by which other art is judged…shouldn’t they? Is this fascist? Yeah! Bring it! A good art checklist and a good review checklist are what I hope to get out of this session. Emotional shock therapy for PTAD sufferers too. -Emily Auchincloss
  • LF

    Hi Emily, “A genuine sense of curiosity and rigor”.. I applaud the desire.. but dont we all have curiosity and rigor according to whichever standard we subscribe?
    I have always been inspired by the work of Bob Grosvenor. His work has those qualities and never panders- Is not the Dow Jones Averages.
    Thanks for the inquiry. LF

  • Emily Auchincloss

    ah, but some standards are higher than others. Some truths carry more weight. I’m happy to discuss my feeling on this in person…do you live in the nyc area?

    I’ll look up bob Grosvenor, thanks!

  • Emily Auchincloss

    my comment above sounds a bit fascist. Darnit I’ve gotta watch out for that!
    anyway, I’m all for relativism, pluralism, as long we all remember were more the same than different.

    Bob Grosvenor: I think I need to spend more time with his work in person. All I’ve seen is the piece that was in the recent Whitney biennial and I have to say I was flummoxed….

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