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

#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