Contemporary art and the omelette.
I begin by telling you about an episode that really happened to me.
In the 1970s, I collaborated with a private television. Those were the early days and private TVs were still surrounded by novelty and a certain sense of freedom.
For this reason some singers, the big names of the moment, were gladly guests in these improvised broadcasts. Curiosity, advertising ... why not?
So I had the opportunity to ask one of the most important managers of a record company for an explanation of a doubt that intrigued me.
At that moment he excelled in the "charts" and everywhere a singer with a voice, frankly, not very talented and not very suitable for singing.
"Why did you choose him, with so many others who are certainly better equipped and with a more graceful vocal timbre (at least)?"
The answer: “For us it is much better that he has few skills and is aware of it. We can manage it better and it will create far fewer problems than those with technique and skills. "
I would never have said that. In the entertainment world, "the system" prefers to invest and create characters from scratch, rather than choosing the best. By doing this, everything is handled more easily.
Why this anecdote? Because I connect it, by similarity, to what has happened to art since 1920.
In the same years in which Paul Klee and Wassilij Kandinsky proceeded with passion and rigor to the theorization and practice of modern figurative art, the art market moved from France to the United States.
The United States, which had no tradition and history to refer to, decided to create their "art system".
And, just as well, what happened? Mrs. Rrose Sèlavy (in reality it is Marcel Duchamp disguised as a woman), using another pseudonym R. Mutt, signs a urinal, which by the way is not even exhibited, but only photographed, and that's it: this is the new art.
You don't need any technical skills. It is the artist (and the system that creates and sustains it) who decides what art is. A bicycle wheel? I decide it's art. Wow… marvel! What insight! What a gimmick!
It will be followed by artists who drip paint on the floor, others who display boxes of detergent and so on.
But the show, even more interesting, is provided by the critics. For instance:
"The ambivalence between Marcel Duchamp and Rrose Sèlavy constitutes a radical contribution to a revision of the canons of art".
"An apparently banal and provocative gesture that hides, however, profound intellectual implications on the role of art in contemporary society."
"... it is acceptable and accepted because at the base of the gesture is the perfectly" known "artist.
So just be "known" and even the disguise becomes a work of art.
At this point, if I become "known" and make an omelette of 7 eggs, I could say:
"The esoteric symbolism of the number 7 merges using eggs which in turn are a symbol of the vital mystery for the well-known aporia (first them or the hen), and through the catharsis of the Hephaistos, they change shape into being there and become other than itself, acquiring new properties and characteristics, merging into the circle which is nothing but cyclical and universal time. "
What do you think? Other than omelette!
Originally, the word art had a practical meaning in the sense of ability in a productive activity, the ability to do harmoniously in a suitable way.
So much so that they still say: "A work of art".
I would like to be able to exclude cunning and deception from "production activities" attributable to the word "Art", as the system wants.