Art and fruit-bearing scandals
Why is contemporary art incomprehensible?
In the second half of the 1800s, thanks to the contribution of the Impressionists, there was talk of a "scandal" for an artistic work.
If we want to be precise, the first "case" with great fanfare was created by Edouard Manet, a rich scion born in luxury thanks to his father, a high-ranking official in the ministry of justice, and his mother, the daughter of a diplomat, painting "Breakfast on the grass ".
Manet knew very well that proposing a picnic with a naked woman between two dressed men would create a crawl space.
His beginnings as a painter were promising (see "the Spanish guitarist"), but all in all, as his own colleagues said, it was better that he devote himself to something else, painting was not for him.
And if you cannot amaze with your talents, which path can you choose if the desire for notoriety haunts you a bit?
Let's make a good scandal.
A proper scandal, however, must be built well.
Manet's painting, as expected, is rejected by the “Salon”, but if you can't exhibit it, how do you create scandal?
We recall that until then, and it has been so for centuries, art was not an activity for restricted circles. For "elite" we would say today. Paintings and frescoes were for everyone and art permeated life and interacted with the population every day. In churches, in common places, in squares and for artists it was a duty and a pleasure to be understood by everyone.
Like today a film for cinema or television.
To help Manet comes Napoleon III, who in 1863 organized the "Salon des Refusés" where all the works rejected by the Academy can even be exhibited in the industrial palace, also in Paris.
The game is done.
People see the picture and the scandal spreads.
From that moment on, scandalizing and revolutionizing entered the programs of all the avant-gardes that no longer have any interest in being understood.
Those who do not understand are ignorant by definition, in the sense that they are ignorant of the true and profound meanings of true artists. The artistic discourse is mediated and interpreted by art critics and curators, gallery owners with solid friendships among museum directors and a very small audience of "users" and "investors" who have the intellectual or economic tools to "understand".
The artist no longer has all of us as a reference, the people, but the museums and people who count in the "tour" of artistic diffusion.
Scandalizing is a sure flywheel for visibility, what we now call "audience".
And from then on!
With Duchamp where his "urinal / fountain" does not even need to be exhibited anywhere to become "the most influential work of art of the twentieth century", with Piero Manzoni and the "Artist's shit" in boxes in major museums, up to the animals sliced in formalin by Damien Hirst, to the hanged children of Cattelan (or the sticky banana, you choose) and the fake graffiti murals by Banksy which are actually “stencils” prepared in the laboratory and perfectly authorized.
All artists with dizzying prices, with sophisticated conceptual motivations, which 99% of people do not like (better this way), who contest the museum system from within the museums and, essentially, belong to a self-referential circuit.
Excellent viaticum for money movements on the model of the two friends, Moishele and Ainslee, who take turns selling the same painting in Moni Ovadia's joke.
In this model, the less art is understood the better, to protect a system where many pay (their good ticket in dozens of useless if not harmful exhibitions or with part of the taxes destined for "cultural heritage") and few earn very.
Today the poor Van Gogh (massacred by posthumous massive exploitation) who just wanted to be understood, would recommend a nice "happening" in which to cut his ear in live streaming.
His paintings? Too understandable.
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