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30 octombrie 2009

Venice Biennial and the wide contemporary art under the magnifying glass of UAE pavilion

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31-10-2009

This entry is continued from Unite Arab Emirate at 2009 Venice Biennial” that I wrote on the “Baldovin arte” in which I analyzed the presence of a strange and unusual pavilion at this year Venice Biennial. The United Arab Emirates pavilion seems not to really taste the contemporary art but just uses it as an advertising platform. The result was this attitude: “let’s make a half of step into your home to show how much we love to stay outside”. I know that contemporary art sometime played this contradictory role by selling excrements to audience or playing absurd gestures or actions. But still, these manifestations seem to emerge from a depressive and innocent soul but not from a sick greedy one. That is why these artists are perceived differentially, with more indulgence. On the contrary, the UAE authorities look like were heard of some kind of Venice pavilion that might be just a little more expensive than a center town billboard or a prime-time commercial. And here is the way the UAE came into the contemporary art tendencies! But it is 2009, it is a recession year so the lack of genuine cultural frame can be ignored for a while, it could be (performative) forgotten for the sick of Biennial’s better shaped budget.

In other countries there is a strong competition between artists in order to expose at Venice Biennial. In UAE, not only that there is no such competition, but there is no Venice Biennial specific cultural tradition. But that would not be a problem – a faking strategy might work here. If the tourism industry is involved, then the artists could simply be invented just like happened in 1950’s in Romania when the “bourgeois” were replaced by automatically created and insufficient trained physicians/academicians/officers etc. Anyway, after what is written on this space, I am pretty sure that these kind of artificial jobs are made for the old aristocracy even in the “right” civilized western society.

I see art more and more as overvaluation and even an artificial evaluation for some people that are accepted as artists when we already know that “everybody is an artist”. Of course, there must be made the eternal mention that only some are good artists, among all human beings, and the rest are just bad artists. Among good artists, there are even fewer that are appreciated as genius artists. They are selected by sirs/kings/bourgeois/ corporations/ curators for to built up an image. Vice versa is true also: without other sirs, other kings, other bourgeois, other corporations, that want to destroy the image of those above, there would be no post mortem celebrities like Rembrandt, Jackson Pollock or Van Gogh. The difference between those artists and “everybody”, which is an (smaller) artist, is not so radical but just a degree one. It is the social system, the cultural heritage, that takes over this natural difference, overevaluates and transforms it into the difference between light and dark, good and evil, genius and beggar.
Nevertheless, after those roads openers, there are so many racketeers that adopt their technique and get rewarded in the name of their mentors who might have died unknown and in poverty. That makes me believe that the best artists (in a way that they represent the spirit of future) rarely go to Venice Biennial, and, when they go, they are, most of the time, old and retired. The Venice Biennial, as all kind of such events, is a deal between politicians who make institutions for art, politically promoted curators, curators who select the valuable artists and the artists that get under their skin. The new aristocratic mentalities are repositioned into contemporary art tower. They instinctively know to smell and promote themselves. The Venice Biennial is probably the most important contemporary art event, with the record number of viewers. But, under those social relationships, there emerges that kind of bureaucracy that destroys the spirit of art. In spite of promotions and marketing strategies, the Venice Biennial has something unauthentic inside, just like the wide contemporary art has. The contemporary art (of lack of art) have partially reached these conclusions.

The differences between contemporary art and the entertainment/advertising might not be noticed by the UAE authorities though they really seem to know what the last one is. Just like uneducated common people, they simply do not have the proper knowledge to differentiate these two things. Paradoxically, they might be right about this rough and naive analysis of art because this difference might be just (a cultural) snobbism.





I said indeed here that Venice Biennial is not a kind of Eurovision, that promotes some countries image with a pop music contest, for tourism. But, at a further analysis, it is. In every Venice Biennial pavilion there is a particular UAE pavilion dosage. I know, I heard other reasons about the UAE money that shaped the artists prizes etc, etc. But, if we accept this kind of reasons, then why won’t we go further and ask why the artist does not built a successfully company and become millionaire? And, to go even further with speculation, maybe that is what the artist actually does. Maybe the art itself is such an international advertising metacompany that built image for the privileged social classes.




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