Michael Kimmelman Mot du Jour: Insiders/Outsiders
Unrelated digital photo courtesy of Rover, 2008
This weeks Mot du Jour is again courtesy of Michael Kimmelman, Chief Art Critic of The New York Times, who generously sanctioned the use of his erudite verbalisms for the purposes of our deified feature. Thanks also to Amir Bar-Lev, award winning Director/Producer who worked with Michael to generate this text.
“Once you move away from commonly accepted standards then you move towards some other standards that have to be understood by a group of people– the patrons for this new kind of art. When this happens you immediately have an inside and an outside group, and the majority has to be outside otherwise there’s nothing particularly cool about being inside; that’s just in the nature of things. And finally when you move towards an art that is so ‘inside’ then you create a situation in which only those people who declare themselves to be experts are allowed, essentially, to tell you whether something is art or not. And I’ll give you an example: There’s really no difference between an Andy Warhol Brillo box and a Brillo box except that someone has decided to declare the Brillo box art. So most people look at it and say “Its a Brillo box.” But an art person says “Its art.” Now the fact is that the art in a certain sense resides in the declaration itself: the critic or artist, or critic and artist, and buyer and museum saying it is art is instantly going to be an alienating thing for most people. They’re going to say: “Well who are you to decide that’s art; its still a Brillo box! What makes it a work of art?” And it is that very fact that there is a group that declares itself the ones who get to choose that makes people feel, I think, bitter and resentful[.]”
Michael Kimmelman is Chief Art Critic of The New York Times. He is now based in Berlin, writing the ‘Abroad’ column for the Times on culture and society across Europe.
For more information on Michael Kimmelman please visit: www.nytimes.com