I can't help but feel that we're entering a new age of anti-intellectualism. From natural selection losing ground to preposterous theories of a created world, to an administration that either ignores or opposes scientific evidence, we are moving from a world that revels in its ability to portray the human form because it understands the underlying soft tissues and structures, to fearful huddled masses that are besieged by latter day Ostragoths, Visigoths, and Vandals.
The contemporary art world doesn't seem to be much different, as romantic notions of the artist seem to prevail over political or social content.
Since my mind tends to make seemingly random connections in an James Burke kind of way, I'll jump cut to my thoughts about Goddard's film and Michel's personification of Nietzsche's Gay Science:
"the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is--to live dangerously. . .Be robbers and conquerors as long as you cannot be rulers and possessors. . ."Michel is likable because he has style, but his content comes from Goddard. I think Warhol understood this best, giving art critics, historians, theorists, and curators a character to latch onto and romanticize, while the creator of content hid behind the curtain. The idea of an artist who "just paints" or "creates an imaginative sense of wondrous yearning," allows the viewer to have her visceral experience and stop right there. There's no need to examine the context of production or to bristle at the thought of an over-educated artist:
Colleges continued the slide toward offering studio doctorate programs for artists, ensuring more crummy academic art and perpetrating a professionalizing hoax on unsuspecting students. At least four programs exist, with CalArts and Rhode Island School of Design reportedly considering the plan.From my understanding, the MFA as a terminal degree in art emerged around the same time as the Abstract Expressionists and the G.I. Bill. Folks from Heraclitus to Rochefoucauld knew that change is part of the process. I don't expect that the type of eduction invented sixty years ago will remain unchanged like a fly in amber anymore than I can expect artists to continue to slap paint on a surface like they did when artists first crawled into a cave.
Shit changes: adapt or become extinct.
Another example I could of used of the slide toward not-thinking at the beginning of this post would be the lack of fact-checking in the above quote. A simple call to the CalArts' dean by Christopher Knight, and he would have found out that considerations of Ph.D. in art are "way wrong."