Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The following from Mel Bochner's review of Donald Judd's Complete Writings reminds me of some recent murmurs in the poetry community:
Oddly enough, at a time that witnesses an almost blind fetishism of the art of the late '60s and early '70s, there seems to be a general agreement that little remains worth arguing about. The trough is big enough for all the hogs.

But even if the increase in the number of artists and opportunities makes it seem like that there is plenty to go around, something still seems to be missing. One can hear it in all the verbal hand-wringing about the state of contemporary art. Is it only nostalgia for the "good old days," or does so much that is being done now lack either passion or purpose? The old guys (and I guess that means me, too) may have been cranky, but at least we went at it tooth and nail, as if our lives depended on it. Something real was at stake.
And this bit is pretty funny:
A good many of the reviewers of that time came from literary backgrounds, usually the New York School of poetry, which showed up in their exaggerated claims and overripe metaphors. In art school in the late '50s, we played a game, reading reviews aloud from the latest issue of Art News and trying to guess who the subject was. I can still remember one: "X dumps live chunks of landscape steaming hot into the gallery." (Give up? Helen Frankenthaler.)
In related news and on the other hand, there's an interesting discussion in the comments field of Ron Silliman's latest post, the latter which, incidentally, mentions Rob Read's Daily Treated Spam.

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