I'm reading a really good

I’m reading a really good article by Jed Perl in this week’s (or last’s?) New Republic about the state of contemporary art.
I’m not sure I understand him correctly, but if I do, he’s arguing that the magic of art in the contemporary art world has not dissipated but the institutions and mechanisms that make art available to the public are completely corrupt and bankrupt. Perl doesn’t say this, but to me, this includes most galleries, museums, and art magazines as well as the vast majority of art critics, cultural theorists, and government bodies that niggly-piggly artists but often shower city cultural institutes. All this is to say, that, yes, I’m a disillusioned artist, and yes, the system is rigged to be unfair, which I’ve known for the past 18 years. What’s new about this is that for all of the 80s art hype about changing cultural mores and ideals and the 90s hype about changing the language of art organizations, we’re really worse off than we were in the 70s when galleries (at least in NYC) proliferated and art was ready, willing, and able. Maybe it’s time for conservatives to take art over from those rascally aesthetic “radicals.”
In any case, I’m the proud recipient of some mail art and I’m truly, truly thankful for it. It’s been a long time since anyone sent me an aesthetic item in the mail to work on and then send onward. I’m certainly not saying this is “good” art or the “future” of art, ’cause it ain’t. It’s collaborative, thoughtful, deliberative art. But it is also a kind of art that doesn’t get seen, doesn’t get critiqued, and doesn’t live in the currency of the art system and I’m grateful. In the pursuit of truth, here’s what it looks like before I screw it all up.

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