Results tagged “arts” from ARTicles

As more an arts editor than a writer, I am curious why we're not seeing arts coverage that more fully reflects the present economic . . . slump, crisis, crash. It's as if the reviews and features I'm reading were written a year or a decade ago.

Where's the effect of the market drop and resulting semidemipanic on institutional portfolios and philanthropic support; on sales, of artwork or tickets, in big places and small; on content, which is a powerful topic for critics of all kinds that's rarely touched? (There's a whole school of art crit that actually turns up its collective nose whenever the word content is uttered.)

Do critics and arts reporters think that their editors imagine their coverage and commentary as a relief from the world, instead of a crucial part of it? My answer: yup, especially the editors who decide what moves and what sits. I'd be glad to read anyone's thoughts.

And a quick note about something my ARTicles colleague John Rockwell just filed below. He writes that reading the Sunday NYT made him "nostalgic for the good old days, meaning the days when there was more I wanted to read in the paper and less commercial pop-culture dross (by which I am careful to make a distinction from real criticism about real pop culture)."

Me, I read quite a lot of commercial "dross" about that other culture, the high-rent stuff, too. It's plenty commercial, with lots of bucks involved, especially in museums. Just thought I'd mention.

Actually, I've never bought into the high-low distinction, from a critical POV, anyway.


October 16, 2008 6:54 AM |

Cultural rights. The idea of cultural rights, the history of cultural rights, the concept of cultural rights expressed in our Cultural Bill of Rights (WHO KNEW WE HAD ONE?) -- Bill Ivey in his new book, arts, inc., argues that cultural rights are "the key to bringing public interest back into America's creative life."

They have emerged as a subset of human rights, he says. "No business or arts leader in the early twentieth century harbored the slightest notion of "cultural rights," Ivey writes (oh phew, so I am not alone, though a little out of date), which is why..."it shouldn't be all that surprising that public policy in the United States has never caught up with the reality of our arts scene."

(And in the next sentence, Ivey lands the whopper): "Cultural rights are the key to bringing the public interest back into America's creative life."

If they are "key," (which Ivey builds a convincing case they are), then this book ought to be mandatory reading for anyone who cares about the arts.

Gripping reading -- dense with succinct ideas on arts and culture -- arts, inc. describes our country's turbulent ambiguities, our confusion and apparent need to distinguish art that is popular yet brings societal benefit from art that is just plain entertaining from art that is (quote) high brow. Ivey argues that by dividing these-- mostly through inattention -- we let the industry and corporate folks enter in and feast, skewing the arts away from public interest.

orange.jpgThe cover is bright, slap-in-the-face, wake-up-call orange. Can't miss. Don't miss. arts, inc.

October 14, 2008 8:22 AM |


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