Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Creed @ CSS Bard Hessel Museum

Martin Creed, Work No. 796 (2003) - bean bags
...I saw this piece this morning and for some reason I am is so simple yet the totem like swollen, bulging stance of the bags is so alluring! I don't know if I want to punch the bags over (I hope they are not attached together) or run my hand around the swells!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

martin creed will be in mocad's fall show.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

martin creed has done somethings i absolutely dreed but this is pretty rad.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sucks.....find real art

10:21 AM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

ah i was waiting for the creed-haters to come out of the woodwork..
Define "sucks' and "real" art :)

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are the crappy pretend juvenilia mike kelley artists most of whom are still in grad school -- then there's artists like creed. magnfico!

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is f'in brilliant. Anyone know what he is doing at MOCAD? Cool we get to see something by him here.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

creed's made the trip here before. i remember seeing his work at detroit's mona around 1999. two pieces were in the blimey! show there. it was a great show with over 100 british artists and i think you can still find the catalogue places. check it out.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the catalogue. And I remember the show well. There were two pieces by Creed: Work No. 79, some blue ticky-tack kneaded, rolled into a ball then pressed against a wall (1993). And Work No. 88, a sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball (1994)and displayed on its own pedestal.

Right now MONA has work up by Stella Vine, who is receiving a big retrospective in London at the moment. Thought I'd plug our continuing commitment to showing the newest of British art.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can still get blimey at amazon. but i was wondering if anyone's looked at the latest installment of ice cream in the cream art book series? and what you thought of it?

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is this "magnifico" or "brilliant"?

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jef- thanks for the reminder of the work. i had forgotten about that. Well described.

I think that Rauool asks a great question. Though I suppose the question isn't why it's great or good or magnifico, but rather, to whom and for what reasons is it deemed to be so.

It's interesting to define the audience for this work, which I imagine could be counted on two hands, and the dialogue upon which the work builds, which is oblique and obscure to most.

Really, in such an assessment, it becomes clear and sad and funny and tragic to see that this work is brilliant on only the most inanely specific, privileged and, dare one say, irrelevant terms. It is in such a view little more than rhetorical. And that's not bad or brilliant, it's just moot. (this is rhetorical also, and also moot. sorry)

Looking back at his work history, the words formulaic, grad-schoolish, and insular come to mind. As do pretty, and "right," as in, "the work looks correct, it looks how it's supposed to."

So i think it's unfair to say it's not art or not brilliant in arty terms. But it's just silly to give it more space or to conflate it beyond academic entertainment or production.


5:11 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

What you find "oblique and obscure" I find straight forward and clear. I believe this work to be too extreme to be irrelevant or moot. Its funny that you see this as academic entertainment (which really anything can be that IMO), but I relate to this work on a more emotional level. Its the kind of emotion that brings one back to the excitement of marking on the wall with 2yr old crayon hands. Its being naughty and getting away with it. But its doing it out of love too-its lovingly contrarian.

But having said all that (most of which may only make sense to the two hand club) I do agree with anon that one can really only examine the reasons why a particular audience "gets" this, rather than try to place it within the eschelon of masterworks. And the above was my contribution, however flawed, to that endeavor.

This is work that doesnt take itself too seriously. Its for an audience of reformed art catholics. It hits me right in my good agnostic spot.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the prompt and courteous reply.

Please, do not to refer to this work as "extreme", because it's not even remotely accurate and nearly precludes consideration of all your other writing as anything other than crack-pot. The level of brainwashing it takes to think of Creed as extreme boggles...well anyway/

You've raised a series of points that compliment one another: By claiming to be part of the "two hand club" and >therefore< finding the work somehow titillating, you've managed NOT to broach any non-reflexive thoughts. So you've boxed yourself in with no window to anything other than "I like it so it must be...." Though this does mesh nicely with the manner in which you've fetishized (your) childhood- in a regressive "wasn't inconsequential rebellion fun and important" kind of way, I don't think this helps.

Also, despite your reading of the work, are there accessible, even remotely well encoded cues to childhood? The work is dated gallery critique mixed with redimade plus a little sarcasm. and you read that as a liberating kind of play? we already know that it's fun to have no rules. to a point. for a while. i struggle to find the lasting impact of this as a statement, let alone one that exists within a system that has more rules and regulations than the Marines.

I am trying to wonder, openly, or attempt to get away from the privilege that underlies the work. Perhaps also the naked mysticism surrounding work that really only builds upon other work very few know about. give me a connection back to life. work that exists in a bubble is a dime a dozen. i want more.

Most other critical fields check themselves, so why not art? I know art is the free place where dreams come true, etc., but when the marketing and cult-o-personality building that truly underpins work on his level are also considered, then, the emperor has no clothes. wake up.

where's the skepticism? there have to be a few locks on the door that work has to go through before it's just taken in and offered cookies, right?

I was trying to do this without getting the knee-jerk "screw you you hate art and i like this so you're a jerk" response. i'll cross my fingers.


9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i always go back to the urinal. it was brilliant. and it didn't even get exhibited. they hauled it back to stieglitz's and he took a photo - and that's all that exists.

but it's still brilliant, in an alfred jarry kind of way.

klein held his big opening in paris with empty walls. only blue tinted white wine to drink - and all the visitors were pissing blue for a week after. that was brilliant.

creed was brilliant with his tack on the wall and crumpled paper. it was an affront and a comment. and art at the same time. in that previous tradition of thumbing one's nose. nothing wrong with that in moderation and occasionally.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moderation part is right. But doesn't it seem a bit common, a but easy to "critique" what art is, when a critique about the industry surrounding it would be more...I don't know, helpful, gutsy, progressive?

I get what you're saying Chris, but for me it makes the work even less interesting. Thumbing a nose at the definition of art? even if that's what the work is's not really even possible to do that anymore. Definitions have been thumb-nosed all the way to oblivion.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In developmental biology, pedomorphosis (also spelled paedomorphosis) or juvenification is a phenotypic and/or genotypic change in which the adults of a species retain traits previously seen only in juveniles. Peramorphosis is change in the reverse direction.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

You can relax your fingers. I appreciate your ability to infantilize my intellect (or at least my reasoning on this matter), but allow me to repeat that I am drawn to this on an emotional level (ga-ga-goo-goo). I am fully aware of the Duchamp-Klien-Manzoni-precedent-formed bubble this work exists within. Can I still like it anyway? Can I improve myself in your esteem by saying that I actually prefer the work of Felix Gonzalez Torres, whose works are as light and subtly “extreme” as Creed’s but also give you “more” in socio-political commentary?

As an art agnostic (maybe atheist) I think we are all brainwashed. Your knee-jerk skepticism and my knee-jerk “totally rad!” are the same thing really and we just end up kicking around a dead something or other. Perhaps you look for some semblance of order and I some semblance of anarchy, and we hold on to the belief that we are the underdog?

I welcome your skepticism. I would contribute more of my own but its being all used up right now dealing with my own “dimes a dozen” work.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it, clever is in. Thumb-nose is in. Foolish/pretentious ideas are in... Or at least they're getting credit where a lot of artist's hard, serious, time consuming work is not. Contemporary art is all about ideas and human experience. We fancy ourselves the intelligent puzzler, amused by the shear act of living. Everything is readily available to us and we're easily tickled by the abstracting of something from our personal lexicon. It's easy. Is that good or bad? I'd say bad, but I too am tickled by some of these ideas, not by Creed's so much, but by others whose work is similar to Creed's.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"time consuming work"

You sure as hell lost me there, Dude.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't require much time to stack bean bags, knead sticky-tac, or crumple paper. Paining, constructing, sculpting, writing, planning, drawing, producing, recording, thinking, and so on, all takes time to do.

2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does that have to do with anything though? Who cares how long it takes Ford to make a car? Time means nothing to the finished product.

I'm not defending Creed. I don't care for him anything special. But that statement is totally useless. You shut out a hell of a lot of the best art by caring how long it takes to make it.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" You shut out a hell of a lot of the best art by caring how long it takes to make it."

Agreed- mostly

"Who cares how long it takes Ford to make a car? Time means nothing to the finished product."

wowy wow wow. what the hell's going on in your head? it would take an hour to adequately dismantle this. I'm already tired.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon-Lve, excellent points.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I thought it was fairly simple. If the product is good, who cares how long it takes to make. But for some reason a lot of people like to think of art differently. If Ford could make a quality car in an instant (including time spent on thought) who would critique them? No one. We would celebrate them. So why should it be any different with art?

The only reason I can think of is monetary value. What's the first critique you always hear when you walk up to a piece of minimalist art in the DIA? Someone always asks, "How much do you think that guy made off of that over-sized ping-pong table?"

If something doesn't seem to be "functional" the first (and most ludicrous) way of judging its value is how difficult it was to make.

But art IS functional and therefore it must be judged purely on the quality of it's function.

No one gets paid to solve rubix cubes. Time and difficulty on their own are not worth a dime. Only product.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i saw a guy on fishermans wharf solving a rubix cube in under 30 seconds after having random people mix it up. and he was getting paid.

The only thing that matters to me in art is knowing that it took a very long process to get to the finished product.

who knows? maybe those bean bags are a real pain in the dick to stack? maybe they dont want to sit on top of each other that easily? has any one here attempted to stack that many black bean bags on top of each other? i doubt it, cause its probably so diffucult and stressful to put on that last bean bag that you dont even want think about attempting it cause youll probably just fail.

4:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there's a pole up the middle. a few people I know.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're putting words into my mouth. Take your anger elsewhere. Your comments are self drawn and have very little to do with what I said. Go make some art, take some time, lean some canvases or something, and stop arguing the obvious. Sheesh!

PS. Just because I said that some time consuming work isn't getting credit doesn't mean I'm saying instant work doesn't deserve credit.

1:44 PM  

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