Thursday, August 09, 2007

From the desk of Mr. Carducci

Not to beat a dead horse about this detroit news story (see previous posts) but here's another take from a respected art critic. (Vince Carducci gave permission to post.)

This article represents a consistent perspective from the News. They appear to be waging kulturkampf on the arts, which they seem to perceive as elitist and of course liberal. I had a rather infelicitous exchange of emails in December with Laura Berman and the publisher of the News on this same topic. This piece is arguably more egregious in that it makes no attempt to present the other side. (At least in her December column, Berman offered some opposing perspective, however lamely.) What about the value of Detroit art in terms of price and where to get it? What about the effect of MOCAD in raising the profile of contemporary art now on view in Detroit? What about all of the artists who *have* made a living in the city despite its admitted hardships? What about a story on how Detroit gets far more culture than it deserves based on its record of support? (Whose culprits include the News, the Freep, and other local mainstream media who have a virtual blackout on local art.) Or how about just doing some lifestyle stories about local artists and the arts scene? I know asking for intelligent reviews of local art is going too far, so I won't even suggest it. Maybe the News's marketing research shows that tearing down Detroit culture plays well with the 12 Neanderthal white supremacists in Macomb County who still subscribe to their pathetic rag. My personal interpretation is that this is another example of the faux-populism the right has embraced as a way of bombing America back into the intellectual stone age (the better to erect fascism in its stead). These kinds of things don't do much to foster redevelopment in the city, which we know from case studies in other parts of the country is heavily tied to the arts, culture and other aspects of the much-vaunted creative class. Michael Hodges wrote a nostalgic piece the other day about the role the founders of the News had in promoting the arts through their patronage @ Cranbrook. I'm sure they're rolling in their graves over what's become of a once fine city newspaper, particularly in terms of arts coverage. I'm awaiting the headline "Headless nude model found in local gallery/opium den" that will run right next to the story about UFOs landing in Sterling Heights. It's really sad because if anything local media have an exclusive on local culture. No one from the New York Times is coming to review the latest show @ Detroit Artists Market. If the News spent more time seriously covering what was here there might be more opportunities for artists to make it in this town. For that coverage, go to

Vince Carducci


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. thank you.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one Vince.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks, Vince

9:18 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

I randomly stumbled upon this article and was intrigued by noticing a former teachers name, and reading this just reminds me how much i miss that art history class, and the discussions that lead down oddly similiar paths. Great read, hope to see you around campus this fall.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Vince. That is so true.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You

11:21 PM  

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