Achievement in time

Reading Boris Groys can be both enlightening and painful, not least because what he says rings so true. For example, the following words are a good description of my work:

“To be an artist has now ceased to be an exclusive fate, becoming instead an everyday practice—a weak practice, a weak gesture. But to establish and maintain this weak, everyday level of art, one must permanently repeat the artistic reduction—resisting strong images and escaping the status quo that functions as a permanent means of exchanging these strong images.”

He is talking about the avant-garde, and for Groys painting is already too much, not weak enough. If painting continues by making itself weaker, as mine does, then it just maintains the art-religion, which the avant-garde has already definitively critiqued out of existence, or at least out of belief. Needless to say, I don’t agree, although his description of the avant-garde is absolutely correct. My work is an attempt to find a moment of perfect fit, what might be called beauty, in the flow of time, without technique. So it does not fight against the current of history in any way. What makes it both critical and apparently conservative is that it pursues a hand-made perfection of fit. Apparently conservative. In actuality no machine can make anything even approximating what I do, an experience that mass society simply disregards. Groys again:

Robert Linsley, Moonlight on the Gulf of Grindleton 2000

Robert Linsley, Moonlight on the Gulf of Grindleton 2000

“But avant-garde art has shown that art still has something to say about the modern world: it can demonstrate its transitory character, its lack of time; and to transcend this lack of time through a weak, minimal gesture that requires very little time—or even no time at all.” As can painting in fact.

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