Too Many Mediations

It’s very important to remember—as often as possible—that the current highly mediated context, in which artists learn their business and craft from books, schools, the internet, art magazines and any number of other mass outlets, is very new and very strange. Up until the second world war one could only learn about modern art from personal contact with the artists. Well, not entirely, but direct contact was the most important form of transmission. Direct contact with work in exhibitions equally so. Have things really changed? I think something of how the immediacy of experience can affect an individual or change them has been lost, and that has something to do with a loss of depth of response. Today we know everything, or think we do, so feel less in front of a work, and see less there. There are exceptional occasions of course, but the general run of experience is flat. But then how could it be any other way? We see too much art, all the time, when one moment with one work can be enough to change your life, meaning the direction of your career. What happens after that is up to you.


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