Mixtape (4)
Friday Ephemera

Drowning in Language

Readers with an interest in visual culture should visit the blog of Eye magazine. While you’re there, you could even take a minute or two to read my post on the art world’s rhetorical flummery:

Take artist Aliza Shvarts, for example, who rose to fleeting prominence last year with a work that purported to involve “repeated, self-induced miscarriages”. She described her efforts thus: “This piece – in its textual and sculptural forms – is meant to call into question the relationship between form and function as they converge on the body. The artwork exists as the verbal narrative you see above, as an installation that will take place in Green Hall, as a time-based performance, as a [sic] independent concept, as a myth and as a public discourse… It creates an ambiguity that isolates the locus of ontology to an act of readership.”

It isn’t clear how form or function can ‘converge’ on the body, not least because the human body is already a form with numerous functions. Can function, strictly speaking, ‘converge’ on anything at all? Can ambiguity be a ‘focus’ and ‘isolate’ something else – something that is terribly important but unclear and at no point explained? Despite such mysteries, one thing is unambiguous. Ms Shvarts believes that the extract above is itself a work of art: “The artwork exists as the verbal narrative you see above…”

The rest.