Monday, February 19, 2007
Art in Life
In Peter Bürger’s essay The Negation of the Autonomy of Art, which I’m currently reading, he postulates that with “bourgeois art,” which is what is produced at present, art lies outside “the praxis of life.” That is, as I understand it, it serves no purpose. Furthermore, it is received on an individual level, not a collective one. The work of the “avant-gardistes,” according to Bürger, is to make art practical again, that is to make it function in society. This does not necessarily mean that art must focus on content, but rather on being in the world.
Here’s a theory. The reason why I’m uninterested in art in Paris is precisely because it is outside of life. For me, the most interesting art here is the kind that is incorporated within the everyday. Again, I’m talking about design objects, but also, and especially, signage and graphics.
Look at this sign for the French grocery chain E. Leclerc. I love the size and graphic strength. On television the other night, there was a pan-shot of a snow-covered forest. Then all of a sudden, letters weaved in and out of the scene, reading HIVER (winter). It was the stuff of Ruscha, but beyond.