It is a general rule that when the grain of truth cannot be found, men will swallow great helpings of falsehood. –Isaac Bashevis Singer
Truth is not determined by a majority vote.–Pope Benedict XVI
In the American art world, the truth is the thing that’s covered over with mountains of bullshit. In his book On Truth (his follow up to On Bullshit), Harry Frankfurt largely foregoes any complex definition of what is the truth but merely designates it as that which corresponds to reality. The entire point of the Contemporary Art World is to deny reality, in Jean Baudrillard’s term to create a simulation or simulacra of reality. Baudrillard goes off into outer space as he then wants to view the entire world as a simulacra, but that’s what happens to academics who spend their lives inside the simulacra of the contemporary art world. It’s what happens to academics who arrogate the right to themselves exclusively to define what art is. They confuse the art world with the truth, when they’re actually looking at complete bullshit, at which point they as well become swept up into the bullshit itself and do nothing more than spin bullshit.
The entire project of not just Baudrillard, but every other art writer and critic is to murder art. Why do we have every single one of them going on about The End of Art, the Death of Art… Art no longer exists. It’s a simulation. It’s false… Dave Hickey’s choices of Rauschenberg and John Chamberlain were the real art… The New Art is bullshit… Not possible whatsoever that Rauschenberg and Chamberlain are total bullshit, of course. Or Frank Stella. His art is the real McCoy but the MoMA under Lowry (according to Frank Stella in his vitriolic condemnation of Lowry’s MoMA as the Museum of Mickey’s Art, as in Mickey Mouse,… ha ha) is total bullshit. No possibility that Frank Stella’s work is total bullshit.
No chance whatsoever that Greenberg and the money grubbing elite who began reaping enormous profits from the artists he selected could have been total bullshit, could have been nothing more than a typical American financial swindle. The Teapot Dome of the latter 20th century. Nobody can even contemplate that. It’s not a topic that’s fit for discussion anywhere on God’s collapsing earth. Or in America’s Potemkin Village reality.
I wouldn’t choose Baudrillard’s definition of the art world as simulacra. A far better word is fraud. Or a swindle, a deception, a con game or any number of terms would serve far more pointedly to describe it than simulacra or as hyper-real, another favorite pseudo-intellectual the art world is proud of coining. It’s not hyper-real at all. Unreal is the term best used to describe it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. Reality exists and the art world has precious little connection to it. Reality is where the human race is destroying itself and the planet. And that’s what the art world does everything in its power to avoid any serious mention of as it continues its travesty of life and of art, and of art’s place in life.
The Contemporary Art World is engaged solely and exclusively in total bullshit. Faux-concerns for so-called social causes to camouflage the utter degradation of art being served up to viewers. Egocentricity and narcissism are the only thing on display in this world. It’s a world that reflects only the egotism and narcissism of Consumer Capitalism. It has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. Only the fictive surface social reality.
Baudrillard basically asserts that the simulacra is all. That it is now the truth. He writes: ” The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.”
This is utter bullshit. The simulacrum is fake. The art world is fake. What the fuck does this overhyped nitwit think the word simulacrum means? It’s the arrogance of the art world, including Baudrillard’s participation in groping for status within it, that has it seeing itself as the center of the universe. Nobody outside the art world gives a plugged nickel for the stupid fakery that goes on within it, other than to amuse themselves while with audio guides, video displays and a nice lunch. Real (as opposed to fake) artists in America are viewed as complete imbeciles. They have about as much stature socially as janitors. Unless of course they make loads of money or a good living at it. Then they’re considered valued members of society. They’re contributing to the economy, which is the single value that Americans have.
If you don’t make money, you’re a bum. You’re a nobody. You’re a loser. You’re a lowlife. You’re barely tolerated at best.