For our final day of critical theory we discussed irony, economics of art and cleverness. All we had been discussing seemed to come together as we turned the mirror on the current world. So what's wrong with irony...well a google image search on ironic art may help illustrate, but really it seems to be art for art's sake. There is a punch line...and then nothing else. It causes a reaction rather than an action. Now I personally enjoy a little bit of irony, it helps me take a break, checkout from life, but I absolutely see the danger of this being seen as anything more than the popcorn art or taking up the space that art is suppose to occupy without the function. Hope that doesn't cause anyone offense, although I guess if it did we would have created art, because there would be a reaction and possibly even an action (if you close this window).
Now I'll turn to economics, ironic and clever art seems to sell. I guess there are the massive art fair where the clever and ironic seem to be gaining momentum. But why? Is it because we are comfortable with something that deflects our societal anxiety? I really have to think about that. A photo I saw back in high school comes to mind.
It is clever and ironic but it also made an impression on me. I still think of it 20 years later, so it did and does have action. So is this "good" ironic art?
I'm struggling with this a bit, because I'm not convinced that is "it." I do (perhaps being over analytical) reflect on the idea that we do try and fill every empty space with something clever. A clever blog post, a clever facebook response, a clever video, a clever wedding photo. But after being clever and gaining some kind of self satisfaction and self worth from it...then what?
I am really trying to wrap my head around what this means and how it relates to my work as a wedding and commercial photographer. Isn't that kind of ironic to be a fine art wedding photographer? Is it simply clever marketing? Why has the fine art world dismissed wedding photographers as artists? Especially when a trash bag bear can be sold at an "art show."
Much to think about.