Episode 43: Blunt Art Text

June 25, 2006 · Print This Article

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BAT Magazine: Blunt Art Text. Like ninjas of art journalism, these evil doers sneak around and do smart, thoughtful reviews and publish them in their journal. We thought we had the drop on them, but nope the lights when out and Richard and I found ourselves tied together, laying on train tracks.

Who knew Richard was born with a prehensile tail?

It was a close one. Enjoy.

Oh Yeah, BAT is Elijah Burgher, Julia Marsh and William Staples.

Richard would like to note next to them, “[we] seem even dumber than usual.”


We are being auctioned off at Phyllis’s Musical Inn on
Thursday the 29th to benefit 40000.

AND TOTALLY, OH MY GOD!!! Duncan and Richard are announcing the first
annual art-world Kickball Tournament July 1st at Noon in Wicker Park.
Watch the blog for details.

40000 Gallery
James Rondeau
Raymond Pettibon
Lane Relyea
Michelle Grabner
Philip VonZweck
Scott Speh
Richard Rezac
Rhona Hoffman
Monique Meloche Gallery
Brice Marden
Alegon Gallery
Maxmilian Schubert
Banks Violette
David Altmejd
Butcher Shop Dogmatic Gallery
Luis Gispert
Bucket Rider Gallery
Jon Beasley
Alison Ruttan
Wendy Cooper Gallery
Zo�« Charlton
Kara Walker
Lisa Yuskavage
John Currin
David Hockney
Julia Marsh
Elijah Burgher
William Staples
Robert Rainey
Chicago Cultural Center
Shannon Stratton and Lisa Boumstein-Smalley
Booster and Seven
Jeremy Boyle
Bodybuilder and Sportsman Gallery
Quimby’s Bookstore
Museum of Contemporary Art Bookstore
Jeff Ward
Marc Fischer
Gregg Perkins
Kelly Shi
Brandon Larson

3 thoughts on “Episode 43: Blunt Art Text”

  1. Please don’t use the word “problematize” or any of its derivatives anymore. It leads to non-statements, because you end up merely saying that there is a problem, rather than saying what the problem is.

  2. duncan. says:


    Your arguing, that we should just say “muddy the waters of…” or something like that when we intend to say something smart without actually saying any thing of substantive value?

    How then, Sir, are we too squeeze any value whatsoever out of our graduate degrees? I believe mine says that intellectual bullying is in fact part of the job. The way into “the club”.

    Although. On the other hand you may have a point. Maybe it will now be sly code for lame, or a term that can be reclaimed as a dismissive. Although now that I’m thinking about it doesn’t the act of “problematizing” have an inherent value. It challenges our assumptions and allows us to see problems that had been glossed over as “normal.” Isn’t it a term for forcing a confrontation and the possibility of revelation.

    It is weird. When I saw the post I thought “yeah, that is a jerky smarty pants term.” ( I will not deny that I often fall into this camp and feel tremendous pressure to participate in the “discourse” of “jerk” and “smarty pants rhetoric”) but now I’m convinced of it’s use and value. I hate that.


  3. Yeah, Duncan and Christopher! There are some words and misused terms we need to purge from our artworld vocabularies (me too!). “Problematize” is one, instead of the simple and correct “The problem here is ….” “Based off of” for “based on,” “issues in the work” for “what concerns you;” I also hate “THE work” used instead of “MY work.” And the avoidance of “Avant Garde” yet the immense use of an ugly equivalent “cutting edge.” The passive and quasi-passive in general (something taken over from politicians) e.g., “Painting did this or that” (Painting did and does nothing. Artists do things with it.) “A problem was made” (in order to not say who did it). And military metaphors like “her artistic strategy (usually simple for style). Any others you can think of?

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