(Trends Within Culture and how they shape the Art World)
A multilane superhighway is moving through the world. Its drivers are not propelled by gasoline but by material, history, politics, family, etc. Experience is the propellant for these automobiles on this highway which cuts through time and space known as culture. Monumental structures such as LACMA and The Getty act as time capsules in which time itself is encapsulated in object form.
The most interesting of which can always be seen at the lower levels of such institutions. Objects once used as vessels by ancient civilizations are now preserved and displayed as one-way mirrors into the lives of the humans which created them. What will be in the lower levels of museums a thousand years from now? The diet coke can next to me is one such vessel of our time is it not?
See the humans of future tomorrow’s digging up this strange aluminum container and placing it as an (object) marker of the society it was produced in. Major shifts of thought can be spotted as permanent off ramps in culture while current temporary trends are seen as detour routes on this highway.
Often winding unaware drivers through the chaos of downtown roads only to connect back to the main highway, their presence often forgotten within a single night in comparison to the permanence of the superhighway. Project spaces and smaller galleries are where such trends in contemporary art thrive.
Perhaps one or two of these locations will make it as a possible permanent exit point along this superhighway. Similar to Blum and Poe which first began from humble roots where it stands now with a blue-chip classification. Trends within the Art world can be seen as helpful roads where new ideas flow freely, but in actuality, they are simply the signs of major destabilization in the main roads surface.
The flow of which has little to do with “new” and more so with crowd control. A paradigm shift often takes place during major moments of social unrest, due to the fact that all great Art at its core acts as a reflection of the culture in which it is produced within. But what are we to do when the culture we are producing in has been insidiously infected by entertainment?
The Renaissance coined the phrase, “The cult of personality,” it seems as though we are now governed by the personalities as though they were cults. The cult of “Bieber Fever”, a trend. The cult of “team Edward or Jacob”, a trend. The cult of “Kanye”, a trend.
If the whole of culture is made up of trends popping in and out of existence within this city, (which from an aerial point of view would resemble Dresden during a firebombing) than we can surely say that a paradigm shift is almost certainly underway.
If Art is a reflection of the culture in which it was produced than the art being made must inherently be violent, isolated, hyper mobilized, internet-based in its ideology, and unburdened by barriers of privacy or personal space, copyright, or political correctness.
It should be able to depict the behavior of Jim the make-believe HR rep for Toys R Us in the corporate office and the same Jim who occasionally masturbates in the handicap-stall of the same office building. The Art which belongs on the superhighway is omnipresent, while the art made by way of trends can only be present at best.