SUN 09/06/19
“participatory art obliterates any experience of the art beyond the experience prescribed by the artist. both insist on a singular interpretation, so therefore this exhibition was fascist.” [prefacing this w/: a subjective take on a subjective review :)] was reading the white pube (because of course) and i came across this line which caught me off guard, and which i strongly disagree w/. for quite a bit now i’ve been unsure on where i stand with them, whether overall ‘i like them’ or not (and whether that matters…), but out of all i have read/heard from them over an admittedly short period of time this sticks out to me as particularly hasty and not very well thought out. in fact in uni we’ve had a few discussions about them(w/ other students and tutors(!)), and an idea that they favour a fast, immediate twitch response to work as kinda symptomatic of t h e t i m e s etc comes up a lot, and i think using that as a dominant method of viewing art kinda implies art doesn’t have much use except as some immediate adrenaline, like/dislike, vacuum packed w/ no air 2 breathe commodity. anyway, i take a bit of issue with this statement that “participatory art obliterates any experience of the art beyond the experience prescribed by the artist. both insist on a singular interpretation” so therefore is fascist. i do not agree that participatory art insists on a singular interpretation: i rlly don’t understand where this line of thought has come from? participatory art in no way insists a more specific interpretation any more or less than non-participatory art does, i think. eg (and in light of their recent BotW review this seems apt) take video games - essentially ‘participatory art’ which evidently do not insist on singular interpretations. i think that line of thinking privileges the single(?) action required of you as being the only thing you can take away. in that sense, all painting is about looking at squares on walls, and not about anything else; all participatory art is about participating according to what the artist has instructed. imo both of those statements are false, and i think it’s almost a bit patronising to suggest art viewers can only take away one thing if they are told to do that one thing, and can only take away more if they are uninvolved in the work or are less informed. actions and the experience you have undertaking those actions do not have a singular interpretation. chance, and the implications of each body involved (+innumerable variables) are in effect. actions do not necessitate clear end goals or motives, you could be told to do one thing but with no clear motive behind being told to do so, how *could* there only be one interpretation? speculation is interpretation. n side note: calling the show fascist seems err a bit trivialising and flippant and not v well considered (esp given it’s a one liner, and being used in the promo for the writing lol).