Richard Cook, Mike Pratt, Derek Sutherland, Chris Walker
May 22nd, 2010 - June 5th, 2010
Stuck inside the LOLocaust or, resurrecting the blague in 21st century aesthetics
Well I’ll be a ROFLcopter, it’s a ten past the dawn of a new century and aren’t we, as the blessed fostered children of the Thatcherite-Thatcherlite generation, just falling over ourselves to bridge the gap between self-indulgent double-postmodern cynicism and lucid anthropological observation. With nearly one hundred years between its conception as an autonomous and highly-individualised activity and its current state, art seems to be unable to develop past the perpetual presentation of deadpan blaguerisms and Duchampian gestures, despite the propensity of visual culture studies to blow apart the notion of art history as a reference point for critical practitioners. The dystopic future present is, to all intents and purposes, a bit of meaningless fun.
This notion of fun is a troubling one however. Fun cannot be experienced without being able to employ the analysis of hindsight. So if the object in front of you represents fun, it is not just simply a pleasurable or pleasured structure, but rather an artefact of a previously collected notion of enjoyment. The object is equated with throwaway, localised, tittle-tattled signifiers, remaining entangled with and the same as the debased language of low-brow culture, an instant gratifier in a realm of accessibility; yet it can also perform just as easily as a deconstructive archive of the contemporary societal subconscious, referential and answerable to the elitist distaste towards and distrust of commonality.
Mike Pratt appears courtesy of Workplace Gallery. Gateshead