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Maintenance Art pt. 2

At what point does something become artistic? Once it’s displayed, up for observation? Does it require a certain environment? A certain pizzazz?

This is where I draw the line, because a question like this requires a serious answer. Artists have proven time and again that art has little to no boundaries. Richard Serra flinging molten lead at a wall in a musem using a metal rod. Mierle Laderman cleaning the steps of an art musem in a display of maintenance art. Sala Murat’s artwork being mistaken for trash.

These are examples of artwork that did not (and probably would not have) become art all on their own, but relied on the artist in their ascension from simple bits and bobs.

Art has always been a subjective process in terms of the figurative (though sometimes literal) blood, sweat, and tears that go into making the piece of art. The emotions and thoughts that the artist subject their artwork to, or rather, that the artist is subjected to, is reflected back into whoever witnesses it. There’s color and symbolism, even a name to the picture. With the uniqueness of a thumbprint.

But if even that explanation still doesnt really hit home, I agree. So say, for example, a student came in one day and stood behind the lectern, took the mic, and left. Sprinted out of there. At the moment it might seem rather bizarre and “you can’t do that!” or “that’s destruction of property, I’m calling the authorities!!” but there’s a name to the face, to the action and how simply it was done. And maybe later we’ll all look back and talk about it with enthusiasm.

*disclaimer that I am not actively encouraging nor remotely insinuating that this becomes an incident in the future this is just a terrible excuse for a simile.

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