Thursday, July 26, 2007
I'm not too crazy about Jonathan Meese's paintings- which look to me like a 15 year old's skate ramp graffiti. I do find his sculptures interesting. According to the Saatchi Gallery his "work exploits cultural taboo. Appropriating historical and media references. Meese parodies his own symbolism. His paintings reduce the perception (of) evil to the level of operatic theatre: simulated horror plays out in cliched formulas, resounding in contemporary consciousness as benign fable and gripping spectacle." And why should artists take evil seriously anyway?
Meese has pissed off Georg Dietz, among others, by exploiting the cultural taboo about Hitler. "'Images cannot be dispelled,"'Jonathan Meese once said, with Hitler in mind. 'If you want to be rid of certain images, you must give them the chance to fight themselves.' But it doesn't look like Meese wants to dispel Hitler; it seems more like an invocation. And the strange thing is that precisely at the time when the last eye-witnesses are dying and in a generation that seemed so free of this shadow, the temptation exists to tap into the energy of evil. In his major exhibition in Frankfurt, Meese stuck a picture of Hitler above his self-portrait and wrote "Vater" next to it on the wall."
I've noted before how unthinkingly the art market seems to champion transgression for it's own sake. This seems to me to be as banal as conformity for it's own sake. But if transgression is seen as a positive good, should we just expect artistic tributes to Hitler?
Posted by Rufus at 9:02 PM