Sunday, September 8, 2013

Greg Sept. 9: Failure Support Group

For discussion on Sept. 10, Greg's group will read, write about and talk about the essays noted below.

Type up a one or two page response that briefly summarizes some of the main ideas and then responds to and analyzes them using examples from the reading as well as from the wider art world.

=This Mike Kelley quote from "Art21": “I knew by the time I was a teenager that I was going to be an artist, there’s no doubt about that. There was nothing else for me to be. I didn’t even want to be the other things that at the time were outside general culture. I didn’t want to be a rock musician; I wanted to be an artist. And I think the reason I chose it was that at that time it was the most despicable thing you could be in American culture. To be an artist at that time had absolutely no social value. It was like planned failure. You could never be a success. And the fact that I’m now a professional artist? At that time it seemed like a contradiction of terms. I came from a milieu in which artists were despised, whereas rock musicians and drug dealers were—you know—hipster culture heroes."
= Platform2's invite to their 2008 "Failure Support Group."
= Matthew Nash's report on BigRed&Shiny on the "Failure Support Group."
= "If at First You Don't Succeed ... Celebrate" by Lisa Le Feuvre, Tate, 2010.

Some questions to consider: Why do we fear failure? How do we define failure? How do we define success? What does it mean to fail in life? In art? Is art making like scientific experimenting, in which failures can be part of testing out an idea? Should art making focus primarily on end results? What are the benefits and drawbacks of these approaches. Is there, actually, a recipe for failure? Are certain methodologies more prone to failure than others? What is at stake in acknowledging failure in one’s process, one’s community, or one’s career? Can you think of other contemporary art addressing failure? Does this or doesn't this art somehow reflect our society today?

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