Fear not contemporary art

A derisory tone prevails in most media treatment of contemporary art, whether controversial or not, a tone not appropriately skeptical or critically alert but smugly dismissive – and, I suspect, defensive.

This tone reflects little or no effort to imagine the risks of creative work in the postmodern context – the risk of self-deception, of squandering precious time and energy, of embarrassment through self-exposure. Instead, it echoes the tone of anti-intellectualism sounded in every statement in support or denunciation of public policy by every politician who dreads the stigma of “elitism” — and that seems to mean every politician, period.

–Kenneth Baker, “Saving the Soul of Art,” March 2, 2008,


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s