Friday, July 11, 2008

In the last few years, haven't done much "art" seeing. In the last month or so, i did go to the Louise Bourgeois retrospective at the Guggenheim, the Buckminister Fuller retrospective at the Whitney along with Paul McCarthy installations at the Whitney. This year, i went to the Affordable Art Fair, and i have to say it was a revelation. Not because it revealed some great unknown artist (it didn't), but it revealed that there are other "art worlds" out there, and an audience for that art, and it didn't have to conform to the standards (or lack thereof) which prevail in the artworld as it is now constituted.

Bruce Conner died on Monday; so far (unless i've missed it) the NY Times hasn't done an obit, but there have been a lot of online notices. It seems that Conner was trying to limit/restrict/take back a lot of his work before he died.

I'm glad that i saw his movies long ago, i hope that his movies will remain in circulation, but i know this is where things get tricky. Bruce Conner reminds me that there really was a vibrant art scene in California, and it was a very specifically American art scene, which is one reason it was different from New York City.

And this brings it back to "The Exiles", a very particular example of independent film production in California. The films of Bruce Conner, along with the films of Broughton, Peterson, Stauffacher, are also strands of independent film from California.


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