By Kate Crehan
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Extra resources for Community Art: An Anthropological Perspective
It is worth noting that the judgement of the curatoriat and that of common sense share the assumption that, whether for the consumer or the producer of art, ‘good’ art is difficult. For the expert, ‘good’ art should be challenging; art that is too easy to like is immediately suspect. ’ Where hegemony comes in is in the very different weight these judgements have. If the art world is, as Danto claims, a particular ‘discourse of reasons institutionalized’, those who produce this discourse are the experts entrusted by society with the task of classifying and explaining art: the art critics and theorists, those who teach in arts schools, and the artists themselves, who through their practice define art.
2. This and all quotations from the Free Form artists, unless noted otherwise, come from interviews I conducted for this study. Moving beyond the Gallery 33 of contemporary democracies is reflected in the following passage—one not underlined in Goodrich’s copy of the essay: A time must come in which society, from politics to art, reorganizes itself into two orders or ranks: the illustrious and the vulgar. That chaotic, shapeless, and undifferentiated state without discipline and social structure in which Europe has lived these hundred and fifty years cannot go on.
Christo himself, however, insists on the individual origin of his artworks: The work of art is irrational and perhaps irresponsible. Nobody needs it. I think the artist can do anything he wants to. The work of art is a scream of freedom. (Quoted in Gablik 1995: 78) Many years later, Christopher Cornford, at the time Rector of the Royal College of Art, would also stress the centrality of the individual creator, as Michael Hecht, a former academic who worked with Free Form for a number of years, recalled when I interviewed him.