Friday, January 26, 2007

Globalization and the Artist...

Earlier this evening, I attended the Artists Talk On Art panel discussion entitled, Globalization and the Artist. The moderator was Robert C. Morgan, with panelists, Phong Bui of The Brooklyn Rail, Jungwook (Grace) Rim, and Natvar Bhavsar.

I have mixed feelings about the panel discussion.

For one, I don't feel the panelists covered the topic directly. Many of them went on long tangents about their own artistic, political, and spiritual standpoints ad nauseum. As much as a panel discussion is about juxtaposing various stances, it's also about bringing each member's specific experience and expertise to addressing the question at hand.

The idea of globalization and how it effects the arts and vice versa was hardly covered. The panel discussion would have been more appropriately titled, "Cultural Identity in a Globalized World." Some point during the introductions, it became apparent (to the panelists and the audience) that each panelist represented a different culture or country. This shifted the topic away from globalization and more towards cultural and ethnic identity.

Phong Bui is brilliant. However, he has a way of foot-noting himself while speaking that not only draws out a response, but adds unnecessary information that distracts from the point he's trying to make. The same goes with Robert C. Morgan. Both of them seem to write out their responses, making it less like a panel discussion and more like the reading of art history papers.

Jungwook (Grace) Rim and Natvar Bhavsar seemed to suffer a different malady. All of their responses were completely personal and much without art historical basis. This didn't mean that their responses were any more terse, but instead often times repeated and/or completely off topic.

It may sound like I was disappointed, but I am thankful that this sort of event takes place. I believe firmly in artists creating dialogues, especially ones that relate directly to this time and place. These discussions shouldn't end when the lights go off in the auditorium, but should remain as lingering question marks for each artist and individual to ask of themselves and others.

I am looking forward to some of their up-coming programming. Especially with Melissa Meyer on April 13th, and Cindy Nemser on April 27th.

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