Friday, November 2, 2007

Dave Hickey and Big Boobs on the Subway

The current issue of "The Believer" magazine has a fascinating interview with Dave Hickey, art critic and author of "The Invisible Dragon” and "Air Guitar".

He discusses his views on the type of artists MFA programs produce ("idiots with low-grade depression"), the reason he opposes grants to artists ("governments are risk averse. They encourage risk-averse personalities") and why artists should be seen ("the missing are presumed dead") and not heard ("gossip is the currency of the discourse").

Here are a few excerpts:

“Anyway, people don’t make literature, architecture, and art—the culture makes those things. We make books, buildings, and objects. We do our crummy little shit, and the culture assigns value to it, and I don’t think the culture needs government help.”

“I think you want to learn about art because you had an experience of some sort - a totally nonredemptive but vaguely exciting experience, like brushing up against a girl with big boobs in the subway. It's about that level of intensity. So you want to find out more about it since its sources are so mysterious, and these sources reside in you as well as in the object. But I have no evangelical feelings about art at all. I despise art education. Art doesn't lend itself to education. There is no knowledge there. It's a set of propositions about how things should look."

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