"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Maureen Mullarkey on the eating habits of tenured art appreciators, the oiliness of Degas, and when a cigar, docent notwithstanding, is just a cigar:
The current issue of the College Art Association’s newsletter carries the NAEA’s solicitation which lists, in earnest alphabetical order, a catalogue of suggested topics. Herewith, the wall chart:
author / artist / authority bricolage
content and context
gaze and glance
icon / index / symbol
taboo, or values and ethics
One look at this curry of buzzwords and the eating habits of tenured art appreciators are clearer than Perrier. The menu signals that all academic dietary laws will be observed. No artminds will be put off their feed. Feminists can sink their capped teeth into "gaze," that evilly male phenomenon. Multiculturists will gnaw on "colonialism." Donnish radicals get to jab their forks into "pedagogy" and "power."
There’s only a single H, the predictable "hegemony." But that is enough to keep the taps open until closing time. The entire faculty, in concord and beery unanimity, can raise a pint to, say, manifestations of gendered power in headress iconography. Or, the æsthetics of post colonial politics. Listen while everybody cocks a snook at the bourgeois bogey of delectation that lurks in that word "ideology."
The most depressing item here is "common sense." It is offered as a specimen under scrutiny, like a fly in amber, indicating its rarity as an inherent component of the discipline. Orderly alphabetizing lends an aura of rationality to what is , at heart, a mad endeavor: the compulsion to reduce the pleasure of art to zero. Educators scenting a foundation grant with this kind of beady-eyed erudition have no more interest in art than a hamster. They are pushers of a self-blinding intellectualism that projects upon art formulæ that fit their chosen blinkers.