Down and Dirty

Your attention please!  The private social club we in Alaska know as “The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center” is holding a soiree apparently prepping the State for the coming attempt to drown us in the “authentic North”!  Yes, the Mausoleum is welcoming drama queen Kleeman to town, in an “Homage to Soil for Scoresbysund”, which apparently involves the artist rolling about in, wait for it, soil.

Kleeman at MuseumIf you need a better gander at the hype for the elite packaging of the artistic rendition of possessive Narcissism’s “me, mine, and more”, click on the link and you will be taken to another window offering the web page for the event, where you can be regaled with the specifics of what you will get in return for your pounds of silver.

I think what you won’t see when you click there is something that I think some might think of as, well, art.  Apparently some, over the years, have argued that doing rather silly things with a serious face while fools intone how impressed they all are somehow magically renders the erstwhile focus, “art”.  Et, voila!  Lino_mandara

Art? Here is a vessel created by Maestro Lino Tagliapetra. Art.  A woman in bra and panties rolling in dirt? Used to be free at Chilkoot’s when I first arrived in Anchorage.

Yes, I am trying to suggest that there is more to art than sun-tanning around the word “Native” (thank you Erika Lord for assuring me of that).  And while I may plead Potter Stewart’s classic argument,  sigh at others’ attempts to lasso up a definition, and snort at the ongoing debate over art vs craft, there are, for me, bridges too far.

And yes, I think art should reflect intention, mastery of material,  an emotional connection, and a further list of notions that are the nostrums of every art student’s training. I am humbled by the efforts of the countless striving to dance with the universe as a way of expressing themselves. And then there are the shuckers and jivers, the wallowers, the deceivers.

577512_10150943434104365_1605701165_n Has “art”, as suggested by some sages, become as meaningless a term as “liberal”, “conservative”, or “belief”? Have we become so gullible that we are willing to finally actually see the Emperor’s New Clothes? Can we explain why the Anchorage elite are happy to celebrate a roll in the dirt as art, but not the likes of the 24″ glass vessel to the left?
Julie Decker makes a fine CEO;  I am sure she will carry on the fine tradition of the Rasmussen Mausoleum – the weirdest social club of the “authentic North”.

Anyone who wants to watch me beat dandelions to death in a jock strap are welcome to attend my new performance piece, “Old Yeller” There will be a no host bar and tickets at the door are $50…

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