Thursday, November 6, 2014

Henry Flynt at Audio Visual Arts

For Bourdieu, Flynt was an example having committed the artworld’s “one unforgivable transgression” for “refusing to play the game, to challenge in accordance with the rules, i.e. artistically, their authors call into question not a way of playing the game, but the game itself and the belief which supports it. “
A 1964 issue of the village voice reports on Flynt, among others, protesting a Stockhausen performance passing out a “stylishly designed” leaflet warning that:
Aristocratic European Art has had a monstrous success in forcing veneration of itself on all the world, especially in the imperialist period. Everywhere that Bach, Beethoven, Bruckner, and Stockhausen are huckstered as 'Music of the Masters," white aristocratic European supremacy has triumphed. Its greatest success is in North America, whose rulers take the Art of West Europe's rulers as their own.
And in Flynt’s own words that Stockhausen "received patronage from the ruling classes, [...] a lackey of the aristocrats." Though he would have preferred to picket Leonard Bernstein.
Flynt was, obviously, ahead of his time.
A time when he was mainly a musician - and in opposition to the general consensus of those sharing his marxist ideals - urged a return to “unpretentious” musical styles. Styles popular among the subaltern classes as an expression of solidarity with them, releasing albums spanning from aleatory to “hillbilly blues” with subtle Indian influences, and writing numerous philosophical treatises, before returning to the Artworld in the 80’s with a less radical more marketable gallery-ideas continually seeming on the cusp of breakthrough, though never getting it.

And so, now showing his absurdist fortune-cookies whose opaque comedy-drama is well described by the PR: ‘aim at something pithy but miss. (They are cracked.)” “elicit images synesthetically” “a derailed headspace [...] offered as an esthetic experience.” Operating by negating for a moment a logical thought, like placing a brick wall in your head. If only Flynt would continue with his populist ideals, give up the aristocracy of art, express a solidarity with the people and open a twitter account.