Thursday, July 14, 2016

“Miranda” at Anat Ebgi & “A Change of Heart” at Hannah Hoffman

"Miranda" at Anat Ebgi
"A Change of Heart" at Hannah Hoffman
(“Miranda”  “A Change of Heart”)

Hey good job on this one CAD.

No one really certain why flowers are beautiful to humans, having evolved mostly to court insects to perform flower's mediated sex, though some believe in human's primeval use marking where fruit would later be while others going so far to state flower's cross-species interest as evidence for an innate and low-level hardwiring of a concrete biological concept of beauty independent of productivity. Marking food sounds truer. And perhaps this crass evolutionary productivity substantiating floral pulchritude might be why flowers are called "the lowest of the genres," gaming the system with hardwired desire. However what artist has ever been above cheating, and so if flowers have always been culturally significant beauty that some predict its disconcerting that the flower doesn't appear regularly in still-lives until the Flemish (Greco-romans preferring their frescoes' bounty to be more literal like figs and kipper) though flowers have been used in funeral rituals since like forever apparently, for Millenia been associated with death, which whose morbid undertones makes sense with their western pictorial rise in Dutch Vanitas before then the great vanity of the Tulip Trade which must have abruptly shifted flowers image to one of power and commerce - a status symbol when then it was cheaper to commission a highly skilled painting of a tulip than the tulip itself like a Lamborghini- before the crash which perhaps neutralized the death/money value of flowers western significance to mere decoration, but the Chinese seemed to have used them as decoration far earlier, before becoming today's CAD's Office Flowers and I cannot find a source anywhere for a distinct cultural history of flowers anywhere to state definitely that have always been culturally relevant as a symbol of beauty and not just death or purity at best online which is frustrating at best and I ordered a book off Amazon already.

It should be noted that tulips (imported in the 16th century to Europe from the Ottoman Empire) introduced a flower "different from every other known to Europe at that time, with a saturated intense petal color that no other plant had" and that flowers at then were mostly wild and do not all resemble the steroidal orgies they look today.

But so basically the flower today has become an almost contentless object culturally significant as "beauty" in that apart from a select few flowers (roses, say), they connote little meaning to anyone but a botanist besides an orgy of saccharine beauty, an object as experimental-constant through which an artist may perform tortures on a cultural concept of beauty unadulterated. Which obviously flowers aren't conceptually pure and artists are at pains to prove it again and again seen here, often desperate to reconnect them with the death for which they seem so willing. Our disconnect from the floral and flowers (as two wildly disparate things) is large and I have always enjoyed de Rooij for his endgame strategy of organizing flowers according to hypertrophied accounting mechanisms, arranged not for aesthetics but as a gross display of numbers, globalism, excess and the falsely eternal that makes tulip fields possible.


See too: Willem de Rooij at ArnolfiniJenine Marsh at Lulu