Monday, December 20, 2010

Uniforms for the Dedicated: evoking the age-old debate of Aesthetics versus Pretension

A DJ I know recently posted a deadly tune on his Facebook page.  It was accompanied by a music video that mixed live action, sets, green screen, animation, and computer graphics.  Sophisticated, highly-stylised, and cool, yet it didn't it hold my attention.  Why?  It was all style, no substance.

Art doesn't need to have a "deep meaning".  It does need to come from a unique, inspired place.  That's what makes it "art", right?  That quality that distinguishes something aesthetically slick from something pretentious.

"Mr. Brainwash" sold over a million dollar's worth of art, in spite of it being a blatant rip-off of Andy Warhol and Banksy.

This video ticks a lot of boxes.  Black+white animation, old-school set design, surrealist fable - all great.  But the piece doesn't take you anywhere or make you feel anything: there's no spirit, no journey.

I have to confess, when I sensed something was amiss, I did a little bit of research.  Turns out "Uniforms for the Dedicated" is a clothing range that has branched into music and art.  In their words: "Uniforms for the Dedicated forms a continuously growing playground of men’s fashion, music, art projects, and film..... We captured our alter egos on March of No Coincidence, a concept of a board game which play instructions merely are left to be challenged for realization of any vision or destiny of liking."

What does that drivel even mean?!  In fairness however, the tune is cool ;)


Chris said...

I enjoyed the doc "Exit Through the Gift Shop". I wasn't quite sure what to make of it afterwards.

I think mr brainwash's actions raised some interesting questions, if you mainly make art for money, is that always bad, if people like it? Art doesn't need to be original or good, it's all about what's hot.
But I doubt his art will have a lasting value, so in that way I think he will lose in the long run, but you never know, art is a fickle thing. Just look at Warhol, he could get away with anything just by adding his name to it ( :

I recently read a youtube-thread about Bat for lashes, saying her singing voice showed no emotion/feeling, kind of the same thing. If there's no passion, it will kill some of the audience.

Kathryn said...

Art is, my opinion, the expression of the soul. I find it difficult to appreciate art (be it in the form of music, visual art, writing, etc) if it has not arisen from the artist's deeper being.

Kate x

Lika♥ said...

merry christmas♥

Vinda Sonata said...

hey, you have an amazing blog. i really enjoy you're writing. i think you're very cool, very smart.
i love it when bloggers speak up their opinions about art. i really agree that art should be constantly challenged, and is able to evoke certain emotions, with no boundaries.
as for me, i'll second oscar wilde that art should be able to mirror society, too, and its audiences.

i'm your newest follower:)

Yolanda Barker said...

365, I reviewed that film over on my other blog, Barks on Film - you might enjoy it

Kate, Agreed.

Lika, Happy Christmas to you too!

Vinda, Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I really appreciate the sentiment and the feedback, and I'm so glad you enjoy the blog. I get a lot out of writing it. Look forward to hearing more from you :)

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