Art Speak

I’m not called the Snarky Quilter for nothing. And nothing sets off my BS meter like art speak – that self-important, pretentious twaddle so beloved of art marketers and performance/installation artists. You know, those folks who have a truckload of dirt dumped on a gallery floor and call it art.

Here’s an example I came across on Kathy Loomis’ blog, Art With A Needle, on The Mending Project installation by Lee Mingwei:

“…installing the thread was a serious production; “We were very intentional about making it look unintentional,” said Marcus Siu, the art handler who got to do all the hard work. “It’s a very Zen process,” Lee agreed.

Oooh, I’ll have to remember “intentional about making it look unintentional” when someone dares to suggest one of my creations looks like a hot mess.

9_2013_dyeing2Like this fabric I dyed, which to me epitomizes a lurid and throbbing hot mess. I think I put this on the back of one of my more arty quilts.



Filed under Art quilts, Commentary, dyeing, Snark

12 responses to “Art Speak

  1. Judy

    I personally like ‘artistic decision’ when referring to my… dare I say, ‘mistakes?’

    I’ll see you art speak and raise you education speak.

    Encounter the person and the garment?? Is that in Eddie Bauer or…?

  2. Oooh, I love it when you talk snarky!

  3. ‘I asked him whether, since the mending was not really functional, he thought of it as decorative, metaphorical, or some of both. He replied, “It’s up to you. It’s very much about the moment, when you encounter the person and the garment.” ‘


  4. You make me laugh one of those hearty, snorty, big belly chortles on an almost daily basis, Ms. Snarky Quilter. Thank you very much.

  5. patty

    I have been reading those posts and wondered if Lee even knew how to sew or did he just pull this installation and idea out of his a**. I guess the year I spent mending/altering garments at the shop that made custom clothes for people that showed western horses was performance art and not a job! LOL!

  6. jennyklyon

    Amen sista! When someone starts talking MFA to me I glaze over. I DO want to discuss the merits of the piece beyond the fact that it’s “pretty” but I’ve seen lots of “intentional/unintentional” work that I think is indeed a hot mess. Your dye piece may not stand alone as your best work, but if you were motivated, I think YOU could make this into something fabulous with quilting/stamping/overdye, etc.

    • I’ll have to check to see if MFA programs have a course in art speak, aka meaningless, pretentious blather. And my piece has found a home on the back of a quilt. So far that bubblegum pink dye hasn’t burned a hole in it.

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