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September 2001, 8 posts, 249 lines


I don't understand your question. Maybe some kind of art needs a public arena to promote certain social issues but not all art is supposed to be socially concious.You guys have decided to use art as the platform for the rage against the Real World but that doesn't mean that I have to consider this action as an appropiate art event. Why should I ? Just because some of the people involved are "art people" ? My question would be : Why do you think art is the proper way to promote an activist agenda ? I think is has been proven to death that art doesn't reach the masses.Even more in the MTV situation in which none of the articles published have focused on the protest as an "art-related event".

But what puzzles me then is How would you describe the purpose of Cakewalk. Is Cakewalk pushing an activist agenda ?

From what I've seen Cakewalk is a pretty free-spirited, easy-going journal of art as a commodity... or am I missing something ? Would that mean that Cakewalk is useless just because it doesn't promote any kind of utopic social vision ?



don't you think the main deficiency in art is that is remains on museum and gallery walls. What "REAL"!! impact does art have on the state of actual conditions in the world. Do paintings and pictures make a dent into the system. I'm not sure they do. For a moment perhaps a viewer may feel exalted, enlightened, aware, of some condition, but does that change anything?


Art has a very limited and indirect impact on society, and it always will. These days, certain shifts in perception are eventually co-opted by entities like MTV (which are typically run by smart, if somewhat cynical, people) at which point the works of art are stripped of most of their original intent, but none of their "look," so as to make them palatable to the larger public.

(By the way, why does so much painting these days "look" like Karen Kilimnik or John Currin? And why don't artists ever take photos of "normal" people? And why do normal people who like to smoke cigars and watch sports get all pierced and tattooed? And why did painting just a few years ago used to look like Julian Schnabel, David Salle?)

The avant-garde is meaningless unless it is avant. And as long as it is avant, there simply won't be much of an audience for it, just a bunch of effete pseudo-intellectual snobs.

Besides, socially relevant art is generally boring and obvious (unless it looks really great). I don't want to have to wait for someone to explain what something means before I can appreciate it. I just want to experience what it feels like to perceive something. I'd rather get my social relevance from MTV. Or an essay, or magazine, or a speech, or anything but a painting, photo, sculpture, installation, performance that is supposed to make a point or "teach" me something. The new academy is always just a little more boring than the old one. Because the people who push the new academy's agenda don't realize that they too will soon be co-opted.

As long as artists choose to live in the real (material) world, the laws of natural selection will pertain. Only the true iconoclast can subvert this process. As I said before, if you protest the Real World, you are the Real World.

Al Ravitz


If anyone sees this email before 7:00 PM, I would like to propose the following call to all artists, gallerists, and organizers out there with

regard to Michael Bulka's opening at Joymore:

1) Go to the opening Bulka has undoubtedly been to nearly all of your openings for years on end. You should return the favor by gracing him with your presence.

2) Drink as much beer and wine as you possibly can Bulka has undoubtedly consumed more than his share of booze at your receptions. Now is the rare opportunity to get even.

3) Write a critical appraisal Bulka has probably reviewed something you have participated in in one way or another. He deserves your feedback in return. After attending, post a review on Other Group. Reviews should be as off the cuff as possible (preferably written at 4:00 AM while still intoxicated on the beer and wine you drank at his opening) and should be no longer than 50 words max. When all of these things are done we will have collectively balanced the scales. Looking forward to seeing what you do Bulka!

Marc Fischer


watercolor and enamel paintings, digitally manipulated images, based on internet pornography opening reception: Friday, September 7, 7-11 pm continues through October 7. at Joymore 2701 W. Augusta. 773-278-3375 or joym- at


Okay it's not qwite 4:00 AM but I AM as promised:

The paintings had the kind of thick goopy surfaces that looked suspiciously like the kind of planks that are either used as pallets over a long period, left on the floor until they get covered with enough gunk, or that scraped off paint gets spread on until there is a surface stimulating enough to work on top off. The action on top did not look like it grew out of the action on the bottom. I think the goop is supposed to show us that the artist labored heavily. I liked the digital print of the nekkid woman who was being partially swallowed up by her blue plaid couch. Somehow the more crude paintshop manipulation of cyber-porn is more interestingly charged than the more distanced and quaint painted Marilyn Minter-like watercolors.

The kids from the hood seemed kind of titilated though. Nice expansive handout list of Bulka's sources's: the URLs for dozens of porn sites that provided the raw material. Perhaps now some other critics can start perusing [] to find the inspiration for some of these works.

That's more than 50 words I'm sure



thank you. We'll see what happens.


does the sex have to be so pretty? and so well packaged? what would happen if the yucky abstract paintings and the facile porn watercolors got it on? michael: do your lovely paintery skills "make nice" a sexual tic.

I did enjoy the show, though. congratulations michael. keep painting.



Nostradamus says...

--- Nostradamus 1654