Artspeak under the influence of theory.

Drunk on its idea, an explanation or description of a work of art through the lens of a tertiary theory almost always fits. Theory bends for those who apply it. This is not to suggest that theories are somehow deceptive or necessarily dubious, rather they are important to knowledge and creativity and their pursuits. A cruise through academia or one of your more-notable scholarly journals certainly seems to suggest that, in fact, theory is crucial to the practices of art.

My thoughts and products are no strangers to theory; my bookcase looks like a pantry of possibilities in print. And admittedly many of those books prove helpful — prove indispensable — to understanding art and the world that contains it.

But after many long, quiet mornings, pencil paused between teeth and text arrested on crossed thigh, the mind gazing long upon experiences of art while questioning various celebrated critics’ chosen interpretations of art’s practice germane to such objects, the notion that interpretation under the influence of heftily attractive philosophic theories smacks of a certain parasitism just won’t shake from my sights.

¶ 2014·10·13