Onion Discussion: Press Releases: A Serious Business

I just wanted to add this frieze article. It brings up what I see as the subject framing this whole discussion series, “professionalisation”. and a pretty accurate description of language use in the arts:

“Our own expansion and integration of all these spheres of activity – from making art to exhibiting it, curating, writing, teaching, thinking of imaginative ways to document art or advertise it, sell it, use it to sell other things – has generated an image of consummate professionalism, the feeling that everyone knows exactly what they are doing and how to behave”

“Working for a contemporary art magazine, I get sent a vast amount of press material each day, almost all of which employs a strikingly similar tone of voice. Most common is the one of academic solemnity infused with a barely veiled aggression, as though art were engaged in some cultural ‘war on terror’. Words such as ‘forcing’, ‘interrogating’ or ‘subverting’ occur with incredible frequency. Boundaries are ‘broken down’ and ‘preconceptions challenged’ so often as to make subversion and radicality seem like a mandatory daily chore rather than a blow to the status quo”

” a non-grammatical set of abstractions that have the surface appearance of discussion and the exchange of ideas, but which in fact serve only in order to maintain the illusion of communication and creative dialogue”

“‘Nouns, like material products, appear to be out of fashion'”



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