“Though art must always be new, it is in profound ways never new. How different it is from an appliance, identifiable by model year, each year notable for its improvements. Indeed, some have tried to sell art as if it were a constantly upgraded piece of technology.”
This morning I seem to have a lot of questions. What makes art new? What gives it value? Who has the privilege of defining its value?
I’m not sure that I know how to begin answering any of these questions, but I know they are worth asking (inherently, questions have more meaning than their answers).
Several times each year, the Museum of Modern Art in New York accepts portfolio submissions from any photographer. I’ve been submitting my work a lot recently. It’s a bit strange, because there is little if any acknowledgement. After submitting your work, you get a form letter (any artist is familiar with this sort of thing), which is basically just a receipt. That’s about it. That’s followed by a second one that specifies that MoMA (“hereinafter referred to as the Museum“) doesn’t provide any feedback.
Strange too, in their form letter it also specifies that each artist can only submit a portfolio once a year. In the last 9 months I’ve submitted portfolios 4 times. What do I hope to achieve? Why do I do this again and again? I don’t know, but after all questions are more meaningful than their answers.
And I would also like to add, the pencil still hasn’t been outdone.