20 janeiro 2007

Fred e as artes

Fred Reed fala algo que eu sempre quis dizer sobre alguns artistas e críticos profissionais ou amadores.

I ask you this: Suppose I went pub-crawling in London and stumbled on an unknown play by Shakespeare, the equal of Lear and unquestionably genuine. Maybe Shakespeare had left his driver’s license with it. Suppose further that I sent it to New York, and to the English department at Harvard (which these days might or might not have heard of Shakespeare) and told them that it was my senior essay in creative writing at Texas A&M.

Are you sufficiently hallucinatory to expect an explosion of appreciation? “My god, we’ve found genius in the outback!” or maybe, “Geez, this kid writes like he’d actually been there!”

No. There would be condescension and polite silence. The perfessors don’t think old Bill is good because he is good, which they are not capable of ascertaining, but because he is Bill. You could show them a pizza order signed “Willybill S.,”on decayed parchment, tell them that it was found at Stratford, and they would wet themselves with emotion. Double cheese, anchovies.

Fact is, most art isn’t. Let some cultural executioner hang anybody in a museum, and he becomes Art, sort of by appointment. The critics will then make a career of sitting around appreciating themselves for appreciating him. Criticism is about critics; the art is barely necessary.