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Monday, August 07, 2006

On The Subject Of Anonymity

What's to hide? Hmmm... suppose one of our members worked as a well placed staff person at one of L.A.'s prestigious art institutions - whether a museum, university, or gallery. Dear reader... we generally view these institutions as being part of the problem, since they are the very foundation of the city's entrenched postmodernist art establishment. Openly expressing the Stuckist viewpoint that a good portion of today's contemporary art is utter garbage would not likely be looked upon kindly, one could even - gasp - lose their job. So yes, we have our reasons for not wanting to be identified.

But more importantly, remaining anonymous should cause people to focus on the ideas we present. It places the emphasis on the collective ideals of the Remodernist movement rather than the individual likes and dislikes of chapter members. It is a stance that shuns the cult of the personality, a disease run rampant in a place like Los Angeles (think "Hollywood dream machine"). At present we place paramount importance on the promulgation of Remodernist ideas, and we hope to initiate a wide ranging, deep, and long lasting discussion that will eventually lead to action; the organization of meetings, exhibits, publications, etc. None of the present tasks that face us require hierarchical leadership or a photogenic spokesperson. At any rate, we believe that ideas should be judged on their merits alone, and not on the behavior, actions, or "likeability" of the idea's adherents.

There is strong precedent for our present course of anonymity. Since 1985, an anonymous group of female artists called the Guerilla Girls, have fought sexism in the fine art world to tremendous effect. They have done street art, exhibited, held press conferences, published books, organized events, and more - but no one knows who they are or what they look like (when doing public work the members wear gorilla masks). Another example would be the UK street artist, Banksy. After having covered much of London in his stencil graffiti, and having surreptitiously placed dozens of his paintings in museum collections... no one knows who he might be. He even held a major gallery exhibit in London some time ago while continuing to maintain his anonymity. We mention the Guerilla Girls and Banksy, not because we necessarily approve of what they say or do, but because they provide two successful examples of artists forcing a discussion over ideas instead of identity.