The Aesthetics of the Refusal of Aesthetics: Sara Deraedt
by The Manhattan Art Review.
"The affiliative, virtual nature of most art is perhaps near exhausted at present.** Where devotional images served to briefly pull serfs out of their daily toil into their only respite of religious reverie, our constant media oversaturation due to the internet, video games, and so on has made our avoidances of reality into the norm, which in turn has damaged art's ability to evoke by its distance from reality. When the virtual dominates the real, art's inherently virtual (i.e. imaginative, intangible) function must turn away from presenting further escapes from reality and instead bring us back down into ourselves."
"What these shifts have wrought, to art in particular, is an overexposure to the pseudo-freedom of choice, which in reality is little more than a mode of anxiety. Similarly to how you have 20 choices of shitty mass-produced coffee at your grocery store, a painter is now forced to "choose" a style of painting instead of participating in a cultural context, and each of these choices presents an inherent danger by virtue of being a choice. This is not to imply that I advocate for a state-imposed rule of socialist realism or the like, only that choosing is a terrible burden. The danger in choosing comes not from the possibility of choosing wrongly but from the fact that choosing itself may imply that every choice is already wrong. This is because, as we've established, aesthetics are the expression of a culture. The ability to choose an aesthetic is not the opportunity to choose a culture but to prove our lack thereof. As humans living together we do have a culture, of course, but that culture is the bleakest state yet of vacuous consumption where the only expression manageable is the ceaseless repetition of the meaninglessness of our own empty gestures, the spectacular void of the Spectacle observing itself."