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Feb 5, 2023Liked by Dr Victoria Powell

Thank goodness for the Internet’s ability to show Matsutani's work and your decision to share it. The Internet is the world's most extensive gallery of art. More people see more art than ever. Matsutani's work also leads us to a much broader source of art-making ideas. Even the most contemporary Western art is ham-strung by dualistic Cartesian thinking. Matsutani’s Eastern philosophical orientation is one reason he may not get the notice he deserves in the West. His expression is embodied in the work. It doesn't require a verbal explanation. Seeing it is a visceral experience.

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It's so true, more people are seeing art than ever before because of the internet - I'd never actually thought of it like that. I agree with you that Matsutani's work is very visceral. For me it's the kind of art that I want to touch, and understand with my hands as well my eyes. Welcome Michael! It's great to hear your thoughts.

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I’ve enjoyed watching the video of Matsutani (many times!) what a process to watch.

Some big questions posed in the blog, the authenticity question is interesting, for Matsutani personal values are clearly driving him to produce solo, does he acknowledge the structures or systems in place that enable slow work to be profitable? It can’t always have been easy for him I imagine.

I love how this thread of replication and reimagining art is weaving it’s way through the recent posts, in trying to understand consciousness we are always trying to work out what part or element of our thoughts are unique or novel, but how can we ever know how the fragments of our mind piece things together? Perhaps there is innovation but nothing new.

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I love your phrase 'how can we ever know how the fragments of our mind piece things together'. It makes me think of how music is composed. I often wonder how on earth musicians can keep on coming up with new catchy songs. Surely all the big hits have been done by now? But no, the same notes and structures put together in new ways over and over again.

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Even more astounding when you consider that most pop songs use the same 4 chords. Here’s a comedy illustration (small amount of sweary language at beginning) https://youtu.be/5pidokakU4I

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amazing!

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Jan 16, 2023Liked by Dr Victoria Powell

Hi. One more comment. I think avant- garde declarations of ‘make it new’ are not merely aesthetic choices by the artists but code for either, ‘something monstrous has happened in our world; we must make something better’ or ‘ our world has changed and we can’t make art in the same way any more’.

I will try and share the Greenberg audio .

Martin

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This is an interesting idea, Martin. One could certainly think of the development of Dada in that way, as a response to the horrors and meaninglessness of WWI. Shifts in science and technology are also responsible for aesthetic changes - like the impact of photography on fine art or the development of synthetically produced colours in the 19th century.

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Jan 16, 2023Liked by Dr Victoria Powell

Oh wow, I love Matsutani's work, and I really enjoyed seeing the process of him creating his art. He's a new artist for me, never heard of him before. It is interesting how some artists make it big and others don't, I've often wondered about this. Although he is in the Hauser & Wirth stable so presumably he's not doing too badly.

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Jan 15, 2023Liked by Dr Victoria Powell

Hi Victoria

Good choice for a Sunday morning helping of art discourse! First and foremost, I like the materiality of his art. He has done a lot with the behaviours of one material. I like that complex visual resonances can come from simple materials and methods.

The histories of ‘other’ modernist avante garde groups of artists from outside Europe and the US has been researched but so far not promoted into wide art public awareness. The matters of ‘make it new’ and ‘ make it authentic’ are as you know perennial in European modernism . In the context of Japanese pre and post war art history it may be unusual, perhaps apart from cinema. I’m not qualified to say more, except that the more well known figures are distinctive.

On the subject of ‘objectivity of value’ in art and the ongoing canon of artists, by coincidence I happen to have been listening to audio recordings of Clement Greenberg holding a set of seminars on just these topics at Bennington College in 1971. They are fascinating , and perhaps annoying, in many ways.

Best

Martin

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Thanks for your thoughts Martin. I like the materiality of Matsutani's art too, particularly how he likens the glue to skin. He talks about creating in three dimensions which makes me think he's more of a sculptor than anything else, even though he works from the 2-D plane.

Are the Greenberg lectures part of a podcast or audiobook? Is there a link you can share?

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deletedJan 16, 2023Liked by Dr Victoria Powell
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Yes exactly. The processes by which artists have entered the canon of western art history are complex and were determined by wealthy patrons and what they collected, what museums have collected, what art history scholars researched and published, what curators have exhibited etc Women artists weren't generally part of this picture for various reasons.

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