Rape of the Masters

Rosenbladt makes a good point here.

“The Rape of the Masters shows how modern art historians have distorted artists and their paintings to the point that they are hardly recognizable. In fact, sometimes it’s so bad that it often seems they really hate the art and the artists they are writing about, and that their actual purpose behind their “scholarship” is to discredit them. Paintings are not interpreted on their merit, their obvious content, or what the artist, and those close to him, have said about the artwork. On the contrary, artwork is seen through the lens of Marxism, Freudianism, gender conflict, and race conflict, where applicable (and even where not applicable).”

For those of you who are hoping to land a job in the art history field, here’s a few guidelines that are guaranteed to secure employment:

Everything is a metaphor—and usually for the artist
everything can be sexualized (if you disagree, you haven’t looked hard enough);

There is a theory for everything;

Your politics come before the artwork;

If you don’t know what you’re saying, put it in verbiage that no one can understand.

Most people, especially those in the artistic community, are horribly confused about the role of rationality in creative expression. Most would say that art is entirely or nearly all subjective such that rational criticisms are meaningless. Art, in their view, falls outside the rational world, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

To illustrate what I mean let’s take an example in which we are all familiar: Love. Many hold that love is irrational. But what if I said “Love is stomping on the beloved’s toes as hard as you can with cleats on your feet” or “O.J. Simpson loved Nichole”.

Would we all not protest saying “That’s not love!”?

But why? What we are doing here is making a rational distinction. We are rationally distinguishing, objectively, what love is and what it is not. We are making objective knowledge claims about the nature love.

The Good, the True, and the Beautiful are immortally bound to one another. Inseperable. For example, whatever is beautiful must be good and whatever is good, must, in some sense, be true.

But what if, say, existentialism is false? Wouldn’t art that is grounded in existentialism be less good?If the ideas behind the art are false, untrue, or shown to be less than good then it would follow that the work of art is inferior.

The emperor’s clothes are off. Postmodernity (i.e. relativism of all knowledge) is assumed upfront in the humanities and it leads to ridiculous but tenaciously held conclusions.

One time I was talking with a lady on the net…She was
earning her PhD in Hermeneutics ( the study of interpretation)….She said to me “You can never know an author’s intent”…

So I kept replying to her, but I kept deliberately misconstruing what she was saying and providing an interpretation of what she was saying that was waaay off the mark….

She got more and more frustrated and angry with me for not understanding what she was saying….

So finally I said “If we can never know an author’s intent why the hell are you expecting me to understand what your saying here?” ….” You are angry and frustrated at me because you are assuming I should understand your intent!”

What’s worse is that these types want to take over the science departments and call things like chemistry and physics “social constructs”.

NYU Physicist Sokal wrote a parody which was accepted and published as a serious article by Social Text. The editors and reviewers of Social Text think science is a social construct and Sokal’s piece underscores the ridiculous nature of postmodern reconstructionism.

Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.

But deep conceptual shifts within twentieth-century science have undermined this Cartesian-Newtonian metaphysics1; revisionist studies in the history and philosophy of science have cast further doubt on its credibility2; and, most recently, feminist and poststructuralist critiques have demystified the substantive content of mainstream Western scientific practice, revealing the ideology of domination concealed behind the façade of “objectivity”.3 It has thus become increasingly apparent that physical “reality”, no less than social “reality”, is at bottom a social and linguistic construct; that scientific “knowledge”, far from being objective, reflects and encodes the dominant ideologies and power relations of the culture that produced it; that the truth claims of science are inherently theory-laden and self-referential; and consequently, that the discourse of the scientific community, for all its undeniable value, cannot assert a privileged epistemological status with respect to counter-hegemonic narratives emanating from dissident or marginalized communities. These themes can be traced, despite some differences of emphasis, in Aronowitz’s analysis of the cultural fabric that produced quantum mechanics4; in Ross’ discussion of oppositional discourses in post-quantum science5; in Irigaray’s and Hayles’ exegeses of gender encoding in fluid mechanics6; and in Harding’s comprehensive critique of the gender ideology underlying the natural sciences in general and physics in particular.7

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