Dear Dispatches,

Given the theme of Dispatch #28, I thought you might be interested in “Triumph of the Readymade: Damien Hirst in Venice”:

Corwin touches upon a couple important ideas and questions regarding appropriation, e.g., “Hirst… picks and chooses his mythological and archeological all-star team he underscores again and again that all of this is found and his for the taking. This is explicit in the narrative of the expedition to find the works, as well as the accreted coral, barnacles and shells which have “grown” over the works, signifying their ultimate decontextualization from the world of human culture. The artist is collector and adventurer, but not necessarily the creator, more the fabricator-in-chief.” And that, “the artist pillages art history via pages ripped from H.W. Hanson.” Corwin then asks: “Can a fatalistically cheery outlook on the history of human creativity be wrenched from an ultimately reductionist Duchamp-ian approach to that creativity?” Sadly, in my opinion, Corwin doesn’t follow-up on his own questions except in rather “nerdy, teen-age boy silliness” typical of so much art criticism these days. There’s no serious examination of Hirst’s privileged “plagiarism,” of the Palazzo Grassi, and other institutions and the private money that’s built Hirst’s career. Talk about being “decontextualized” from human culture!

Anyhoo, I’m greatly interested in all of the new work up at Dispatches – bravo!

Best, Andrew