And Now For Something Completely Stupid…: Critic’s Corner
[This past week was my birthday, and so, I will be taking a one week sabbatical to celebrate. Instead, a good friend of mine, Finnius McPhail, critic in the fine arts for ProtoRationale Journal (a person and publication that I totally did not just make up) will be standing in to offer his analysis of a young, up-and-coming visual artist, four year old Olive Jenkins.]
IMAGE: Australia, by Olive Jenkins, Age 4
Olive Jenkins’ post-modern manifesto, Australia, dissolves the boundaries of contemporary art by forcing the viewer to reinterpret their own placement within a futile dialogue of accumulative knowledge and perception. Jenkins asks us to revisit our inherited ideologies of what modern art should be, and what value it should be granted in our tumultuous political climate. Are we not all the disenfranchised figures that Jenkins depicts adrift in a yawning abyss of baseless rationality?
‘Repent!’ Jenkins seems to demand, for in her merciless canvas we are frozen in awe, transfixed by the horrible clarity of a truth that she compels us to confront. We are alone beneath an unpitying sun, our ‘landscape’ is barren, and we are its disenfranchised, prodigal children, returning home from an aborted quest for meaning, our souls flayed raw by the insistent knowledge that for all our conceptual evolution, we are but scattered ash, flotsam in the gnarled wreckage of a social structure, blind to the futility of self-assessment.
All this Olive Jenkins, Age 4, says in her chilling indictment, through a masterful command of her art. And for this she should be in equal parts celebrated, respected, and perhaps feared.
– Reviewed by Finnius McPhail, Fine Art Critic for ProtoRationale Journal