Aesthetic Journalism by Alfredo Cramerotti Reviewed by Alanna Lockward

Addressing a growing area of focus in contemporary art, Aesthetic Journalism investigates why contemporary art exhibitions often consist of interviews, documentaries, and reportage. Art theorist and critic Alfredo Cramerotti traces the shift in the production of truth from the domain of the news media to that of art and aestheticism – a change that questions the very foundations of journalism and the nature of art. This volume challenges the way we understand art and journalism in contemporary culture and suggests future developments of this new relationship.

"Since Octavio Paz wrote, in 1995, that good [contemporary] poetry is impregnated by journalism, it was a matter of time before this axiom was transferred to the visual arts. This book has this kind of self-explanatory quality and it is particularly refreshing because it is not written by a journalist, a theoretician, or an art critic, but by an artist. Precisely due to this attempt of self-exploration from the author’s own praxis to the interpretation of the systems of representation he is immersed in, while the book offers many insightful reflections it also takes a handful of assumptions for granted. The most palpable one is the concept of “truth”, which at the beginning is not written with the customary post-foucaldian “”. Later, the notion of “truth” as always dependant on specific systems of power and representation is properly discussed, but in the meantime this lack of rigor creates certain confusion. Shi-Xu, for example, who brings into Critical Discourse Analysis the notion that in Chinese culture the pursuit of harmony is what matters, “truth” as such does not even exist, tells us that it is no longer valid to universalize this discipline from a Western and, I add, white and male perspective. Another problematic issue arises in relation to the author’s approach to the normalizing invisibility of the speaking subject, on P. 74 we read: “…in order to make that world happen one has to make clear one’s own position in relation to the matter of investigation, exposing the grounds for working on the subject, and what they might gain from it”. So the intention is there, that is why the repeated assumption of a collective and not described “we” in this book, is somehow contradictory; it creates an undesirable invisibility for many Others. For example, when discussing the work of Renzo Martens, on P. 91, a quote addresses the alleged impossibility of engaged or committed art. It is not explained that the subject posing the question, who speaks in the name of a collective “we”, is a white European male, therefore does enjoy the privilege of having this choice. For anyone from a different background, a feminist Eastern European, or someone from the Caribbean, or from the African continent, for example, the issue is quite the opposite; in fact, this question might appear as utterly irrelevant. In the pursuit of explaining the interaction between artistic and journalistic practices this book succeeds with honors.  It is thoroughly researched and it is transparent and generous in sharing its (re)sources. A decisive contribution is the analysis of paradigmatic works of aesthetic journalism, a term notably well articulated, like for example those of Renzo Martens and Alfredo Jaar. Both are discussed as ideal and failed forms of aesthetic journalism respectively; the latter being quoted, on P. 93, as admitting with regards to The Rwanda Project: '[it] lasted six years. I ended up doing twenty-one pieces in those six years. Each one was an exercise of representation. And how can I say this? The all failed.'" - Alanna Lockward

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Valor Alexander  Said...

Dear Intellect Editors; Directors;

Can you find that message letter easyly but I had wanted write one long article for you about 'Aesthetic Journalism by Alfredo Cramerotti' but my buts are before for excuses for my posts by use different ways not direct but there were not suit places.

They are as first a letter to mss.May  at comments of her reportage at 'Essential Writers' ; second pages are full of intellect critics that you can use direct and do adjoints from my message letters like from women scientist or Russel project group critics; third and fourths are at England Editors table that they inform and post them as two different web pages for your controls, usages that are about my books and my cartoon design projects that there were  beautifull, clean photos but situation were accidental; excuses.  

I am one of young candidad editor friend with my books as ready to press and for the biggest prizes just like your brother. I wish that you understand what I mean; I have decided direct begin from England; so I have some troubles at Ankara but now; I am at the last of works. I hope that before my settling at London you can open windows for me and for us. After my London visit end exactly I come you from Oxford city but if you accept I can begin direct with you. I must do some more photocopy examples and deliver them to some places more. I am under minimume conditions. I can not search, call the telephone or follow for a few weeks. So; I hope to arrive you as kiss from here at the end.

Your our valor; Valor Alexander; not allegoric or like lexicon

October 3, 2010 17:00