It’s hardly a new discussion, but it seems that the language used on descriptions alongside works of gallery art is in the news again.
The blame, it seems, is the fault of ‘experts’ such as curators and critics. Perhaps rightly so – although, a graduate show I attended recently had some spectacularly amusing examples of this. But, I sometimes wonder to what degree these media-driven debates are simply attempts at dumbing down, or appeals to populism.
How about other specialisms? Should we make plumbing less complex to understand? How about quantum physics, or horticulture?
This also has echos of other debates around the accessibility or democratisation of art, design, photography and the creative arts in general.
Elitism is vomit inducing – and there’s plenty of that in the art world. But, should there really be professionals out there ‘explaining’ art to people? I also wonder if taking all of the ‘mystique’ out of art, actually renders it less poweful (although perhaps some people would say that’s a good thing)?