We launch right in with a 10 dollar word, "conjuncture" which means "the current situation" but even I had to look it up and I jolly well know a lot of words. Caroline rambles on with absurdities like "pioneers who shaped the field" who died unknown. Actually, if they shaped the field, we more or less by definition know who they are, idiot. There's a little Gender Issues! and Class Issues! tossed around for effect, but to no particular conclusion. Then we get this gem:
We cannot, therefore, understand artworks independent of the context in which they are made.
because this dope doesn't know what "therefore" means. It absolutely does not follow from vague bitching about gender and class that we cannot understand Art independent of the context in which it is made. While it is perfectly true that we cannot, this author has presented no argument to that effect.
Then we proceed to some name dropping and "Thatcherism sucks", with, astoundingly, an actual connection to the next bit which is that Artists are apparently being More Individualistic and feel that Art is a bit of a competition now. To assert that this is Thatcher's fault is absurd, though. Art has always been highly competitive. Are the Medici somehow Thatcher's fault? Was the Renaissance church somehow Thatcher's fault? I think I speak for all of us when I say "what the fuck, lady?" Her grasp of history cannot be this weak, surely?
The implication, unstated presumably because Caroline is an unthinking idiot. is that pre-Thatcher, Art was made in some sort of socialist paradise.
From here we learn that self-promotion is a big deal (apparently this is Thatcher's fault) and that we either should, or should not, delete our instagram accounts. Namedrop a little more (Walker Evans!) and so on.
Then we go on to a lot of rot about crappy jobs and how Artists have them.
And then we wrap up with a violent left turn into a discussion of her own work which consists of re-photographing the castoffs of her students.
Wait, this twit is a teacher? Ugh.
None of this shit makes much sense, and frankly it's not supposed to. This author is engaged in social signalling. She's letting her peers know that she is Down With Gender Issues and is Sensitive To Class Issues, and she Blames Thatcher For Everything. These are all very cool things to do and be. There's no thesis, there's no argument, there's no conclusion, there's just a bunch of dog-whistle phrases thrown out there in a more or less senseless jumble.
If she has an agenda at all, it seems likely that what she probably wants is for a great deal of money to be made available to fund comfortable academic posts for idiots like her where, with no oversight, they can sit around smoking French cigarettes and talking about bullshit. In fact, if push came to shove, she's probably accept a single comfortable berth just for herself, despite her hand-wringing about how artists compete too much.
The cited piece apparently first appeared in some publication, and clicking through to that hot mess we are presented with a pile of photographic tripe made by "lens-based artists" in defiance of the laws of grammar. I suspect that it is the art that is lens based rather than the artist, but the results are childish bullshit either way. You know the sort of thing, out of focus pictures of bricks which Interrogate the Dialectics of Something Weighty. Get it? Bricks are heavy? Weighty?
I have never seen any of this sort of crap hung anywhere, except perhaps in the worst sort of coffee shops. This leads me to suspect that there is in fact an insular community of people, publishing one another's nonsense, getting little grants to show one another's work, and in general patting one another on the back while talking about the Dialectic of Gender and smoking French cigarettes. I assume further that these people are, basically, academics.
I wish they would knock it off, but I dare say they won't.