THE MONGREL COALITION AGAINST GRINGPO RESPONDS TO THE LINKS BETWEEN CONCEPTUAL ART AND CONCEPTUAL POETRY

by on Jan.22, 2015

[Note: Although I have used the term “Gringpo” in the past, I did not author this communiqué.  The Mongrel Coalition Against Gringpo, an anonymous entity, asked me to post it on their behalf in response to the recent Jacket2 article on the relationship between Conceptual art and poetry. ]

 

“It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.” –James Baldwin

 

WE ARE REMINDED THAT WHITE EMPIRE IS UNITED. THEIR FRONT IS UNITED BY COLONIAL DOMINANCE, CULTURAL ARROGANCE, THEIR DEVOTION TO FINANCIAL CAPITALISM AND GLOBAL DISASTERS.

THEY ARE UNITED IN THEIR ENCRATIC USAGE OF AESTHETICS.

ENCRATIC: LANGUAGE THAT IS PRODUCED AND PROTECTED UNDER POWER (TRINH MINH HA).

OUR RESPONSE TO THEIR UNITED FRONT:

1. The level of bullshit racism that gets to pass as scholarship does not cease to surprise us. Gringpo arrogance is shocking on all fronts!

2. How is gringpo gonna talk about conceptual any fucken thing without ACTUALLY DISCUSSING THE IDEAS THAT ARE BEING CIRCULATED BY THEIR PRODUCERS

EXAMPLE:

KENNIE G AND HIS CREW CIRCULATE THE IDEA THAT WE DON’T NEED TO WRITE OR READ (CUZ WHITE CISHET MALE NARRATIVES HAVE EXHAUSTED ITSELF, SCREW ALL NARRATIVES THAT RESIST AND DREAM OTHERWISE), ALSO SCREW CITATIONS (PATCH FUCKEN WORK!) EVERYTHING BELONGS TO THE WHITE MALE ACADEMIC AND THEIR ANOINTIES INCLUDING IDENTITIES DON’T YOU DARE SUGGEST OTHERWISE

3. Gringpo’s adoration and devotion to mimicking the hierarchies of financial capitalism does not cease to amaze. “The conceptual artist and the conceptual poet intersect as information managers.” Yes! The elevation and celebration of not only immaterial labor but immaterial MANAGEMENT. In this diagram, who remains raw material, appropriated, labor, subcontracted? How are they paid where do they live how are they managed tell us tell us tell us

4. This Strike Gringpo?

5. Gringpo is so confused. Conceptual art is not about ideas! How cute of you to fall for their press releases. Why ignore that the vast proportion of conceptual art is made of white men playing phallus games with the accounts of 1% inside museums and subcontracting the poor to build the objects they “think of.” And when those laborers die become injured or sink deeper into poverty well this space is for the periphery of the 1% (also we are celebrating immaterial labor/management stop killing the mood) so no one will care or remember. TMCAG will remember. Gringpo thinks that it can name Felix Gonzalez Torres and Kara Walker to be matched up with their white male lovers? Haha! Kenneth Goldsmith AS Richard Serra. Craig Dworkin united with Santiago Sierra. Vanessa Place as Vanessa Beecroft! (Gringpo you will take these links as compliments–we make such associations not for you but for us).

6. Gringpo, we get that you listed some POCs and “othered” artists/writers and you think this makes everything you say safe, not racist, etc. TMCAG is letting you know that we’re not like the POC who are grateful for acts of inclusion, and therefore refuse to name your white supremacy, colonial aesthetics. We know that it is very possible for POC writers and artists to be complicit or co-opted in white supremacist, colonial aesthetics. Your listing practices are helpful reminders to Othered artists of how we can be weaponized, distorted and preserved for the wrong purposes. We will take note.

7. TMCAG understands it’s really naive and comfortable and safe to hold onto this modernist notion that conceptualism is about the idea (so what, everything else is about gendered notions of craft, racialized notions of labor? ha!)–we want to know: WHOSE IDEAS, WHY THOSE IDEAS. WHY DO THEY CIRCULATE? WHO DO THEY PRIVILEGE? WHOSE LIVES DO THEY UPLIFT?

8. Self declared conceptual art and writing lives inside museums, in privately held and publicly broadcasted institutional spaces, inside the white house, the walls of investment firms and homes deemed important. This is to say that such objects, such ideas, such mediums have received and continue to receive Empire’s most precious care. Gringpo’s desire to protect that which is in no need of clarification, protection or care–are its politics. The Mongrel Coalition exists to puncture Gringpo’s ethos, its rhetoric, its heart–so that time may exist for ancestral concerns.

9. TMCAG says if it’s not in service of a decolonial blackened world–it’s in service of the status quo we currently fester inside of. We also understand that such is the space you flourish in, best.

Our takeaway:

 

WHITE PEOPLE THINK ABOUT IDEAS
WHITE PEOPLE MAKE ART ABOUT IDEAS
WHITE PEOPLE ART IS ABOUT CONCEPTS SO IT’S GREAT
EVERYONE ELSE WHO TALKS ABOUT HOW MUCH WHITE SUPREMACY SUCKS THEY ARE COMPLAINING AND THEREFORE NOT ABOUT IDEAS
IT’S THEIR POLITICS NOT THEIR IDEAS
OKAY
OKAY?
OKAY

 

WHITE REFUSAL OF DECOLONIZATION AS THE MOST PROFANE

 

DECOLONIZATION IS THE ONLY PROFANE IDEA

7 comments for this entry:
  1. Ian Keenan

    Lucas, I enjoy this precisely because it not lifted from anyone. You are speaking to an actual phenomenon, but that phenomenon can be separated from actual Conceptualism, including the sides you mark out nationally and culturally.. as you know Mira Schendel’s language-based conceptual works came a little bit after the first of Ruscha’s in the 1960s and can be seen as responses to military imperialism both in Europe and in South Ameica, along with other Sao Paolo works of the time. What Roberto Matta got out of Duchamp in the 1940s is more interesting than any ‘Conceptual’ works thereafter. Whether or not I believe that Conceptualism, by nature, is ideological, I agree that “Everything has been done, this is the end of poetry” is definitely ideological, an End of History pre-emptive strike against literary alienation which doesn’t deter a spirit like yours. Mike Kelley, who studied with Baldassari, said “My early work – in part under the influence of the Conceptual Art generation of the 1960s and 1970s – refused to acknowledge that there was a historical ‘I’ in the work.. Meaning would flow in a kind of mythical third person, as if I.. were absent and the historically grounded reader were absent. Then I realized that this was a lie, a reiteration of the voice of dominant culture. So I tried to deal more with the specific aesthetics of my own lower-middle-class background.” Best to you, Ian

  2. Lucas de Lima

    Ian, thank you for this very interesting comment. I’ll let the Mongrel Coalition Against Gringpo respond, if they so wish, since they are the authors of this piece.

  3. adam s

    I like, by which I mean think astute not actually pointing to likeable reality, the statement that “complaining” is liable to be identified as blah politics not the realm of ideas and how this is suspect. Though I don’t think all “complaints” are equally dynamic/engaging–but am guessing MCAG would agree. I also wonder though if Kenny G is screaming extreme culpability, albeit with an icy Campiness, and that the only one who thinks he isn’t wonky is academia not his own person; or it could be I have an heretic understanding of KG as cyborg, as BS incarnate as vascular biology. I’m not wholly sure about the implication that the workers who actually build the conceptual pieces are comparable to terrifyingly downtrodden laborers; I imagine they may make decent money–though, yes, indecent in comparison to the almost 59 million a JK puppy can fetch…and yah, I like JK puppies. But yes I agree it’s important to think about disembodied concepts relations to material circumstances/realms of production/labor. The figuration Architect is even more so an exemplar–FG project in Dubai or is it Quttar, at any rate a mecca of dispossessed labor.

  4. adam s

    Meant to write hermetic not heretic.

  5. adam s

    On a maybe related note–I am waiting for the day when someone fully discloses materially privileged (compared to many, though likely not if one thinks intra-milieu wise)circumstances vectoring their writing: state the address it’s happening at, who owns the computer, the printer, if there’s a sabbatical or fellowship etc. I so wish DT did this for his class ‘n poetry essay at BR, for example.

  6. Sirama Bajo

    Not that I understand most of this, but even I can tell that this is nasty work, but SOMEBODY’s got to do it.

  7. Anna Cady

    Let me reassure you, most of these Gringpo guys are dead white men. It’s just that nobody has told them they are dead, or they forgot to tell someone they were. If you knew they were dead, and if they knew they were dead and didn’t need someone to tell them or write it down as if they were dead (or white) (or men) then it would be OK. wouldn’t it?