Correcting the art gods using logic. One of the saddest aspects of contemporary art is that an accomplished artist will be wrong and speak nonsense yet no one dares correct them. This behavior is toxic and must change; we need to apply our judgment and speak truth to power, otherwise truth loses all meaning and enables the way for the age of Trump.
Putting aside the presumption of anyone who disagrees with an art God, Lawrence Weiner has a reductivist grasp of skill. In search of historical precedents, let's not forget that Marcel Duchamp's ready-made means that an artist no longer has to work at making art nor at acquiring the skills to do so. Instead, any found object can be declared a work of art. The thesis here is that skill is no longer needed, skill is not art. Duchamp himself lost any interest in making art, it was like a broken leg he said. If you say there is no need to make art, and you say it often enough, you will eventually believe it and lose all desire to make art.
The ready-made is a found object, likely detritus that was once a factory-made object, used till broken or worn out. Ready-made installation art often uses garbage, which unconsciously whispers that art is garbage; it assigns a negative value to sculpture or installation art. If one is an artist therefore, one would have to conclude that Duchamp was wrong and the ready-made is not art but it's negation, it's evil twin, it stands on the other side of the limit of what art can be.
The ready-made exists at the point of enantiodromia; when things reach their extreme they turn into their opposite. Duchamp as a Dadaist had stated that he wanted to destroy art, and he succeeded. We destroy art by neglecting effort and skill, what is destroyed is no longer what it was therefore by negation, the ready made shows the value and necessity of skill in art. LW may have overlooked the fact that the skill which was used to transform an object into sculpture was transposed into the transformation of thought into thought-sculpture, the transposition of the formalist element to a different media.
At this point I will skip current studies that suggests ideas by themselves cannot be art, that ideas need a reality check, a transformation through working with physical material. Instead a short argument on the importance of skill in making art looks at the etymology of the word; the art of cuisine, the art of conversation. The art of anything requires experience (hence skill). The reason lies in our blind spot, in the unconscious brain that is complex enough to regulate our heartbeat and chemical balance.
Conscious thinking has often been compared to the top layer of an onion with various levels of thinking and thought functions of which we are not aware (unconscious) but which produce the thoughts that eventually reach consciousness. Our physical and intellectual evolution occurred through an interaction with matter in which we acquired skill. Skill comes from the failure of our idea to understand the nature of the material we are working with and so having to adapt the material to the idea, the idea to the material, and so learning more about the nature of both. The word art actually means skill; art requires skill, skill at its best is art.