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Natasha Matila-Smith on dicks: Happy Easter Dicks

Part Nine

I’m the biggest dick of all sometimes.  I will prove this by stating the Top Four Archetypes of Art School in the following paragraphs, thereby minimising the role of artists and reinforcing black and white extremities.

Actually, it’s just light fun, please don’t hate me…

There is a film character named Roberta Allsworth from the film version of the graphic novel/comic Ghost World. Upon meeting a class of unenthused teenagers, Roberta shows a self-produced video work entitled Mirror Father Mirror ‘made possible’ by ‘The Federation For the Advancement of Mature Women in the Arts’/’The Struggling Artist Foundation’/’The Why Not Me Project’. Roberta represents the Artist-Light Background, Well Educated Woman Very Interested And Concerned About Traditions Of Art But Not Quite Sure How This Works In The Physical Form Of Art(1).

Male Artist Taking The Piss But Probably With A Very Serious Undercurrent(2) knows his shit.  He’s aware of the system and how it caters specifically to his gender (and sometimes his race), but ya know, instead of contributing to society, he chooses to be a Modernist , Aesthete and/or Formalist.  It’s not that this dude doesn’t care, it’s just that he doesn’t have to, so he doesn’t bother.  His stuff is probably going to be bought by a gallery anyway.  He’s usually attractive and wears comfortable khaki ‘Grandad’ style jumpers from Army Surplus.

The alternative to the above is Male Artist Who Is Very Serious, Cares Very Much And Is Involved In Lots Of Politics And Has His Fingers In Loads Of Pies(3).  This guy doesn’t actually have to be a guy at all.  He is so infuriated by social issues and the university infrastructure that he protests all the time – both literally protesting the streets and then also refusing to partake in institutional systems.  He never gets the same recognition as Archetype 2, so he’s generally genuinely trying to escape his privilege. Actually the female version of Archetype 3 is almost obnoxiously unbearable, doesn’t really like artwork that doesn’t somehow come across as heavy or deep and gets really excited after reading a history book about racial politics.

Artist Exploring Gender And Sexual Preference Issues For The First Time(4) thinks they are making Felix Gonzales-Torres’ ‘Untitled (Perfect Lovers) type work.  Sometimes Archetype 4 wants to alter social, educational and political perception of gender theory, but through minimalist means; hopes a picture will be worth a thousand words.  At other times Archetype 4 is blatantly obvious; will make a film about ‘gender theory’ and will force entire class to watch microscopic insanely detailed slow motion video of Archetype 4’s massive dick being blown.

If you think I am describing you personally, don’t; everyone is predictable and stereotypical (much like myself) and you probably possess only some of the features of the archetypes listed here.  I am admittedly suuuuuuuuch a (5)*

*Not As Witty As I think I Am, Not Really An Artist Or A Writer Or Whatever, Just Because I’m Brown I think I have Authority On Social Issues Lady(5).

Natasha Matila-Smith

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