Lee Adcock

SOTD #706 – Mats Gustafsson

SOTD #706 – Mats Gustafsson
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I read in a review lately that good art should not leave the audience wondering – “how did he/she do that?” Rather, they should walk away thinking – “I want to do this.”

I’ve also been reading a book on Dada, and wrapping my head around the difference between anti-art – like the Zurich contingency and Hans Arp’s wavy woodcuts, Hugo Ball’s phonetic poems, and Hans Richter’s geometric drawings – and non-art, like Marcel Duchamp’s urinal in the gallery. Both buck against tradition. But the former seeks meaning in the alternative, the expression of the unconscious mind. A drawing, ripped to shreds and tossed on the floor, breathes new life when chance determines where the pieces fall. Duchamp’s ready-mades, on the other hand, represent a rejection of meaning or value. Let a bicycle wheel be mounted on a stool and admired; take down a Rembrant painting and iron your clothes on it.

With all this in mind, Mats Gustafsson is either the greatest artist, the greatest anti-artist, or the greatest non-artist to wield a Piano Mate. I haven’t made up my mind yet. Well, no, cross out non-artist. This taps a reaction in me – the still air, a sense of calm, mingled with raw, unmediated desire. Not for anything in particular, mind – just a burning, below the gut, that knows no object.

Blue Tapes / X Ray Recs, one of the UK’s most eccentric and esoteric labels, is gonna put out this fine slab of drone, Piano Mating, in January, which is really far away, but you can still pre-order it here.

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