TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  How do you hang a painting in a yurt?
Author  :  Patrick Weiler
Date  :  08-07-2000 on 12:54 a.m.
jpweil00@gte.net Sam, Congratulations on your 90th birthday! Only 10 years younger than the Queen Mum. I suspect she has some pretty nice rugs, too. Regarding your topic, I think you are preaching to the choir here. I think most of the people interested in Turkotek probably feel the same as you. Art is art, whether on a rug, a canvas, a piece of marble or the facade of a building. Those Eurocentric critics who feel that utilitarian applied art is not as good as paintings obviously never tried to hang a Vermeer on a curved-sided yurt! The cultural bias towards painting, sculpture and "classical" music as Fine Art seems inseparable from our Civilized perspective. Rugs will never achieve the absurd prices that some paintings have, but those prices are only due to the perception of their value within a hierarchy perpetuated by those with the most financial interest in increasing the value of their holdings. Their inherent value is no more than that of any other decorative object. Would I trade my Veramin for a Van Gogh? A pushti for a Pollack? A Mishkin for a Michealangelo? Well, yes. Monetary value is not the issue. The same pricipals of art apply to paintings as well as rugs; design, color, perspective, structure, etc. I believe that your point is that rugs are equally artistic to other kinds of art. They just have the added advantage of being utilitarian. I agree. Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  RE:How do you hang a painting in a yurt?
Author  :  Milton Cater
Date  :  08-07-2000 on 10:25 a.m.
rugs@bangalow.com Patrick Weiler, your mention of cultural bias and eurocentricity struck a chord. Especially after reading the previous thought-provoking discussions of fine and applied, decorative and useful arts. One of life's great mysteries, for me, is the relative values of various types of tribal art/craft. Not the dollar value but the respect value. A friend collects both Baluch and Aboriginal/Oceanic art. In the latter, however, ugly simply utilitarian objects made only yesterday are held in some regard as valuable artefacts which is fine by me. Ethnographic history, rounding out and filling one's cultural interests are admirable but, and here is the nub - why is not the same respect paid for, say, that ugly hot red and orange 1970's Baluch namakdan or khurjin. It has a similar raison d'etre but is apparently valueless to collectors of ethnography as well as we ruggies. Also the wooden vernacular artefacts of Central Asian tribal life are not apparent in the city galleries. Do people have a problem with Cental Asia? "This piece of wood was used for beating tapa cloth" accords more respect than "this piece of wood was used for beating a rug". Why? One cynic remarked "we like our tribes dead" like the value of a painting after the artist's death. But isn't that semi-nomadic culture of the Baluch or Qashgai etc. more or less dead anyway? Rug collectors have a strong aesthetic - based drive and generally eschew collecting for collecting's sake. Most admirable. But are we letting go things we shall probably want in the future? Are we subject to our own cultural/aesthetic bias? Making our own judgements on what is and is not valuable in the canon of Baluch or Turkoman art and craft? Filtering now maybe eating the future. regards, Milton Cater

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