04 March 2011

Gould Meets Gould

Musician Gould: To me the ideal
audience-to-artist relationship...
is a one-to-zero relationship.
That's the moral objection.

Interviewer Gould: Run that by me again?

MG: First l'm not at all happy with words
like "public" and "artist"...
or the hierarchical implications
of that kind of terminology.
The artist should be
granted anonymity.
He should be permitted to operate
in secret as it were...
unconcerned with or better still
unaware of the marketplace's demands...
which demands given enough indifference
on the part of enough artists...
will simply disappear.
Given that disappearance the artist
will then abandon his false sense...
of public responsibility...
and his audience or "public"
will relinquish its...
role of servile dependency.

IG: And never the twain shall meet.

MG: No they'll make contact
but on a much more meaningful level.

IG: Well Mr. Gould
I'm well aware that this sort of...
idealistic role swapping has
a certain rhetorical flourish.
The creative audience concept of which
you've spoken at length elsewhere...
has a kind of McLuhan-esque fascination.
But you conveniently forget that
the artist however hermetic his life...
is still in effect an autocratic figure.
He's still however benevolently
a social dictator...and his public however generously
enfranchised by electronic options is still on the receiving end
of the experience. All your neomedieval anonymity quest
on behalf of the "artist-as-zero" and all your vertical pan-culturalism on
behalf of his "public" won't change it.

Script: 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould

Gould: Goldberg Variations 1-10 (Bach)

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