A visit to the exhibition (login required) of the graduating students of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris reinforces the uncomfortable (though familiar) conclusion: art is dead, useless, corrupt…..
But it is not globalization that has produced this effect upon artistic judgment; the rot is internal to the art world itself, as has been the rot in the humanities departments of our universities. Strange as it might seem for someone without religious belief to say it, the loss of belief that there is anything sub specie aeternitatis has rendered art trivial, no more than a kindergarten activity for adults who want to feel special and whose thirst for self-expression is greater than anything they have to express. Moral and aesthetic capital is not expended all at once, but gradually; it is run down steadily until none remains. As “felicità 17” demonstrates, none remains.
Read the piece for the descriptions of the students’ works and ponder: these are the best and the brightest.