Monday, March 7, 2016
I really enjoyed the Art History lecture on the progression of the Korean Courtesan and had some connections come to mind between the work presented and the idea of simulations. There once was a 'pure' courtesan however it has been so simulated over the years that there are multiple opinions on what truly is a courtesan, meaning it has lost its original, exclusive characteristics. The lecturer spoke about the differences of a courtesan as a beautiful, modernistic, eye pleasing woman versus a representation of traditional oriental beauty. This dispute of what a is a true courtesan is a tribute to the destruction of the real from the ethnographer (in this case Japanese and Korean artists). This destruction was the result of what the lecturer referred to as the "search for new subject matter." Artists all over the world were inspired to escape from European conventions and there was an interest in exploring "new pastures in the oriental Asia". Baudrillard would condemn such ethnography but, as I've come to realize throughout the term, it is commonplace in art history to ignore the damages of simulation in preference of producing something new or 'better'.