Critical Theory: C’est Nothing, Deux Nothing, 2009
12” x 9” x 12”
Courtesy the artist
Vanderbilt Artists Exhibit
Work by Artists from Vanderbilt University's Department of Art
(October 21 – December 9, 2010)
Michael Aurbach, a native of Wichita, Kansas, received his MFA. in Sculpture from Southern Methodist University and an MA in Art History from the University of Kansas. His BFA in Studio Art is from KU as well. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. The National Endowment for the Arts, the Southern Arts Federation, the Tennessee Arts Commission, Art Matters Inc., the Puffin Foundation, and Vanderbilt University are among the foundations and organizations that have supported his creative work. Through satire, Aurbach addresses matters related to secrecy, power, bad institutional behavior, and academic folly.
He is a past president of the College Art Association and a recipient of the Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. In 2001 his work was selected for the inaugural exhibition of contemporary art at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. In September 2010 his work was featured in Sculpture magazine.
Critical theory is a form of "scholarship" that was originally associated with comparative literature. It found its way to other disciplines within the humanities. Historians of art who use the "methodology" dismiss the significance of the object, the artistic processes associated with the making of objects, and what the artist has to say about his/her work. Some critical theorists are even dismissive of primary sources and footnoting. In the end, the psychobabble that is presented is similar to a hustle by a used car salesperson. By the way, "theory" is all that's left when you don't have the facts.