I came across the views recently of the now deceased Christian Delacampagnes in Raw Vision number three from 1990. He made some important statements that I feel should be brought to light again as in my opinion the label ‘outsider art’ has become too broad and now incorporates too many other forms that, if the term was to be synonmous with art brut, should not belong there.
“In the 1960s Art Brut managed to steal the limelight upon the stage of modern art. Nowadays, the ideal type of Art Brut creator of which Jean Dubuffet so fondly dreamed of has vanished. Is it not significant that not a single major discovery has occured since that time? Arguably, the sources has not entirely dried up, for this same publication, l’art brut, continues to appear; yet the quality of the work featured in recent issues would seem, in those cases where it continues to qualify as Art Brut, to fall sadly short of earlier standards or have we simply become blase? Pure Art Brut-again thinking of Dubuffets 1948 Art Brut concept- is thus hard to track down even in these recent issues of l’art brut. Could it be that it is hiding out somewhere else? The answer is no, not to my knowledge-at least, not in Western Europe.”
“With the spread of advertising, newspapers and above all television, there are similarly less and less people around who can escape the impact of the imagery of consumerism. In short, it is no longer possible to maintain that a given human being, however isolated he or she may be supposed to be-and i do recognise the continued isolation of many who are elderly, ill or handicapped-is genuinally untouched by cultural differences. Dubuffet did say, ‘but who can claim, unless he is blind, never to have seen any paintings or drawings?’ He also says, ‘I entirely concede that there do not exist, nor could exist, any artistic forms entirely beyond the range of cultural influences.’ and goes on ‘assurdely, it is inconceivable that mental activity should not stem in at least some small part from the fundamental premises of culture. It is thus a question of greater or lesser independence.'”
I wondered if anyone agrees with my views or what your thoughts are on Delacampagnes views???