Yet the point about my question - with regard to what people *consider* to be modern art - is it *possible* any longer to confront or insult the audience? I suggest not...because it's all been done before. Blank canvases and stale food in the corner of a glass case and...
So where can one go? Not confront the audience (because that is now impossible), but challenge them, comfort them, give them what they want so you make a lot of money, pander to them, or simply ignore them.
So, yes, following on from above with further reflection, I suggest that 'ignoring' an audience *is* far more possible these days than 'insulting' them.
Then the topic, inevitably, leads to a further question. Are there artists who want to insult an audience or need to do so? And, if so, why?
And is ignoring an audience a new art form? The extreme of this attitude would to keep the work in a cupboard. Buried Art. Has Buried Art replaced Modern Art?
This does not sit well, personally, with me giving away all my new works in recent years on free blogs? But I feel that that act may be a brand of Buried Art. Overexposed free Art (which nobody reads) is akin to Buried Art!
A contribution to the recent 'Self-Mythology' thread on Shocklines:-
What Des Lewis has achieved is to literally create his own genre of fiction; a genre in which the standard values are often turned upside-down. Most fiction seeks clarity-- Des seeks ambiguity. Most fiction expresses a small number of simple, often recycled ideas; Des builds labyrinths of ideas, in which subtle shades of meaning flourish.
Pick up a copy of Poetry Magazine, and you'll find the same verbosity and subtlety of meaning. But Des does it in short story and novel form. This is perfectly legitimate, but people get confused when they read him and use the same yardsticks to judge his fiction that they'd use to judge the horror fiction that they're used to.
Wordy Weird should be recognized as being its own subgenre, and Wordy Weird stories should be judged in comparison to each other, not directly measured against traditional horror stories, etc. It's Appalachians and orangutans.