Chris Campanioni's "Death of Art," a Memoir
In March of this year, Chris Campanioni’s (TMR: Summer 2016) memoir Death of Art was released by C&R Press. Within its pages, “Death of Art dissects post-capitalist, post-Internet, post-death culture; our ability and affinity to be both disembodied and tethered to technology, allowing us to be in several places at once and nowhere at all.”
In an interview for The Brooklyn Rail, Giancarlo Lombardi asked Chris: “ . . . What is your definition of art? How do you define yourself within its perimeters and where do you stand in relation to its other practitioners?”
Chris Campanioni: “I try to constantly remind myself of the social and cultural divides between what we—I say ‘we’ but what I mean is our cultural rule makers—define as ‘art’ and what we call everything else. Divides dictate the degree of access for artists and audience. So one way to re-evaluate the model and democratize or equalize art is to dismantle it, by introducing pop culture into the discussion and the work of art itself. This is what I was able to do in my personal and professional life; stepping off the runway or studio showroom and stepping into the newsroom or the classroom. At a certain point, I decided the best way to force the conversation was to start a new one, and that conversation includes several different perspectives but also several different registers of language and areas of culture. The idea of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture is as reductive and antiquated as any other binary, but for some reason, as artists we still hold on to this idea.
So I am only an artist as far as I can remove myself from art’s persona and practice, or at least the perception of it; one way for me to do that in fact and in fiction was to focus Death of Art’s plot point on self-erasure. But because we as writers, poets, artists, are always in conversation with one another, I am absolutely standing in relation to other artists, even if I am very conscious of re-evaluating the model and its means of production.”
The book has been reviewed by the likes of NewPages, Duende, Nomadic Press, and more.
| Follow Chris on Facebook: @chrisacampanioni
| Follow Chris on Twitter: @chriscampanioni
| Revisit Chris’s flash fiction (included in Death of Art) in our Summer 2016 publication.