The familiar quotation from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address is also an obscure allusion to Karl Kraus' fabled magazine of social critique Die Fackel (usually only referred to as such, but as the current issue of the New York Review of Books reminds us, the title's English translation is The Torch).
And that's an appropriate lead-in for a plug for a new Atlanta art-reviewing website, Burn Away, at http://www.burnaway.org. It is attempting to bridge the various gulfs in the Atlanta art worlds, though so far its practitioners are still happier writing about the spaces they already frequent, so we are unlikely to see reviews of the Signature Shop or Atlanta Art Gallery any time soon.
Which is fine, although somebody needs to evaluate Atlanta Art Gallery's would-be blockbuster "Jacob Collins and the Water Street Atelier," for example, and the Signature Shop is still the longest-surviving craft gallery in the city, which in itself is reason for commemoration.
We are in dire need of a single print-plus-online source for art information that will link the art public with artists and the venues that exhibit them, and the problem that confronts us in Atlanta is how to produce something that will appeal to all social strata and ethnicities and political points of view...or at least annoy all of them equally. It's okay it becomes the source they love to hate, but that they go to because there isn't anything else they trust for information, and because, daggone it, they like a lot of the stuff in it.
Right now we don't even have a fully reliable source for information, though we have a lot of different blogs and websites serving different communities.
And at a moment when the survival of a healthy art community depends on the circulation of information as well as money, that is a distinct problem that needs to be addressed, if not ASAP, then even sooner. It is an excellent time to revive the slogan from back in the day, "Be realistic. Demand the impossible."