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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

For Jen Graves

Posted by on March 21 at 13:10 PM

Graves, in connection with what I said last night in the bar, I offer the second thesis of Alain Badiou’s Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art:

“2. Art cannot merely be the expression of a particularity (be it ethnic or personal). Art is the impersonal production of a truth that is addressed to everyone.”
That’s exactly my point and belief. Down with the personal, the individual, the hero, the genius. Art is always only the production of art.

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Granted, I haven't read these Fifteen Theses, but doesn't that imply that there are universal human truths? I don't quite buy that -- your Impersonal Truth might be my personal particularity.

From now on, I'm mentally adding "in connection with what I said in the bar" to every sentence you write, Charles. Kind of like I always add "in the back of the limo" to all my fortune cookies.

"in connection with what I said last night in the bar", rather.

I don't know, Charles. I tend to run screaming when someone advocates formalized gestures of abstraction.

10. Non-imperial art is necessarily abstract art, in this sense : it abstracts itself from all particularity, and formalizes this gesture of abstraction.

It's also one thing to say that art can't be merely particular, personal expression, and another that it must be impersonally addressed to everyone. Impersonal is not the obverse of egocentric.

I'm also confused whether he's speaking in terms of categorical definition, or whether "is" means "should be." If it's the latter, I'm out.

Though I'm sure this all sounds more reasonable in French.

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