Tuesday, February 19, 2013


"Since its initial publication in 2001, Postproduction has been translated into five languages; depending on the translation schedules in various countries, publication either overlapped with or preceded that of another of my books, Esthetique relationnelle (Relational Aesthetics), written five years earlier. The relationship between these two theoretical essays has often been the source of a certain misunderstanding, if not malevolence, on the part of a critical generation that knows itself to be slowing down and counters my theories with recitations from "The Perfect American Soft Marxist Handbook" and a few vestiges of Greenbergian catechism. Let's not even talk about it." – Nicolas Bourriaud, from the preface to the second edition of his essay Postproduction, Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare

In Joseph Beuys' 1965 performance piece, How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, the artist coated his head with gold leaf and honey and for several hours whispered to a dead hare cradled in his arms. While the piece was about life and death, according to Beuys, it was also about the absurdity of trying to put visual art into words and explain it. In his own words, "Intellectualizing can be deadly to thought: one can talk one's mind to death in politics or in academia."

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Philosophy of Inspiration

Question: How does artistic inspiration inform the following? The beautiful; the sublime; the picturesque; aesthetics; formalism; iconography; hermeneutics; semiotics; phenomenology; structuralism; Marxism; Freudian psychoanalysis; Jungian psychoanalysis; minimalism; feminism; essentialism; the gaze; postmodernism; poststructuralism; queer theory; intertextuality; deconstruction; simulation and simulacra; cultural studies; postcolonialism and race; relational aesthetics and postproduction; sacred and secular.

Postproduction, Nicholas Bourriaud

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gerhard Richter on Art Theory

"Theory has nothing to do with a work of art. Pictures which are interpretable, and which contain a meaning, are bad pictures. A picture presents itself as the Unmanageable, the Illogical, the Meaningless. It demonstrates the endless multiplicity of aspects; it takes away our certainty, because it deprives a thing of its meaning and its name. It shows us the thing in all the manifold significance and infinite variety that preclude the emergence of any single meaning and view."

Quotes page on Richter's website

Agnes Martin on Inspiration

"As I describe inspiration I do not want you to think I am speaking of religion. That which takes us by surprise – moments of happiness – that is inspiration. Inspiration which is different from daily care. Many people as adults are so startled by inspiration which is different from daily care that they think they are unique in having had it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Inspiration is there all the time. For everyone whose mind is not clouded over by thoughts whether they realize it or not. Most people have no realization whatever of the moments in which they are inspired. Inspiration is pervasive but not a power. It's a peaceful thing. It is a consolation even to plants and animals. Do not think that it is unique. If it were unique no one would be able to respond to your work. Do not think it is reserved for a few or anything like that. It is an untroubled mind."

Agnes Martin interview