Category Archives: Theory

Wall on the Readymade, Azoulay on the Museum.

“The Readymade did not and was not able to address itself to depiction; its concern is with the object, and so if we were to classify it within the canonical forms it would be sculpture. But no-one who has thought… Continue reading

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Steinberg against Formalism

“Given the complexity and infinite resonance of works of art, the stripping down of artistic value to the single determinant of formal organization was once—in the nineteenth century—a remarkable cultural achievement. The attempt was to discipline art criticism in the… Continue reading

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Foster on Pluralism and the ‘Return to History’

“Modern art engaged historical forms, often in order to deconstruct them. Our new art tends to assume historical forms — out of context and reified. Parodic or straight, these quotations plead for the importance, even the traditional status, of the new art. In certain… Continue reading

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Mitchell on The Image & Women.

“What is the moral for pictures? If one could interview all the pictures one encounters in a year, what answers would they give? Surely, many of the pictures would give Chaucer’s “wrong” answers: that is, pictures would want to be… Continue reading

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Rancière on Alfredo Jaar.

“There are too many images, so it is rumored, and that is why we make ill-considered judgements. It is true that this criticism takes two apparently contradictory forms. At times it accuses images of submerging us with their sensory power,… Continue reading

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Chaban on the Documentary Image.

“The screen as a representational space offers a constant interplay between different modes of appearance which present themselves conventionally as ontological antinomies: reality and illusion, realism and fantasy, story and non- story, staged and unstaged, etc. It was probably inevitable… Continue reading

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Berlant on Normativity under Capitalism

“The desire for a less-bad bad life involves finding resting places; the reproduction of normativity occurs when rest is imagined nostalgically—that is, in the places where rest is supposed to have happened, a fantasy masquerading as screen memory or paramnesia.… Continue reading

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Taussig and Polke on Death

““I am not making a pilgrimage,” I said to myself when I visited the graveyard at Port Bou in the spring of 2002. Indeed I was not even sure I wanted to visit the graveyard. I do not think this… Continue reading

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Guggenheim panel on Portraiture and Affect

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Bergson on The Future

“The idea of the future, pregnant with an infinity of possibilities, is more fruitful than the future itself, and this is why we find more charm in hope than in possession, in dreams than in reality.” — Henri Bergson

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