Sunday, April 1, 2012

art: practice and discourse

“One of the signs of the decay of culture we have experienced in the recent past is the abnormal growth of art theoretical writing.”
No, I didn’t write this. It isn’t even a recent writing. It was written in 1937. It was written by Adolf Hitler. (A cursory reading of my recent writings could lead to the conclusion that I’m in the same camp with this notorious figure. All I said, to paraphrase the philosopher Richard Rorty, is that philosophy isn’t all that important. Moreover, it would lead to a strange situation if discourse on art would be considered more important than art practices.)
Philosopher of art Boris Groys uses the above quote in his book Art Power. Two pages before the mentioned quote, he writes: “The course of modern art has constantly been fraught with complaints about its dependence on commentary, of its being overburdened by theory. […] In general, however, these unceasing demands to devote ourselves to the pure reception of art leave unanswered the question of what guarantee there could be that this kind of perception of art can take place at all.”

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