My mouth waters

Il ne suffit pas de lire que les sables des plages sont doux (A.G.)

One should be sceptical of any moralization on the part of artists. It is stranger still to find them at the mercy of their own moralizations, and, in being at their mercy, insist that others either take them on or join them. At UDK, something rather strange happens, like a bird-feeding, where

a theorist vomits in the mouth of a teacher who vomits in the mouth of a student.

It is not clear what exactly is being vomited—moralizations, again. The structure of the particular art school ideology really is a collection of several interlocked towers: one has that meaning in or with respect to the social which has displaced all references to truth, one has the internally directed critique (speech frenzy) towards the very curatorial language which they are nonetheless expected to be fluent in, and one has the cynicism, which is the final cancerous and bilesome assertion of their (non-)participation in a system they refuse to acknowledge having built and yet from which they nonetheless extract all possible advantage. It is very much as Dante would have imagined it.

The question remains whether or not it serves any function. There is one standard by which we should judge this, and this is the question of whether or not all of this serves as some insulation against what we should term (moral) ideology which it itself implies it is a bulwark against. What is the purpose of such a school, after all, if not to in some way or another insulate its students from the very influence of that which it criticises? If there is a rubric for this, one which works as a possible antidote to the very perversion latent in critique itself, then it can hardly seem to come from an institution which denies responsibility for the influence of art itself, and here we may be more precise, it imagines it criticises. One should also specify that the influence of this very art is not principally reducible to its possible (mouthwatering) commodification, but to the very fact that the (im)possibility of somehow setting up so many artistic languages at once implies a level of consistency that is at the same time forbidden or outright denied. In other words, what we do seem to see is a level of coherence, whose only explicit failure is that, when queried, cannot provide anything but the official rubric of its own interpretation to explain itself. Does the work exist before it is interpreted? Not insofar as there is a taboo on analysis itself, so, even while every work is already analysed, no outright analysis is strictly allowed. This is largely because the injunction is inevitably to align your words, not simply with what someone else has said, but with the very dispensation itself (of concepts) from which one draws oneself into the realisability of a work of art.

The coherence, then, is precisely questionable in view of the very term which is paradoxically barred from it; namely, its own analysis. There is no such analysis; no higher possibility of saying what this or that really is. This is not an innocent achievement, because it relates back to our rubric: why say something about a work of art when a work of art can say something (about a rubric). The rubric here names, less a specific set of condtions, then the very expectation itself that one will be analysed. The rubric, however, acts as an antidote to a kind of disappointment, with respect to what is already wrong with a work of art or, even more importantly, with a concept, i.e. what we cannot afford to say, that we have already paid for. What is wrong with what we can say, that we conceal in the art work? The fact that art here is an expression of a rubric should be read almost literally and surely its conception originates from a tangent, but not inconsequential, deadlock within the concept itself: it is (a) theory, foremost, seems to provide the (bird-)food of the enterprise of art, but with respect to an ultimately perverse model of explanation. It is not that the concept is just given; it is first and foremost an explanation of some phenomenon of political economy. This is the deadlock, because any reference to political economy should structure itself as that to which we accede when we have reached some failure from within the concept itself, i.e. we refer to political economy only when we have to resolve something unsolvable in our analysis. This provides a crucial result: we do not assume the power or function of our analysis and then commit the greater sin of explaining away that which cannot be explained away, i.e. political economy. On the contrary, what we must do is structure our analysis such that we bring the concept to its very limit, at which point only, once again, a reference to political economy can intercede. This is the movement from paradox to inexplicability.




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