Kathy Acker. Blood and Guts in High School (1978)

To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which, for better or for worse, constitutes self-respect, is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weak- nesses. On the other, we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out—since our self-image is untenable—their false notions of us. We flatter ourselves by thinking this compulsion to please others an attractive trait: a gift for imaginative empathy, evidence of our willingness to give. Of course we will play Francesca to Paolo, Brett Ashley to Jake, Helen Keller to anyone’s Annie Sullivan: no expectation is too misplaced, no role too ludicrous. At the mercy of those we can not but hold in contempt, we play rôles doomed to failure before they are begun, each defeat generating fresh despair at the necessity of divining and meeting the next demand made upon us. – Joan Didion, On Self-Respect, Vogue Magazine, 1961

Barbara Kruger. Job Description

Why Does Fred Sandback’s Work Make Me Cry?, Andrea Fraser, Grey Room NO. 22 / Winter 2006 p.30-47

Curating in the Post-Internet Age, Boris Groys, e-flux #94 – October 2018

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Eva Marisaldi. Film

I’ve come to think that the idea of a cinematic moment concerns a tension between lived experience and its representation. In other words, just as certain experiences can become iconic so too can certain representations be lived. The observations – propositions? – that I wrote for my booklet do not involve a camera, a projector or a theater. Their cinematic claims are instead rooted in perception and signification. The spectator comprises subjective consciousness in the act of self-observation, a somewhat tautological state. The moment of realization is predicated on redundancy. Moreover, to qualify as “cinematic,” an experience need not echo an actual film. Rather, it only would need to be representable and repeatable. These qualities suggest a narrative kernel. They pertain to both scenario, namely a setting that might engender a narrative arc no matter how minimal, and script, namely an anticipated sequence. A scenario need not be a literal place and a script need not be written. According to these terms, the “cinematic” could be a distillation. – John Miller, What is a Cinematic Moment?

Vanessa Place & Cassandra Seltman. Gagging on rape

The Outside Can’t Go Outside, Merlin Carpenter, HEAD Geneva lecture, April 2015

We are currently in a situation in which displacement. This permanent displacement provides a location for refusal and collective ennui. The projection of the critical moment is the political potential of the discursive. It is not a location for action, but instead provides an infinite suspension of critical moments—the opposite of performance. This is its “just-around-the-corner-ness”—a permanent interplay of micro-critical expressions within the context of a “setting.” Projects arch suspension and repression are the dominant models. There is anxiety about who controls the reshaping of the stories of the recent past. The discursive framework has been predicated upon the rejection of the idea of a dominant authored voice. Clear-cut, authored content is considered to be politically, socially, and ideologically suspect. However, there is still the feeling that stories get told, that the past is being reconfigured, and that the near future gets shaped. There is a constant anxiety within the discursive frame about who is doing this, who is marking time. The discursive is the only structure that allows you to project a problem just out of reach and to work with that permanent displacement. Every other mode merely reflects a problem, generates a problem, denies a problem, and so on. The discursive framework projects a problem just out of reach, and this is why it can also confront a socio-economic system that bases its growth upon “projections.” In the discursive art process we are constantly projecting. We are projecting that something will lead to something else “at some point.” True work, true activity, true significance will happen in a constant, perpetue realized that expose a power relationship with the culture. They achieve this through an adherence to parasitical techniques: destroying relations of production through a constant layering of profoundly differing and contradictory aims. Somehow it might be possible to bring together small groupings and create temporary, suspended, semi-autonomous frameworks. It is possible that we have seen a rise in the idea of parasitical relationships to the point where they have reached a fluid state of acceptance. We may have reached a moment of constant reoccupation, recuperation, and aimless renovation. Maybe the discursive makes possible a parasite without a host—feeding off copies of itself, speaking to itself, regenerating among its own kind. – Liam Gillick, Maybe it would be better if we worked in groups of three? Part 1 of 2: The Discursive, e-flux, January 2009

I believe that the emotional makeup of people is a system not unlike the circulatory system or the muscular system. And if you can make a film that not only lays bare that system but is itself constructed out of those things, it would be an incredible thing to witness and to feel. – Francis Ford Coppola in conversation with Brian de Palma, Filmmakers Newsletters, May 1974

The Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso (1858-1928), one of the few artists recognised by the Futurists as models, began in the late nineteenth century to devote his attention increasingly to photography. He photographed the reproductions of his sculptures over and over again, experimented with photographic paper, photo-plates and enlargements, until only the traces of the original image were left. When he exhibited some of his photographic experiments in Paris shortly before the turn of the century, Degas is said to have cried out: ça c’est de la peinture ! – Michaela Chiriac, The Image from the Image: The Disappearance and Appearance of Images in the Works of Marieta Chirulescu, Kunsthalle Basel, 2010

I don’t want my work to feel all sweat-soaked and tortured. I’d like to be like a crooner, effortless seeming, smooth. That doesn’t mean it actually is easy. And it doesn’t mean you don’t have backbone, or even aggression. Like Frank Sinatra. Or Miles Davis, maybe. It’s like magic. I want my things to just appear. Not be painted. Just appear. – from “What I Would Say If I Were Christopher Wool” by Richard Hell, Whitewall, Nr. 3 (Autumn 2006)

One day, a gallerist met a man named Russell who had an ambitious idea. He thought the history of painting should be divided in two. The paintings that have a painting of themselves depicted, and the rest. The paintings that contain themselves, and the rest. Later in time, the gallerist decided to make an exhibition of all the Russell paintings. […] And at some point he called a painter friend, and asked him to make a painting of the exhibition, to immortalize it! […] The gallerist inspected it, and hung it in the only available space there was, as it was the last Russell painting in the world to have been made. But the painter drew his attention to the fact that the scene he had painted had now been modified. His painting didn’t contain all the Russell paintings anymore. He now had to fix his painting. He had to add his own painting to the All the Russell paintings. […] The gallerist then asked the painter to erase the image of itself. […] But now the painting couldn’t be titled All the Russell paintings, so he painted the painting in it again. What a problem! They erased it and painted it, they erased it and painted it again, forever… – excerpt from Not To Belong to Themselves (2018) by Mario Garcia Torres

The ‘humanized object’ – that is, the artwork – cannot be compared to a living being, ethically speaking, or in terms of the creation of intensity. It is a philosophical mistake – as Winnicott explains – to conceive a newborn baby in itself, because this newborn baby, without an adult in immediate and continuous proximity, would die. The artwork is also a purely artificially maintained artefact that entirely depends on human presence and only exists as such because the spectator is there – as a reality or as a potentiality. Processes of subjectivation are influenced by encounters with objects. I would say that this is what artists are interested in and that it cannot be described in terms of the impact of an artwork on a public. The influence of the subject on the object is what capitalism in general – and collectors in particular – are obsessed with: the hand of the artist, the product which is the result of the worker’s labour. Extracting oneself from the relationships created by advanced capitalism is technically and practically difficult but emotionally very easy. – Claire Fontaine, Giving shape to painful things for Radical Philosophy, September/October 2012