Much talk – some of it real, a lot of it fake – has been in the air over the last decade about empathy for the “other,” for people different from us. But no one has dwelled on the essential otherness of a work of art. There is, after all, that hackneyed but profound notion of a willing suspension of disbelief. Genuine art makes you stake your credulity on the patently counterfeit. It takes you by surprise. And for art to take you by surprise, you have to put yourself in the power of another world – the work of art – and in the power of another person – the artist. Yet everything in our society, so saturated with economic imperatives, tells us not to surrender our interests even for a moment, tells us that the only forms of cultural expression we can trust are those that give us instant gratification, useful information, or a reflected image of ourselves. So we are flooded with the kind of art that deprecates attentiveness, tells us about the issues of the day, and corresponds to our own personalities. – Lee Siegel, Eyes Wide Shut, Harper’s Magazine, October 1999

Metahaven

Karl Holmqvist. Another War is Possible (2019)

To Live and To Think Like Pigs, The Incitement of Envy and Boredom in Market Democracies, Gilles Châtelet, 2014

The stuff of conceptualism (the weather reports, the statements of fact, the list of shops in a shopping mall) can be easily understood by anyone. (For purposes of this conversation, ”anyone” is a certain kind of Westernized citizen.) Also easily misunderstood, which is a different form of understanding. I know what to do with a urinal. I know less what to do with a urinal on a pedestal. I may or may not turn to theory for a kind of understanding or at least interpretation; either way, I may just use it for a piss. – Vanessa Place, Notes on Conceptualism, February 22, 2012, Jacket 2

Julius von Bismarck and Julian Charrière. I Am Afraid

Akemi Takeya, Sweet heart / Granular Synthesis (1997, 7:30)

Injuring, Wagering, Controlling: Looking Back at a Metalanguage, Diedrich Diederichsen, 2018

Notes on ‘Camp’, Susan Sontag, 1964

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

LANDSCAPE MODERN OIL PAINTING CANVAS PAINTING ABSTRACT OIL PAINTING WALL HANGING, group show by Jir Sandel

Jørgen Leth. Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger

Towards a Metalanguage of Evil, Cady Noland, Balcon No. 4, 1989

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

Cindy Sherman. Nobody’s Here But Me