Saturday, November 28, 2009

Interview with a visiting academic who can't fathom what we're doing at CSA or why. His scattershot questions. After a while Steve and I leaned forward and started addressing his professional-quality microphone directly.

Q: What's your model?

CJB: We don't really have one. We couldn't find one we liked so we made our own.

Q: Adorno?

CJB: He's funnier than people think he is, but he wouldn't like anyone we've ever showed here.

Q: What art writers do you like?

CJB: T.J. Clark, Clement Greenberg, Donald Judd, Peter Schjeldahl, Thierry de Duve, Jeff Wall.

Q: The photographer?

CJB: Yup.

Q: He's written art criticism? Really?

After a while you start thinking you might be wasting your time.

Q: Is it a labor of love?

CJB: No really. Love's less work.

ST: It's a praxis.

CJB: [nodding in silent agreement]

The question of audience. The recognition that the audience might be dead, or not even exist. The hope that your work will somehow conjure an audience into being.

The new photographs, the cameras unfamiliar and a little awkward to operate. The refusal to apologize any longer for my practice. The right to be as bad as everyone else. (The corresponding obligation to improve, or at least to try and improve.)

(The memory of David Mamet's story about the wedding he once attended, where the bride and groom promised "to try and love one another." "The marriage, of course, was doomed.")

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