SOFT TARGETS v.2.1 | v.1.1 | Žižek | sound | order | press | events | HQ





My work is about identity. There is some blurring at the center. The primary subject is found matter. In the 80s I made whole sink units out of the bones of Chinese prisoners. You kind of had to be there. Eyeballs on stalks are very political. My period of withdrawing something from something is over. Looking at pictures should be like shooting a wolf from a helicopter: subsidized. The problem with revulsion at materialism is that revulsion is material. Like I told van Doesburg: the secular equivalent of the Pietà is the market value of the Pietà; forget grids. I see my work as forgetting grids. The goal is not provoking any response whatsoever. Filmmakers are children who think the innate conservatism of science can be overcome by charisma. Blue wash is the consequence of scaling up. I could say the words blue wash forever. But that’s what they expect you to do, to keep making Brice Marden pictures because you’re Brice Marden. Marden is a wolf in helicopter’s clothing. He’s stuck in several 80s simultaneously. It’s one thing to elaborate a new structure of feeling; quite another to tread back and forth along the same line in Somerset. I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to get on the wrong side of history; the Guggenheim was a start. I should say something about site, a term I more or less coined. I was at a party when I realized everybody in the apartment had been a concert violinist in his youth, so I decided to get out of New York for a while, maybe make some pieces designed to be eroded by wind, but it turned out everybody in the apartment was thinking the same thing. Thus California. Thus the revival of large-scale mural painting was inevitable and invisible. It seemed necessary to choose between color theory and color, to extend our interest in chance to everyday speech. Why should ordering a canvas be any different than ordering a drink? There are several competing automatisms in every wrist. Cognition is sponsored by sensation. The slightest hint of cropping implies perspective. These are lessons Meyer tried to teach us. I’ve been called a lot of things: amateur allergist. Phenomenologist of packaging. But encountering one of my installations is like checking on a sleeping child, going back to bed, then wondering if you dreamt checking, so having to go and check on him again. Blood when you brush, blood on the sheets: the optical apotheoses of domesticity. I mean, if you want to describe a drip technique, drip description, but if you want to describe a black canvas? It’s not only women who get trapped inside men’s bodies. Look at all those guttering candles in the sketches of Chinese prisoners or the dramatic interplay of magenta and green in the landscapes of schizophrenics. Water and egg; gum and glue. I called it The Vico Series because at the time I was thinking, really thinking, about reading Vico. Since it can be either a picture of fading or a fading picture, but not both, the point is to experience the undecidable as beautiful, a kind of smoke-‘em-if you’ve-got-‘em sublimity, to paraphrase Kant. The Water Lilies were meant to hang in airports; read his letters carefully. I became an artist because nature strikes me as a hostile answer to an unasked question. Do rings concentrate the effects of color in the dark, for instance. Luckily, any structure in which elements are repeated in reverse can function as an antifertility figure. I have the same problem with Freud that I have with Picasso: changing everything changes nothing. My interest in museum guards, in treating them like museum walls, ran into some legal trouble. The guards themselves didn’t care one way or another; most of them don’t even speak language. So I suppose I’m utopian in the sense that when I work in remote locations I’m motivated by the desire to make sculpture too heavy to transport back to civilization. Cézanne just couldn’t learn to delegate. Models are foils for suggesting vantage, so you want a really low couch. And a fragmentation of principles that doesn’t establish fragmentation in principle. Not just prefab, but pre-interpreted. Anyway, you asked about love. As I see it, the earth and the sky are connected by a flame-like cypress. The spire is historical, but the hamlet: pure invention. Van Gogh rode his death to a star. So failure is enabling when failure is sheer. The rest is yard art. Greenberg has some really fine pages on the distinction between shifting matrices of possibilities and matrices of shifting possibilities. Not understanding those pages requires community, the French kind, in which the suburbs form the center of the city. I guess he wanted to lend his fundamentally aristocratic plasticism a little folk prestige. Fascism, basically. Love is like an evasive maneuver when you’re not being chased, which is how Vico defined dance, or would, if he were alive today. Unmuscled torsos have their own heroism. A cascade of apercus does not a grammar make. Of course the new rage is ejaculating on film stock. But I think silence is just God’s way of dropping names.