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Higgins
05-05-2007, 05:43 PM
Since any real piece of art seems like a marvelously dead topic, any exhibition should suggest an immense expanse of nothingness. Suggest, mind you, not directly represent.

I was looking at the book reviewed here:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_2_42/ai_109023330

where the exhibition Documenta 1, was described as enshrining Modern Art, as if it were the art of the past. One might ask, "What Past, exactly? Not the ever-present Past of say just yesterday, but that past that is the land of the dead and their accumulated signs of nothingness...a place we can look at, but where we cannot be...at least not in a fully culturally meaningful way (are we still in the running idealized quote here?) since culture, ever-moving-on like language, continually recalibrates what is in play and of interest versus what is only there for show...what is frozen, what is dead, what stands for nothing, what stands for the infinite expanse of the great unknown that extends out to the edge of a more real nothing...?" Maybe. If that really is a question.
In the book mentioned in the link above, Hans Belting notes that the enshrining of Modern Art at Kassel in 1955 simply made clear the sacral aura of an Art that the Nazis had set out to obliterate. Modern art acquired part of its immense prestige by being labeled as degenerate by the Nazis. On the other hand, erecting a shrine to Modern Art also marked the possibility of the assignment of Modern Art to another world, a world of eternal values, a world situated next to the dead past and validated by the presence or absence of the dead past, but somehow not quite being altogether dead. A world culturally suspended in the culturally unknowable nothingness of other culturally vanished forms of Art.

Other links to Documenta:


http://www.e-flux.com/displayshow.php?file=message_1124113794.txt


http://universes-in-universe.de/car/documenta/e-hist.htm