27 December

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2002.12.27

Foul Perfection
2002.12.27 15:01     6601w

27 December
2012.12.27 11:54     6601w

27 December
2013.12.27 21:01     6607g


2002.12.27



Foul Perfection
2002.12.27 15:01

D. Diederichsen's review of Mike Kelley's (forthcoming) Foul Perfection in Artforum January 2003 contains a poignant Kelley quotation:

Official art culture is much more effective in its control of history than Republican strategists, for it knows that the best way to treat contradictory material is not to rail against it, but simply to pretend it didn't happen.

I like this quotation because it provides a clear indication of what real/true history comprises.

Diederichsen's review overall hinges on the polemics(?) of an artist being both inside and outside the art (history) realm. It is worth noting, however, that this same condition is expertly addressed within the first chapter of Huizinga's Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture, specifically where Huizinga addresses the role of the "spoil sport" within play. For example,

The player who trespasses against the rules or ignores them is a "spoil-sport". The spoil-sport is not the same as the false player, the cheat; for the latter pretends to be playing the game and, on the face of it, still acknowledges the magic circle. It is curious to note how much more lenient society is to the cheat than to the spoil-sport. This is because the spoil-sport shatters the play-world itself. By withdrawing from the game he reveals the relativity and fragility of the play-world in which he had temporarily shut himself with others. He robs play of its illusion - a pregnant word which means literally "in-play" (from inlusio, illudere or inludere). Therefore he must be cast out, for he threatens the existence of the play-community. . . . In the world of high seriousness, too, the cheat and the hypocrite have always had an easier time of it than the spoil-sport, here called apostates, heretics, innovators, prophets, conscientious objectors, etc. It sometimes happens, however, that the spoil-sports in their turn make a new community with rules of its own. The outlaw, the revolutionary, the cabbalist or member of a secret society, indeed heretics of all kinds are of a highly associative if not sociable disposition, and a certain element of play is prominent in all their doings.



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Stephen Lauf © 2017.08.10