“I can’t return to normal. I can’t watch the same life come back. The reptile must be stopped outright.”
Can any theory about art’s mission be universal? Or is a theory, with its investment in a narrative of progress, more contingent and narrowly focused than the art world is willing to acknowledge — enthralled as it currently is with deskilling and relational aesthetics, as it once was with Greenbergian formalism? Isn’t a widely regarded theory (or vantage point) a sanctioned form of exclusion? An approved way of privileging one thing over another? A smart way of establishing a hierarchy while claiming to be aligned with Marxism?