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ond Obiecthood


In this essly Michael Fri€d criticLe,, Minimat Art- or 6 he ca s ir. "literalisC' lrt-for what he desoibes as its inhercnt theatricrlitv. At tlr qmF ume. Ie Jrgucs thdt tic modemisr !rt!. iactuding paining rr"l ! ulpture.l,ave comc incrFasinglyto depend for 6eir very conrjnua,r, on their ibility to d4par rh".be. Fried characteria rh; |-hqtrical ,,, rems ot a pgticular rebtion bcr$ een the beholdFr 6 $b/?ct and t1.,. wtk .it oqict- a rchtion tbat lales place in rime, rhat bs duratiu,, Wh6e6 defclting theatree',raih deferringor suspending bot-h obiecthoo,t Fried was born in t\'ew York City in 1939. }le took his B.A. ar hinceton was a Rhodes Sc.holar at MertoD Colteg€, Or. f.rd. He is a ContrihurDs Edrtor tor Alrlorun. ud he organ;ed rt, TItr. Ahc can Paintcruexhibirion at the Fogg Arr Vuse;, HdN,.,,l Uni\F6it). in 1985. Hc is curendy a Junio;-FeIow in rhe H.w3,,l

and in fact bas been Iormulat€d by some of its leading pracIf this distinguishes it from modemist paiDting and sculpthe one haad, it also marl$ an importast difierenc€ between on Art----or, as I prefe. to call it, litetarit afi----and Pop or OP on the other. From its inception, literalist aft Las amountd to more tla! an episod€ in th€ history of taste. It belongs to the bitory-almost ttre nattrdl history-of sensibility; and is not an isolated episode but tbe expression of a general and cotrdition. Its seiousness is vouched for by the {act that it in relatiod both to modemist painting and modemist sculpture literalist art defles or locat€s the positioD it aspnes to occupy is, I suggest, is what makes what it declares som-ething that to be ca[ed a position.) Speciffcally, literalist art conceivet of itsef as neitbs on€ nor tle otherj on the conEary, it is mothat€d !y speciGcreservations, or worse, about both; and it aspir€s,Perhaps lot exacdy, or not immediately, to disPlace them, but in any cose to establishitself as an ind€p€ndent art on fl footing $'itl either. The literalist caseagainst painting rests mainly on two counts: the ioral character of almost all painting; and the ubiquitousness, the virtuel iDescapability, of picto al illusion- In Donald wher you start relating parts, in the ffIst Plac€, you'rc assuming de6you have a vague rvhole-the rectangle of the canvas----and you should heve a nite pans, which is a[ soewed up, bccause defnite il)hols end maybe no parts, or very few l rThis Ms saldby JuddiD an int€triw with Btucecloser,edit€dbv Lucv as to L r,ippardmd published 'Questions Stellaand Judd," At Neod,Vol €ssov to lXV, No. t S6"t@bs 1966.The ItlrELr othibut€din the pres€nt

Edwards's toumals frequendy exploed and tested a meditation h. seldom allowcd to reach print; if all the world were annibilated, h{, wote . . . and a new world were freshly created, though it werc to exist in ev€ry particular in the sarnemanner as this Eorl4 it llr'ouftl not be the same. Ther€fore, becaue there is conriDuity, which is tnne, it is ccrtain with me that tle world edsrs anew every moment; tlat the existence of things every moment c€asesand is evcry moment rcnewcd.' The abidiDg assunnce is that 'we ever). moment see t}le same proof of a God as we should have seen if we had seen Him create thc rvorld at 6rst."-Perry l{iller, Ioruttun Ed.wads I The enterprise known variously as Minimal Art, ABC Arq Prirnary Structues, and Spcciffc Objects is largely ideologcal. It seeks to declare and occupy i position--, one that can be formulated in r Reprinted from Artlrmrr, Iurc, 196'7.

fr@ Judds 65av SDeJudd rnd Moris lEvc het taLeo trem tb& intewiN No. 8. 1965, or fr@ Roberr Nlorb.s esvs. cGc Obiets. Attt fqrbook. Patt 2," publish€d in Att' @d "Note m soipturc, "Not6 d Solpturc' ,orn, vol IV, No. O, f€bmey 1966, snd Vol. 5, No. 2, Octobd 1966' re{Ecby Motis f!@ ihe ataloguc io the nve&- (1 hlG also tala ore lfut tlF Ambieuous Imsge, held al the W,lker Art lrhibitiotr -!:iaht Solpto^: add that in laving oul shat seos 1966.r I Centd. Odob;FDce;bs 'hould to @ ihe posiHon ludd and Mord hotd in comon I }av€ ielored vdlouj difieMc between th@. and hav€ ued eenain lennrls in contdts fo. ivhich they may Dot hove bee! ilt€nd€d. Mor€ove., I lave not alwavs ildicated which phdse; lhe altenative vould have a pdtidlar of thm achDlly soid d wt€ be€n to litter the lext vith f@rnotcs.

liichoel Fried


9 tle rvorlc" (They would include the \r"ork of Dayid Smirh Anthony Carc uiler tlis description.) It is worth r€marki:rg the 'part-hy-part" and "rclational" character of mo$t sculpture associated by ludd wit]l what he calls anthrcnomowhtcm: 'A tlrusts; a piece of iron follolvs a gesture; togethcr they form a naturalistic and antlropomorphic image. The space corresponils." such 'multipart, infl€cted' sculpture Judd and Monis asset values of *'holeness, singlen€ss,and indivisibility---o{ a work's as nearly as possible, "one thing," a single "Specific Objecr." Monis devotes considerable aftcnrion to 'lthe use of strung gestalt or of unitary-type foms to avoid divisiveness"; whilc Judd is chiefly lnterested in the *ind of wholenessthat can be achieved tbroueh the repetitionof identical units. The order at work in his pieces.-os he onc€ remarkedot ltral in Stelta's sb'ipe paintings."is simply order. like that of continuity, one t}ing after another." For both Judd and Mords, however, the citical factm is srkp?. Morris's "unitary forms" lre polyLedrons tlat resist being grasped other than as a single shape: the gestalt simply ir the'oonstan! knol'n shape." And shape itsef 4 in his system, -the nost important sculptural value." Similarly, qeaking of his ow'n work, Judd has remarked that rhe big Foblem is that anything that is not absolutely plain begils to have parts itr some *ay. The thing is to be able to work and do difierent things aad yet not break up the wholenessthat a piece has. To me the piece with the br3ss and the ffve verticals is elnve allthat shaoe. sbape ie the object: at any mte, what secures the wholeness of object is the siDgleness the shape. It is, I believ€, this emphaof sis on shape that acoDunts{or the impression, which numerous critics have mentioned, ttrat Judd s and Moris's pieces arc hollou,

The more the sbape of the spport is emphasized, as in rcccrrl modcmist painting, the tights the situation b€.Dmes: The etementsinside the rcctangle are broad and simple aDd cor respond closely to the rcctangle. The shapesand su ac€ are onl) thosc that can occul plausibll' s'ithin and on a rettangular planc The pars are ferv and so s"bordimlc lo unity rs Dot to be prrt\ jn en ordinary sense. A pa'nting is rcarly an entity, one thing. and not tbe hdefiDable sum of a $oup of entities and rcferenccs. The one thing overpowe$ the earlier painting. It also establishr's ihe rect:tngte as a dcffnite {olm: it js no longcr a fairly neutiil limit. A form can be used only tu so many ways The rectaugu)ar p)ane it given a life span. The simplicity required to en lvithin iL phasjze rectangle limits the anangements thc Possiblc Pabting is here seen as an att oD the vcrge of exhausuon, one itr which thc rangc of acceptabte solutions to a basic problem-how tir severelylcstricted The use ol org&nizethe surfac€ of the pictuFis shaped rather tban rectangular supports can, frcm the literalist poilt of view, merely prolong the agony. The obr-ious responseb to 8i\( up working on a singl€ plane in favor of tlree dim€nsions. That, moreo\,cr. automaticallY gcts rid of the problem of ilusionism and of literal space,sPaceirr and around marks and colors-rvhic.h is riddanc€ of one oI th. salient and most objectionable relics of Euopean art. The several limits of printing are no longer Fesent. A vo.k can be as powcrfttl rs it can bc tlought to bc. Actual space is inirinsically morc poNerful nnd spcciGcthan paint oDa flat sudace. The literrtist attitude toward sculpture is more ambiguorrs. Judd. for c'xuryrle, s€emi to think o{ what h€ calls Specific Objects as somcthi g othcr thnn sculpture, while Robert Moris c'onceivesol his own unmistrkably titeralist work as rcsuming rhe lapseil tradition o{ Constructivist sculpture established by Tatlin, Rodchenko, Cabo, Pevsner, and Vantongerloo But this and other disagreements are less impoltant thnD the viervs Judd and l{orris hold in common Above all thcy are opposed to sculpture that, like most painting' is "made part by pnrt. by addition, composed" and in wbich 'specifc elcments . . . separate from tbe $'hole, thus setting up relationships

Shape has also been cenhal to th€ most impotant painting of the Past several years. In sev€ral recent essays2I bave tried to show
as Fom: rraDk srelai Ns painringr,,, Arrl@D, Vol, V, No. 3, "'Shape ov@ba r968j "Jur6 Olftski," tbe @t losue iDrroduction ro an erhibition of In; wqk at the Cd@m caltery, wshinsron, D.C., April-Jue, l967j and "Bolald Davis: sulhe dd m6id," A'rtoM, Vol. V, No. 8, April 1967.

120 ho{, in the wor} of:iotaDd, Olitski. and Sieltr. a conflicthas gradually emcrgedbcNeen shapcas a fundanrcntatproperty of objccl\ or of paintilg. Roughh, the success frilurc and sLapcas a 'ncdiun of a gi\€n painting has comc to depeDdon iis ability to hold or stampitsel{ out or compelconvntion as shape-tl)it, or somcho$to staveoS or eludc the qucstionof *hethcr or rot it doesso. Olitsli\ are early spraypaiDtnrgs the purcst erample of paintingsthat cithfr hold or fait to hold as shapcs;Nhilc in his more rccent pi.turcs, tt\ rvell as in thc bestof Noland's:rnd stelh's recent \rork, thc denran(] that a gilen pichre hold 1lssh.rpeis stavedofi or eluded in variorr\ rvays.\\4rat is at stakc in this confict is $hcthcr the paintings or as objcctsin qucstionarc expericnced paintnrgsor as objccts: ar what deciclcsthejr idcntit) as |ditirtrg is thcir conlronting of thf demandthat thcy l,old as shaPesOthenvisedrey are erlerienccd rs nothing ore than This crn bc sun rcd up b)'saving thrt modemistp^inting h.rscone to 6nd it imperatir.ctbat it defeat or rnd that the crucialfactor jn this undcf its suspend own objecthood, taking is sliape,but shrpe that must belong to /tdinting-it must l!' pictolirl, not, or not merel),,litcral Whercrs litcralist art stakcs evcrything on shapeas a given propert! of obiccts,if not, ind.o(]. as a kind of obicct in its o$'t) right. Ir rspircs, not to defcat ol suspendits o$n obiecthood,but on the contrar)'to discover:rn(l pmject objectlrood such. as In his essay lcccntness of Sclllphre" Cleme:rt Creenberg dis thc cusses cf(ict of p'cr€n.{],wl)ich, fronr thc start, has been associ ated with ljtcnlist $ork.3 This cornesup in conncctionNith thc srcrk of Arno Truitt. m artist Creenbergbclicves anticipatedt))(' literalists( h. crlls tldr \ Iinnn.lists) : Truiit s irt (li(l llirt with t}c look of non-alt, and her 1963sho$ was tbc firsl ir \lhiclr I roti(c'd ho$ this look corld confcr rl as cfect of p,r'v,ir. Tlat prcseDcc achicved through size $ri acstheticrlh (\lnntous, I alrcadl' lncs'. That presence r\ throruh thc lool' of non art slls likesise aestheticill\ achieYed
3 PubLish.d nr tlr car,Ll,)(ur t,, the Los Anseles Count-w\'l$em of r\n ' rxl'ibition, .ADeriQn sculphtu oI ile Sixti6.,'lhc verb proiEf tu I hr!' jlrt urd it is trkrn fronr (irq)hrJrs sratement The osrensibleaim of 1lr Nlinimalhh is b lroject ol)j,ds N(l d,semblesof objoch th.t arc just nuds,

Anrhony Coro, Benni^st6h.1964- $eel pdinted block. 3'4" x 13' x ll'. ln rhe .olrectionof lules Olitski, Phorosrdphcourt€ry ot Andre Emmeri(hGolery, New

AnrhonyCoro; Flox. 1966.Sreelpoinredblue. 2'1" r 6'9" x 5'4". In the .ollection ol Mr. ond Mre, fienry Feiwel. Photosroph.ou esy of Andre Emmerich Gollery,

d o.d Obiecihood




1 4:1? r

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.\trxneo,,s. I did noi !et kDo(. T itt\ sculpturc had diis knrd of bnt dnl not lrirle b.hind it- Th;rt scrlphrre could hkl€ hchind it-jusi rs panrtiDs did t {ound oui only aftcr rcpcited rc.luanri,ln.e $jih i \ l h i n l l 1 l \o r ks o f a r ti Ju d d s, \l o d si . .\rdre s, Sienicr's, somc but rot dll of SmiihsoD s. sone but not dl ol Le\\'iit's. \finnlal ld.irn.lso hidc behilrl pr.sencc xs sizc: I thinl ol Bladcrr lthough I dm Dot su.c whethor lie is a certined \ l i n i N ) l i s t l : 1 s\ . l l r s o f \ o n i c o f th c:u ti si s j u st m e n ti o n .cl .

Itcvrcc c.lD be .o|fened l)! sizc or by the look of non art. Frrtherinrc. \'hrt DoD-nrt rn.rrns tocld), and hs n{:rnt for scveral ).cars. ir fxirl\ speci6.. ID "\fier ,\Lstrrct Evressionisn Creenberg *rotc thii r ltr.ichcd or t..le.l up .anvas alre,r.lrr e\ists as ,r pic, lrrrethough not necess.rrih as a .r,r.c.sst, oDe.! For that reison, r,'thd r\hnr.{t li\tirer\iori. :5. lglil. !.ll) IlirD.'sigeii.D

," 1,1h rtrdridn,l, \ii vI, r_o.8. O.rober \l]nh thir hd been rrle. rErd\ r\ f.llo*r:

x {0 " x ! O " i ' r D onold lu dd , u nritle d 19 66. G olv oniz ed r eel. E. c h box , 40 " Ne* York o lorol lensth oi 25'4" Phorogtophcoudesyol D*on Golle'v,

t'ul'J tle te\ln,g ,)f nb(L isn no.. Dd norr of ih€ .onrentjons .f ihe Ii .f prirl s i.trc ,l${r lhrn\olver t. be\rbl.. nness.nri,l. llut ro$ it li.,s L..n rnrblished, it \dnl,l icrn. thri rle rred!.iblc crier.c of flarDess firluriil .tri .oBnts i', Lut ttro .!.rtitltive ..rtr ertionJ or.omrr and rlir,lrlinritxhoD of nrbes\r rnd thrt rie obs-.rv.n(e of ntrolw tbese j\ ero',qh lo.reite rn ,[j,..t thrt.rn be e\!e.ier.ed r. a pi., hro romx l!r.: l)rrs .i .r hctod{p .nv.s .]re!d) osins .s a licrue lhutr{li r.t re(cstil:; rs r s,,rl orc. In its lrnul o'rtljrr rln n nrdonLt€dl! Lorre.r. Tl,,Jc ar., }o\'.yer,.errai. q'rilific.tlio.\ ll,rt.xn br Dr.le 'lo LrLrn \jrli, it n not quite.n.nql lo sar that r b..e crnvrs ia.:Lcd ro n $rI n ht inG\..'ril\" I $..0\sful pi.t'r.j n w.ul(i, I drnrk, b€ les of.. .\rgs.rrt'or r{r \x! ll,Jl it is not LorttinbllJ .it. lt nu} be .on.t rcd rhrt rrlurr.i(1rm\ Dill,t ln .h rs to ndli" it. u.c\sfu] printinsi bur J s,[l(l rrrxr rl, , n). tl)rt r,, I'r!,r.n, ihe cnterprise ot Dannnis \vonld ]rave n, (hnr{r \o.lrr\|n]llv tlit n.llrnrq n.rc thin thc nine Noul.l r.nlnr. (Ir \odd nrlrirc x hr Art,,n.r chrnge rhrD lhrt tl'rt !,rn,rin! hrs undercone lron \hn.l lo Nol.ftl, Oln\ki, rn,l Stdhl) \loreover, reenis w'nctling.s . paintnrs in tl). \1trr thrt on. \e.\ Ll,e tnr'lrd-up Qnvas as a rDnnn,g, i.d }cing corvinrcd llnl r rJnrtilul.r $ork.rn \tJd .omplison \rft! the DanrL.s of rhe lJx\t Nh\r qmlit_v ir n.t ni doubt, rre rlt.setl'er diffenJ)t r\prricn.€s: it is, I \ art 1,,..,) , rr thoLcl, u er\ {'n.thing compels 2s ro its (l!nlib, il is.. nw. thrf bniilly,tr ronrnully a printing. This susgrsts tliat llalles\ rnd lhe delnnitrtion ot llrtn.s! .usht not to be thonght of rs rhe ir'ellu.ible .\icrc. df pi.tdial rlt but rrdrer rs \omctln,g litc t\e ni ,tdl .ontlitiarc lot $,'\1h"1!s ])tir!: !..r ut a r,ln,rirsi ind dnt qu.\tion js not



Arr ond Obi€cthood


as he r€ma*s in 'Recentress of SculPture," the 'look of lon_art s as no longcr available to paintin8." Instead, 'tbe borderline between art and non-art bad to be sought in t]te three-dimensioDal,where scub truc was, and where everything material that was not art also was Creflberg goas os to say: The look of machinery is shunned norv becauseit does not go frr enough towards tbe look of non-art, which is presumably arr 'inerd look that ofieis thc eye a miBimum of "interesting" inci_ aent-udike the nachinc look, which is arty by comparison ( and whcn I thinl of Tmguely I vould agree witl thi!). Still' no matter how simple the object may be, there remain tle telations and interelatioDs of surface, cotrtour, etrd spatial int€rval Minirnal worts are readable as art, as almost an)'thing is today-iD_ cluditrg a door, a table, or a blank sbcet of pap€r. . . . Yet it would seen that a kisd of art oearcr the condition of non_art could not or be etrvisaEed idcated at tiis momeDt.
ar.' but raths sbnt. onditios what ih@ midn l dd, so to sp@I, lDds at a siv@ mondq is @Psble of @np€lliDg @ ictio!, of suc.€€ding a pan't_ it ,5 !o clai6 tlat thrr ing- This is Dot to sy that paiDti,g fu! to *.D€; legetv dete@ilcd bv' aD'l rhat *hi.h coinpdt @'victil,Fjs e-xn{Fi.e. io retMse to, the vltal work of the reeDt pan' ihe.€Ior6 chang6 @tilully Raihd, the tasL of tlr' is oot somdthiDg ireducible The scD@ oi Dliltirs those @veDtions that' nt E givcn o@etl modmist paiotq G to dis@q zlotu a( i,oabl. of BlablDhitg }is wol's idodtv 6 P.intios' Ar it rdls to Ee, Ne\ lhis p6iti@ when he sd& cErb|;aDorc.chs of Elod.dist Dainting n' the lellditici$ mn, Rolhlo, and Still lave $dg a nN ilnA bon simDly by @ntiouing it io its old ooe. The qu6tion nN a'lcJ att, or tle art of psilting' r\ $bush rhet art is ro lo"ger *hrt ortitutcs mstitutes goo, alt s $ch Or rathq, what h th' sch-btrt what inedDcibly ulbnale source of valuo or quolitv i! an?' But I *ould argrre that what mo(l' an ot Drnrt @n5titut6 €mnm hd\ mennt is tltlt lhe two qucstiorwhat no loneer sepedbler tle 6r'l 'hc con\tilutA ced p"intiog?-." inc? ,,sd vh o, incra\inrlv rend\ to dis.pp€.r' into the s@nd (I am 'n Ai"*nn-^. r*i"s B.u. het. with the v6sio. of nodehisn put foMrd in nr o*i". Tbee Anarican PanncB.) For eole on thc oture of qscnce aDd cowondon i! the Eod@ist arr' sm ny A.ays oD sl"llJ r',J OliL'ki nentiood .bove, 6 well s Slanlev Cav'll _\lsj; ind neioind6i to cnti6 of thlt e$v' to b' FUI' X.hed as oan oi a 'vmno.iun bv the U!iv.6tv of Pitlsburgh PB in a v"l e'r. trinrf"r,i nriieia C"vdl s Dies will als lppcar io LxJ -".otiti"a What We Sdr?, n b@! of his 6savs to be poblish€d in the ndr We M.ot

lte meaning in ttris contcxt o{ "the condition of non-art" is what I have bem cslliDg obiecthood. It is as tlough objectlood alone can, ln ihe present cicumstances, secure somethinds identity, if not as non-aft, at least as neitber painting aor sculpture; or as though.a work of art-more accurately! a *'ork of modemist painting or fculPture- were in some essentialrespe& not an obieca. 'Itere is, in aDy case, a sba4) contrast between the literalist eso{ objecthood-almost, it seems,as an alt in its own dghtmodemist painting's self-imposed imperative riat it defeat or ruryend it! o1ralobjectlood tbrough the medium of shape. In {act, ftorn the perq:ective of rec€nt modemist painting, the literalist posiflon evinc€! a sensibility not simply alien but antithetical to its own: as though, from that p€Epective, the demanAsof art and the conditioDsof obiecthood are in drrect coLflict. Here the question arfucs:What is it abour objecthood 6 pmiected and hnostatized by the literalists that makes it, if only from the per*)ective of rec€nt modemist painting, antithetical to art?

answer I want to propose is this: the lite.alist espusal of obamounts to nothing other than a plea lor a ne*' genre of and theeEe is now the neeation of art. ; Literalist sensibility is theatrical because,to begin with, it is conwitb the actual circrnnstances in vhich the beholder enliteralist work, Morris makes this explicit. Whereas in preart 'what is to be had from the work is located stricdy rritiin " the experience of litenlist art is of atr obiect in u sihtattonthat, virtually by deGnition, indudes the beholdet: The better new work takes relationships out of the wo* and nek€s them a function of space, light, and the viewer's ffeld of vision. The obiect is but one of the terms in the newer aestletic. It ii in some rl,ey more reflcxive becauseonet arvarenessof oneself existing iD the sarne space as tlre work is sEonge. than in previous work, with its many intemal relatioDships. One i5 more aware than befoie that he himself is establishing relationship as he alDreh€n& the obiect fiom various positions and under varybg conditioB of light ena spatial context.

Michoel Fried


Ad ond Obiedh@d


Monis belicrcs tlat iliis a\rarcncss is hciglrtcncd by "thc shengd) ('1 the constant, knorvn shape, the gestalt," agaiDst which thc appc,! ance o{ t}ie piece Irom difierent ponns of vje\\' is constantly bcir{ compared. It is intcDsiffed also b)' thc l.rrge scale of much litcrnliil TLe artareness of scale is a furction o{ tl)e comparison nrx(l, between ihat constaDt, oDe's body size, and the ol)J'ect.Spr(, betveen thc sobject and thc object n inplied in such 8 con)pili The larger the object the nore Fc uc forced to leep our distatt,, It is this necessary, ge.tter dist.rnce of the objcct iD spacc fm',, oru bodies, nr order thai it be seen at dl, tbat structurcs tl! nonperonal or public modc llnich IIoris tdlocatcsl. IIo\\eu'l it is just this distancc bctlveen object and subject that creat( s I more extended situation, becaNe phrsical participrtion becoDr(* Th€ theatricalit-v of \lorris's notion of thc "nonpersonal or publi, mode seemsobvious: tlre largenessof thc piccc. in contunction lri(ll its nonrclational, unitary character, t}c bcholder-not jtFl phlrically but pslchicallr. It n, one might s.ry, prccisel)' this distrrtr ing that ,ll?}.s the bcholde. a subject and the piece in question . . an objcct. But it docs not follo( thrt tlte l:uger the picce thc mor' securely its -publii' character is cstablished; on the contrxr!, 'ln yond a ceta size the object can orcnYhcln and dte gigantic sc!I,' becomes the loaded term." Uoffis \\'ants to achiel€ prcsen.t througl oLiectlrood. \'Lich .equircs a certanr Idgeness of scnl(. nther dian through size alone. But he is ako avarc tiat this dis tinction is aDl.thnrg but Lard and hst: For the space of th. roon itself is a stnich'.ing factor both in it\ crrbic shape and in t.'nDs of the kind of conrprcssion diferert sizcd and prcportioned room can efiect upon the object-subjc.l tems- That ihe sp.rcc of thc room bccomes of such importan(, does not mean drNt .rn cnlironnrental sihration is being estal) lished. The tot.rl spacc is LopeftrlJy altcrcd ir ccrtain desired wn!'

Ly lh. prescn, ot dreobjc.r tr is nor.ontro c,l intt,e,cn\.ol F rrnrg ordi rc.t hy _.nigg,.ljrtc ot ntri.(t\ or Ly si,mc\h ,pingol rDcspacc\rrro,rndjnAt],e \ ieq "r. 'lhe obtect,not the behotder,must remain the centeror Locus the of rilua,ioo but the \ifuariooit-e[ belona,i o t_LF b.hotder _ir r" /,ir snuatron. $ \toli\.lrx\ I, mrrl,ed..t $i,t, to .,r,ph1\i7. Or rh"r flungs rr. in a:pdcF wirl, onc.ef mttr", tt,dn... one is in a lrjrJl] st,a.,sum(n,ndrd tl,rng.. \g.rin.d,,. is no ct,aror L\ hrrtl disrin,, rrcnh.t!v.Fn rhc tso siatcs igairs: onF is. ,Jtcr all. of a/u,1, rur_ rotrnded by things. Brt rhe thirgs thar llre litcralist works of art fDusr som€how confront tbe be.hotdcr_thcy must, one might al_ rr). b..rl.r.edni,' iuir in h'sspx, Lur in his u1ly. c Nonci,r lhis, Ir:ost indicatcs lack of interestin the obiecr itsetf. tsnt th. concerns _a norv are tor nrore conrrotof. . . thc enrire sftuatior. Controt is\rn it.dn vr.iabhs of objecr tighL space. bod\ . arc ro f,,nc. non. re ohic,l h.6 nor hcmr,,. his ,,,ercly becomelcssself nnporranr. It is-.I tlfk. rrorth remarhne rhar -the cnrrre sihrahonmexns y rhat.:/4 ol_n .iD,tuL]ing, se.rns. Gp b.hotderi ir ,o.r,/ lac lhcrc is norhingsirhin hls 6eld ,,i vision_norhing$.t hc rut;s noteol in Jny $2] th..r.0s ir \.Fre.dc,laresirs irclF\anc" ro the srruanon. th.rctorero lhe.\p.rirDie in .rupsrion. and on thc.on_ trary.ror somebinq Irc fe,,.ei\,d dt aUis lor it ta L,F to f.r.tsi\cd |r\ pan o[ thrt (iruation. E\cryr]ing (ouol\_not.F pad ot rh^, Durasp€rtor the siiu.rtion $ hrchils obi*rlhood e.r.bli\hFd in n "xJ on whn h th.'roLiFcthood t.Jstpa,ltvdppend. jrr

Furlhcrmor.the pmspn,.ol litFHli\tart. \hi.h CrpFnbcrg $.,5 rt,. nr(t lo andlvr. is bai.. y I thc:rb-ic.rt p0F,1 qu*Irv_ r tind ol or st?g, pres€ncc. is a function, not just of the ofrt.,,riu*o" k atra, oren. pvcnrggrA.iFni $ oflil.ralisr wo,l. bur ot th. cp.,.i"l(om. pircrly thal thrt wor( c\lods trom lhe behotder.som"rhi;g rHi.lto is hav. pr.s.ncewh.n ir dcmdrdr lhrL tlr. ;nro nc_ count, that he take it reno dy-and when tlic fdnllrent of that


An ond Obiecthood


denand consists sinrply in bcing .rrarc of it and, so to speak,ji are acting accordingly.(Certain modcs of scriousncss closedto the by beholderby tle work itself,r'.e.. thoseestablishcd thc ffncstpainf ing and sculptureof the recentpast.But, of coursc,llote arc hardl! nodcs of scnousncss shi.h nrosipcople feel at home,or ihat the! in of cvcn ffnd tolcrablc.) Here aganrthe eriperience being distanced crucjal, thc beholderknorvshimsdl by the Nork nr qucstionsccrns to stand in aD indcterminatc,opcn-cndcd-and rrne$cting-reltt tion dr flrlrlcc-tto dre nnp:rssneobicct on tbe (all or lloor. In fact. bcing dhtanced by such objects is ot. I suggcst,cntircly unlil, bcing distrnccd, or the silent prcscnccof anotherPe,sonrthe cxpericncc comingupon literalistobjcctsunevcctcdl)of for cxamplc, in somc*hat d:rkencd rooms-caD be strongly, i{ momentarilv, disquietingin tustthis \\'ay. $h.r thh is so. First, thc size ol There are tbree matu retrsons much literalist {o*, As \lorris's remarks irnpl}, mmpares fairJ' clorcty $ith that of thc human body. In this contcrt Tony Sinitll\ replics to q(estionsabout his six-footcubc. Dir,. rre highly sugge. Q: Iihy didnl you 'nakc it ltrgcr so that it $ould loom orer t|, l: I \!as not makinga monument. Q: nren shy didnt.,-ou m:rke it smiller so that the obscr(c' could seeo\er the tor)? ,{: I sas ot,nalnrg an objcct.i One \aI of drscribing shat Snrithlfrr m.rkingmight be so'nethnn likc a surrogatcpcrson-thrt is, a kind of st.rtr". (This reading6nil' supportin the crr)tion to a photographof anotherof Smith'spiccc\. issueof Artlortitr. Tftr Blat t tjor. publishtd h the December1967 ol' shicli Samlrcl \\'{itstif. Jr.,presunably*idr th€ artists sanction. ',1 sened, Onc'carr thc h!o-b) fours undcr thc piece,\'hich keep il tc from appeartuglikc rr(l)jtcdure or a monumcnt, and set it ofi ir. sculpturc."Thc t\\o b\.fours nre. in e{ect, a rudimentary p?desrril and thcrcbv rcinlorcc tlc statuelike qualty of the piece. Secotrrl ) in the entitiesor beings cncouDtcred €reryda,ve\periencein ten,s
. Quotdi by ltoris rs tl)c epigr.Dh to hG Notcs on S.Lrlpture,lart 2 '

lhrt most closel],approachthe lit€.alisr idealsof thc noffelationnt, lhe unitary and the vholistic arc orier persons. Snnitarly,tlc titernl lst prcdilectionfor syrnmetry, and in seneralfor a kind;f order that "is simply ordcr . . . one thing aJteranorher,,' is rooted,not. as Judd M.emsto.bclier,'e,in new phitosophicatand scientific pnnciples, whatev-er takestheseto be, bur in ,atnre. .Lnd thfd, *e appar hc cnt hollos'r1css rrost liteirlist lvork-the quatiry of having an of /mirte-is alrnost blatantly anthropomorphic.It is, as numemus commentato$have rcmarkd approviDgl],, rhough rhe work in ns questjon has an inncr, evcn se$ct, Iife-an eficct that is perhaps nade most e\dicir in \lonis's Unlftt".t ( 1965$6), a large rirgtiie torm in t\ro hatvei, with fluorescent tight gto,ving t-^ *itnn ,i *. narrow 8ap behlcer tnc t*o. In rhc same spirit Tony Smith has srid. i m intercst(J rhe inrrutrhility and myrertousness rhe in of lhing. s Hc h,r. .rlqohF"n qlored rs sryin$. \torc dnd nrorc I've becomeinterestcdm ptlcmaoc strLrctures_ In these,llll oI the materialis in rension. But it is the characterof the fonrr that .rppealsto nrc. Thc Lionorptric forms that res r from the constnrctioD have qurliry for mc, at least Iike Nb.rt is srid to be a fairly .ommon t).pc of Amedcan Smiths intered in pnoumaric structues may seemsurpnsing,bur it is consistenr both lvith his own rvork anrl wittr literaiist s;ibility Pncumaticstructurescan be describccl holov witb a Senerally. ;rs v€ngeance-the fact rhat they are not ..obdumte, sotid masses" (ltloris) nlJtrr?r/ on instcad of taken for granted. And ir reveahsomethirg,I think, about what holownessmeansin literalist art th.rtthe lorm: rl,it r.sult rr, bn,norphic.-

I am suggcsting, then, that a kind of latent or hiddcn naturaljsm, indeed anlhropomorphisn\lics rt tle core of literattst theory aod praclice. The .oncept of presenceall but says as mrrch, tirough rarely so nakcdly as in Tony Smith'sstatemenr, didnt think;f -I rhe.]torFFriahph rrn..rty quured. .r,iFm,.nr{ I.ony cI b} ^'!':,ot l, smrlh hrvc brel lrlen frrm SJmuel W"q.t.rn. J, r. -T,Ilrns in Tuny Sm,rh,:,
Arrt tur', Vol. v. No. .1. Dec@brr 1966.

130 them [i.e., thc sculptures he 'ahvays" made] as scrlptues but r{ gesences of a sort." The latency or hiddenness of th€ anthroPl, morphism has bccn such that the literalists ttremsclves have, as $r. havc seen,felt frec to chanctedze the modemist art they oppor.. e.g., the sculpture of Dartd Smith and Anthony Caro, as anthmp,, moryhic< chiracterization *'hose teeth, imaginary to bcgin i!itl,. Lave jrrst been pulled. By thc sametoken, however,{hat is !$ror11 with lit€ralist work is not $at jt h antluopomorphic but that tlr meaningand, equally, the hiddenncss its anthropomorphisnar,. of incurably theatrical. (Not aI Literalist art hides or marks its anth(' pmorphism; the u'<rk of lesser ffgures like Steincr s'elrs anthropo morphism oD its sleeve.) The crucial disti^ction that I an ptoposnr: so tar is betlDcen $otk tlnt is frndanentallg theatical ond :trotk that ir nor. It is theatricality that, whate!€r thc diferences bchvc.,' drcm, links artists like Bladen and Cmsvenor,? both of rvbom bar,. auowed gigantic scale [to become] the loaded tem" (Monis' with odrer, morc rcstrained fgurcs like Judd, llolris, ADdre, Il, Gac*en, Lewitt and- despite thc ske o{ some of his pieces-Torrr Smith.s And it is in the intercst,though not evlicitly in thc nam€.,,1 theatre that literalist ideoloey reiectsboth modemist painting nxl. at least iD the hands of its most distinguished recent pracdttunr.\ modemilt sculpture. In this conn€ction Tony Smitht dcscnptioo of a car ride takcn .n night on tlle New Jerscy Tumpike before it rvas ffnished rnakr compcllingreading: \l7ben I Nas teaching at Coopcr Union itr tle Grst year or t$o (,1 the lifties, sorirconc told me ho* I could get onto tbe unffnishr,l Ne$ Jersey Turnpike. I took three students and &ove fron, so'nclvherein thc llfe;rdowsto Nes' Brunswick.It was a drll
rli the c.taloluc tr, lnst sprins's Primary Stncturcs cxhilttion at thc lc\nh LlNeu, Bladen \rok, Ho$ do you rhe i'snlc rhe outlid€? ard Cn^ veDor, I dor'i \vDt mt *ork to be thoueht of ar 'large sculpture,' thet rn ideai th.t operrtc in thc slace bchveeD lloor Dd eiln,s." The r.levancc ,,1 these stdtdots to wlrt I harc.ddtrced d evid.ncc for ihe thdtn.{lit\.,,1 Iil"!..lnt $pL.) nn l !r.r.r'e @m\ obvious. r lt i. tl@tdc-rlity, loo. that links all tiee artists to otld ffeua d dislaftl,. as Kaprc\!, cdEll, Rrnschentrrs, Oldobd& Flavin, Snithe., Kienlot. Scgrl, S.lm, ChnJto, KrNma . . - thc Iist 6uld go on indefnitely.

ond Obie.thood


night and tlere w€re no lighs or sboulder markers, lines, r3ilings, or anything at all exc€pt the alark pavemcnt moving through tb€ landscape of the Bats, rimmed by hills in the distalce, but punctuated by stacks, towers, fumes, and colored lights, This drive was a revealing experience.The road and mtch o{ the landscape was atificial, and let it couldnl be called a rvork of srt. On the other hand, it did somethiog {or me that art had never done. At frst I didnt loow what it was, but its eFect was to libente me Irom many of the viervs I had had about art. It seemedthat there had been a reality therc that had not had any expressionin art. The experience on tle road was something mapped out but trot sociall!' rec{gnized. I thought to myself, it ought to be clear that's the end of art .Vost paintiDg looks pietty pictorial after tlat. There is no way you can fram€ it, you just have to expedence it. Later I discovered som€ abmdoned ai$tdps in Europe-abandoned works, Surealist landscapes, something thrt bad Dothing to do with any function, created *'orlds without haditioD. Altificial landscape without cultural ge.€dent began to dawn on me. There is a drill ground in Nuremberg la€€ cnough to accommodate two million men. Tbe entire ffcld is €nclosed with high embanlments and towers. Th€ condete approach is three sixteeninch steps,one above th€ other stretching for r mile o! so. se€ms to have beea revealed to Smith tbat nislt was the ial nature of painting----€ven, one might say, the convention of art. And this Smith seemsto hav€ understood not as laying ihe ess€trc€of art, but as announcing itr end- In comparbon &e unmarke4 unlit, all but unstructured tumpike-more ple , *,ith the tumpike as ereenenced fmm within tle car, travellng on it-art appean to have struck Srnith as rlmost absurdly small ("Atl art today is an art of postagestarnps," has said), ckcumhe scribe4 .onventional. . . . There rvas, he seemsto have felt, no way to'frame" his ex?erienc€ on the roa4 that is, no way to make sense of it in terms of art, to make .,rf of it, at least as art then rvas. nather'you just have to e{peri€nce it"-as it hd?rpant,as it merely alon, is what matters.) There is no suggestion b. (The experience problematic i$ any way. The experience is clearly rethat this is garded by Smith as wholy acctssible to everyone, not iust in priDci-

Robe Modll Unlirled, 1965. Grdy tiberstoss wirh lisht, 24' x 96,, dionelel In lhe colledion of the Dwon Golle.y. phor.srdph coudesyof tea c.nelti Goltery,

Tony Smnh: e slocl sox. 1963_65 Pointedwood. 2%,x 3,,

i";k'Y 'r


Jules Oliiski; surso ,5, 1t67. Aluminun poiored vith ocrrtic resin.tO, x ,14, In lhe colleclionoJ Robe Rowon. Pholosrophcoudesy of Andre Ehmerich Ga



Ad ond Obiecth@d


ple but in fact, and the questionof lehethcr or not one has realh ,rdl it doesnot ariseThat this appeals Smit! can be seenfrom hN to praisc of Le Corbusier as 'more a€ilabld' than Michelangelo: '"Th, dircct and primitive ei?cricnce of thc High Court Buildhg xr Chandigarhis likc thc Pueblosof the Sou$\rest under a fantasti, overhangingclifi. It's somethinge\eryone can understand."It is. I think, hardly necessaryto add that thc availability of Dodemist art is not of this kind. and that the riqhtnessor relevanceof on.s conviction about speciffc modemist s'ork, a conviction that begnr{ and cnds in onc's expe.ienceof the work itself, is always opcn n, But what oar Smidl'se)ipericDce the tumpilc? Or to put th,. or sane question another way. if t}lc hrrnpike, airstrips, and drill gound arc not works of:rt, shat ore the],? What, indeed, if not empty, or 'abandoned. sitrotions? And \rhat leas Smith's cxpcri enceif not the expcrience rvhlt I have been calling tftealrc: It is of as though the tumpike, airstrips,and drill ground revealthe th€airi cal character literatst art, only ilithout the object, that is, 1ri|horl oI the att itself-as though the obiect is nccded only witlin x roon" jD (or, perhaps, any circumstaDces cxtremethan tbese).In cach less of the abovecases objectjs, so to spcak,r"plrrs{/by something, the for eriample, thc tumpike b) tle mnstant onnlsh of t}lc road, thl on simultaneous rcccssion ne$ reachcsof dark pavementillumnred of by the onrushingheadlights, scnse the turnpike iLselfas sonr thc of thing enormous, abardoned, derclict, sristing for Smith alone an(l for those in the car with hiln. . . . This last poht b important. On thr one hand, the tumpike, ai$trips, and drill gound belong to no onc: on the olher, tbc sitDrtionc*abtishcd by Snith's presen.€is in earll casefclt by him to be ftir. Nloreolcr, in each casebeing able to go on and on indefinitrlr is of the essencc. \\/hat replaces the objects}lat does thc sa'nc job of distancingor isolatingthc beholder,of rnaking him a sul)iect,that tbc olject did jn the closed roont is above oll the erdlssncss. or obicctlessness, the approachor on of rush or perspectn(. It is thr cvlicihre$s, that is to say, the sherr
I The (oncelt of r roon n, mostly clandcsiinely, imDoitant to liicirlist art ald thco.y, ln fact, it crn olten lc substihrted for rhe word 'irEce" in the latrer: $merhi.g is sanl ro be in or s!{ce if it is in the sdc sith Dc '@a {and if it is pla.ed s. d)at I can harilly fril to Dotice ii).

prcscntsitself directed at with whictr the experience p.rsistence, ^s him from outside (on the tumpike from outsidetbe.dt) thnt simult$neously males llim a subjcct-makes hi]n subicct-and establ;shes the experienceitself as something like thrt of an object, or rather, of about hov to put liter No obiecthood. sonder tr{olris'sspcculations nlistwork outdoorsremair str.rng+ in.oclusive: Why not put thc work ouklools rnd frdhcr change the terms? .4. real need existsto allow this nc\1 stcp to becone prrtical. Arch; tecturalh dpsigredstulpturc courls nk sol lhe Jl|s(cr nor is the placementof *'ork outsidc cubic archite.tDralforms ldeally, it is a space,without arcbit.chrre as backgroundand rcferencc,that vould give diferent tenns to vork with Untcrs the pieces are sct doNn in . Nholl}' nah|ral contcxt, and Morris does not sccm to be advocatingthis, somc sort of artiGcial l)ut not quite Architcctural setting must be constructed trVhat Smith's remarks seemto suggesl is that the more effective-meaning setting is madc, the morc superfluous the efiectivc ns fhedlrc-tie rvorks thenNelves become.

Smitn"s accomt of his expe ence on the tumpikc bears \sitness to preciselyin the theatris profoundhostitityto thc arts,and discloses, place, what might be of absencc the object md in *hat takes its of ca ed the tbeatricalitJ, objccthood.By the sametokeD,however, the imperrtive drat modemist Finttng defeat or suspend its obtccthood is at boftom thc impcratile that it.Irf"ar or susPendtlreure. And thrs means that there is ir s'ar going on between thcatre and behseenthe theatricaland thc pictorial-n war modemistp;Linting, that, despitc thc literalists'explicit reiection of modemist painting is and sculpture, not basicauya Datter of programand ideologybut (For example, wns a ptrticrL it sensibitity. of s?ericnce, conviction, lar expcrienc€ that engend€rc.l Smith's conviction that painting in fact, that the arts as such verc ffnishcd. ) The starbess snd apparent ineconcihbility of this connict is sometlring nerv. 1 remarkedearlier that objecthoodhas becomean issuefor modemist painting only vitlin the past several years. This, however, is not to sry t\at beforc tlc Prcsent siturtion came into

13 6

A.t ond Obiecihood


being, paintings,or sculptures that ,naiter, stnply te,e obie(t\. {or It would, I think, be closcrto thc truth to saytbtrt they sttrplU $1'rr' not.1o Tlle dsk, e!c.n thc possibility,of sccing\lorks of a]t as rollr ing more tban objectsdid not exjst. That this possibjlity began to prcscnt itsett around 1960 \'as lnrgely tbe result of dcvclopmcnl\ \rithin modemist painting. Roughly,the more nearly assimilablcl,) objectscertain advancedpainting h.rd comc to seem,the lnore t|, entire history of paint'Dg sincc \{mct could bc urderstood(though ulli delusn'e\'.I believe as consistn,g the progressive in mately inadcquatc) revelationof its cssenti:l objecthood,tland tl! more urgcnt bccarnethe need for Drodcrnist painiing to make (\ plicit its coDventioml speci6call), /ridfolidl-esscnceby defo.ll its ing or suspe.ndiDg o$r objccthoodthrough the tnedium of shrp, its The view of tnodemist pairting as teDding to\yard obiccthood i' implicit in Judds rDrnrk, The ne$ [i.e.. literalist] sork obliourh resembles sculptuc more than it does painting, but it i\ nearer L) painting'j and it is in tlis \'ie\I that literalistseDsibility gcncral I in grounded.Literalist sensibiliryis, therefore,.r response the tarr to developnentstlat havc ldgely compelled nrodcmist pAinting 1,, mdo its obiecthood-more precjsely,the sanredcvclopments r.,Jl .Iiffercntlq,n\at is,n th€atricd tem$. br l sensibilitya/r.o.Iv thcrl Iical, alrcady (to say th€ worst) corruptcdor pencrted b! tic)tf,
t Sianlc)_Cavell ias r.n.rled in senina! tl.t to. (nnt in ihe Criii.rxr '4 in obicci. I sill ia}. rhis oppornnrilv to r, Jrzlg,cnt a $ork of a.t is 'ot lndrledse 6e facr rhat s.itloot numcro$ .onvosations sith Cilcll duri, the prst fcs r?a6, and Ni$oui \\Ial I hale learled frotu him in colrrc\ lll semn,rr\, ifu prcspnt essar-and rot it alone\onld hat br.n n,okcn.l'|, I $rnr ,lso lo c\ hl gntitude antl indcbtqlncss to the comDoscrJ,'l ' Harbison, \rho, toFeilFr \nl his $ifc, rh. violnist no*nary lltrb'son. l'.' sien me \'!ateve. nriiirln,, inio modem music I lEve hail, both for thlt i', tjrtion aDd {or ndrerous sishls bearins oD dre subjmt of thn essay. 1One (ay of d€soibnrs this vieN misht be to ey that it dr.$s som.thi'' ' likc r false infer€nce fron lle fact th.t thc incrersingl) cxplicit aLdnoslr,l me]t of tlc litcral charrct(,r of the sutpod has b{u..ntral to thc dereli,l, melt of moder sr tannn,g: mn€l!, that litenlness ,s rrcft is an irti\tic \'.r1,. of supreme importa!.€. In shape as Fon I argued thrt tljs iifcrur{l blind to ccnain vital .on\nlerations: nnd implicd that liter.lncss-more r)i, cisclt, thc litcralness of the suppo -n. vrluc only oitlnr modctnist !.i,r nrg, and tio oDly bcclnse it hrs bccn ,,d./e onc by lhe listoD of t}it eln

Snnilrrly, what has cornpclledmodcnist painting to dcfeat or sus_ pcnd its oll.n objccthoodis not jusr developments inrernal to itselJ, hut th. samegeneral,cnveloping,nfecrious thcatricality rhat cor_ rupted literalistsensibilityin ihe Arstptace and in the gnp oI which llrc developmeDts quesiion-and modernistpajnting in general_ in orc s€en as nothing more than .rn uncompelhrg and presencetess kind of thcatre.It rras the nced to break the fingersof this grip that nrad€ objccthoodan isstre modemistpainring. for Objcctbood has also become an iss;c for modcrnist scutpture. ]'his is ttue dcspitethc fact that sculpture,bei,g three dimcnsionat, i{.semblcs Loth ordinarv objccts and lfteratist work in a wav that printing docs ot- .\lnost ten yees ago Clemenr creenberg stmmcd up \r+at hc saw as the cmergenccof a nerv sculprural "$tyle,"Nhosemasteris undoubtcdly Dlrlid Smith, in the fo ;wine To render srbstance entircly, and form, wllerher pictonat, sculphrral, architechral,as an intcgratpart of anbicnt space_ or thjs brirss anti-ith$ionismfirll circle. Insterd of the il ion 6f things,we rre now ollcred rhc iltusionof modatitics:nanet),., that mattcr is incorporeal, \yeighdess, aDd exists onry opticaly- lik€ a miirgc.rl Since 1960 dis developmenthas been crried to a succession of climaxcs by the English scutptor ,{nrhony Caro, r,hose Nork is far sp"c'f.zlly resisrant bcins seenin term of objecthoodthan to 'nore that of David Smith. ,{ chaJacte*ric sculptureby Caro consists, I wirnt to say, in the mrrturl and nakcd lufr?posriionof the l_beaDs, girders,cylinders,lengths of piping, sheermetal, aDCl grill that it conrprises rathcr than in the .ompound obl.ct ttiat they composc. The mutual infcction of one element by another,rath;r tha; the idcntity of er.h, is shat is cmcial-though of courseatte ng the identity o{ any elemcnt rvould be at least as drasricas attcring its placlment. (The ideniity of each elementmattels in some\!}af thc sameway as the fact that it is an arm, or rhis aml, that makes a particulargcsture;or as the fact thlt it is rhrr word or rtis note and not snothcr rh/t o.curs in I particulr FlacF in a scnt, n,.c or Drclody.Thc individurl .l.nrFnr. t-.'ro" ,igrificrnccon onc rn)
'tr Th. \ew Sc.ulpturc,'Ar, nd Crftzr,, Boston, lg(jt, p. 14.!.

Michoel Fried


Arr ond Obie<thood


il othcr prccisclyby virtuc of thcir jutaposition: it is in this scDso. scnscnrcxtricablyinvolvrd wiih the conccptof mcaDing, lhat cl('r\ thing in Carot art that is worth looking at is in its syntax.Caro\ conccntrationupon syntax anrounts,iir Greenbergt view, to "r!l emphasiso abstmdless, on mdical unlikeness nature."'3 ,{D(l to Creenberggoes on to rcmark, No other sculptor lras gone as fur from thc structrral logic of ordinarl ponderrblc thnrgs."It is q'orili ho\\,evercmphasizing, that lhis is a {unction of norc than the lo\!. ness,opelness,pan-by-patness,absenceof enclosingpro0les arxl centers of interest. unperpicuolrsress,etc., of Caros sculpturcs. Rather they defeit, or anay, objec$ood b1, initating, not gestu(\ exactly,but the efi.d., of gestuei like c€ rin Drusicand poetr\'. they arc posscsscd the laoslcdge of thc hurnan body and hor. by in irnumcra]r]e$a)'s and moods,it niakcsmcanbg. It is as thoucir Caro's sculptures esseDtialize mcaningfL,lncss such-as though thc as possibilit-v neani'rg $hat tle say and do alore makcs his sculp. of ture possible. ll tlis, it n hardly necessaryto add, makes Carot arl a fountainhead of aDtjtitemlist nnd ,rntitheairical sensibility. Therc is another, morc gcneral res?ect in Nhich oLjecthood hrs be.r'mc an issuc for the most mbitious recent modenist sculptur and that is in regard to color. This is a large and dimcult sub,ccl. rrhich I cannot hope to do nore than touch on hcrc.rl Bnefl!. honever, color hasbecomeproblernatic modemistsculpture,not for because one senses thlt it hasbeenrpplted, but bccause color of the a €!i1en sculptDre, \\nether applied or in the natural state of thc materi.rl,is identical \\ith its surfacei and inasmuchas all objccts havc su acc,arvacncssof the sculptrre'ssurfaceimplies its obiccthood thcrcbl thrcatcningto rlualif,vor mitigate the undermining
L3lhi\ rnd tle follo\ing rem.rk irc taken {ron Greenbcrs's6say, Anihon\ Cdro, ,.{rts l./r}uo*, tio.8, 1965. Caros ftst stcp in this dncction, thc oh!). nrtion of th€ !c(lc!tx], secmsiD retro\pcct to }ave motivrtcd rct by lle d€sirc to p(scnt l,is ryork $ithout arfiffcial anh so nuch as bt tle need nl undernj!€ jts o|jeldrooil. llk work l.s revealed ihe eltent to Nhich melclt' pntting somethnrs on a ledestrl .ontra it in its objocthood; thonsh mqcl) (.moying the pcdestrl does not in itself undemine objcthood, N litcrrliir rlsee Creerb€rs s Anrhony Cxro'and th€ seclion of hy "Shape is Fom for mor€, thoush not a great de.l morc, .bout color nr sculptlrc.

,,t objecthoodachievedby opricalt, and, in Caro,spieces,by their sy'rtar as well. It is in this conncctioD, believe,rhat a vcry recent I xrrlpture, Banga,by JulesOlitski ought to be scen.Brng., consists ,)t bctlveen fffteen and h'enq. metal h,bes, ren feet b;s a"d of vrious diam€ters, placedupright, dveted togctherand then spLayccl $ith painr of diftcrent coloF; the doniinanrhue is yeltow to teuow_ o'nng€,but the top and'icar" of the piece are sufirsed with a dccp rcse,and closelooking rcveah Aecksand cven thin tricklesoI grccir ond red as s'cll. n rather widc red band has bccn paintcd a;uncl lho top of the piecc, \rhile a much ihinner ban.t in tlvo clifiercnt l,lucs (one at the'flont" and another at the ..rcar,) circumscribes thc yery bottom. Obviously, Bungd relates fitiDately to Olitski's spraypainthgs, cspecialy thoseof tbe pasr ycar or so, in which he hrs workcd with paint and bmsh at or near the limits of the support. At thc sme tjm. it !mo,rnlsro t.r 'omFtbing morcrhan,n arim,pr sirrpl) lo ur "lran'latp his prinring\ into s,lrlpt,rrF{. nrmrIy. 'lakc rr attcmpt to estabhh surface-the sur{ace, to speak,of so ,rdnrfing -rs a mednrm o{ scu]pttre. The usc of tubes,each of which orc rces, incrcditrly, as /df-r}!at is, flat but /o11e.t-makes Bznga,s sur_ frce rnore like that of a painting ihan 1ik€ that of an obiecr, ljkc F inting, .rDd unlike both ordinary objects aDd other s.utpture, ,n,rsl is d/lsu ace.,{nd of cou$e $hai dectares esrrblishes or that s'rrfacc is color, Olitski s sprayed color.

At this point I Fant to matc a claim rhat I cannot hopc to prove or strbstantiate but that I believe ne\.erthetess be nuc: lJi;., that to thcatre and theatricality are at ear todal,, not simply with modcrnist t)aiirting (or modemist painting and scutpture), but with arr As s'rch-rrd to the ertent rhat thc difie.cnt arts can be described as D|odemist. 1\ith moderDistscnsibitity as such. This clain crn bc l,roken do$T into rhree propositions or thes€s: lr Tl, sfr.,.s,tpnthe\u^ ol ol t tr ddr tn: ,!n" itu t.d\ir,el! to on Ih"ir abilitA to tlpl"dt ltratrc Tti\ i\ tFrtrtp\ Iowh.r; 'lcpcnd cvident than wirhin thearre itseu, rvherc tle necd to rteleat 'rore N,hat I have been calling theatre has chiefly made itsclt felt as the nccdto establish drasticaltyditrercntrel;rtionto iis audience.(The a

For thcatre ld. relevaDt texts e, of couse, Brecht and \ !n audicnce it e fs lor one in a \\'ay the other arts do noti irl fact, this mor€ than an)'tling else js $nat noderDitt sensibilitl fin(ls it sliould bc rcmarked that inhteraLle in theatrc generalt.Ilcrc an literalist afi, ioo, possesses audience, t}ough a somc\rhat spccill one: thai the beholdcr is confronted bv literalist Nork $ithiD . situation ihat he eeeriences as hi, means lhat there is an importanl seDsenr $'lrich the $ork in qrrestion exjsts for him olonr, c\.cn if h, is not;rctually alonc witn $e work at tbe tinle lt mrv sccm Par']' doxical io chin] bolh that literalist scnsibjlit) tlsPircs to an ideal of "somctliing cveryone can understand' (Snittr ) an.l that liic':'list rti ad.lresscsitsclf to the bchokler aloDc.but the Parador is or)ly aPpafent. Som.onc has merely to enter tlle room in *hich a Iitcmlist Nork has Leen p]accd io becorr that beloldcr- audicncc of onc.tlmost as though thc laork in qDcsiion has bccn uo,tnrg tor hnn ADd nr.rsDuch as liteirlist rvork rJependson the beholdcr. i{ hc(),L plrtc Nithout hnn, it lur l,eeD vaiting for him And once bc is n) tht is lo room thr: \ork refuscs- obstinatclv. to let hiD alone-$hich it refusesto stop confronting him, distancjng him, isolating hiD) sry, (Such isotati(n is not solitude an) more tlian such coDfrontation is It is the olcrcoming o{ ihentre that nodernist scnsil,iliiy li ds most cxatting and that it expedences as the halln)ark of high art iD our time- There is, ho\\'e!er, onc art th:lt. b)' its tery nature, ?scdp's This Lelps crplaijr \'ht molies nr theatrc eninely-thc \Ii.h llrrcht felt ': l-h.,'e.d t. achicre i (\L r€l.tion to the sp€cturor' rDd !l,ir! hr dis.rsredtime and againni hn \ntings on the.trc Nrt rot sim_ !l) tlre restrltof !i\ \la^Lsm. O! die..ntlarr, his djsco\(4 ot Nlnrss(rd' i,, hve t.c,' n, lrn tle d'nove.-\oI slat riis .elarjon'nisht be lik.' \h.t it nisht Dexn: \\'tr.n I rcrd Il.Ns CrrritufI undeAt@dm! phJ's li.tur:'ll' I \bl nr sc€ t}is bo,,t \nlcll cirdrlated lt Nisr'r of coursrthat I foun(l t |id un.on!.nn^l\ \,itten | \Iolc Dilc of \lanist phrs: bnt this I'r \l'rx I s,.s th. .nly srFctrtorf,r nrr pla,rs d cvF comercros\'' lBrcJn on Th'at'r' cditc(l cnd t[nshtc(l b J.]]n \lillctt, ^"e$ Iork- 1964.pp 23_24) rNl non rhc morns cscrpetlc.tre is a b€autihrlqtrestion, tlere on &rt I plc,r)nenologyof rle cnrcDr that conccntrrted th| is ro.lonl't |ut iinilnrities rn.l di[.Jc,{.\ her\t€cnit a.d tbe thcihe-e g. th'r h the novi"s tlc ..tds are .ot llilsi.xlly presetr,thc ilD self is proj({.d (eill trom us, a kinJ of object e\inins, so to \perk ib I is thr screen not .tD"ti"""",l ". r€', 10 us, {t. \'odd be cdremcl,trc\i(lirrg Crlcll $eijfic tlysi.rl

Ad dnd Objecthood


gdr€ral,including frankly appaltingones,are acceptabte modcm, to ist sensibility whercasall but the most successfut painrjng,sculpture, r'rusic,and rot. Becausecine 1a cscapes thcatre-auton', asit \rere-it providesa rvelcomc and rbsorbiDgrefugc to s.nsibilitiesat war vith theatre and theatncatity.At the sarnctimc.,r".tFrol drc retllge morerccrrrrrcll. ll( automJric. lh. fact tllat whrt is provided is a rctuge {rom the(lhc and not tt lfi"rnph oi?r it, absorptionnot conviction meansthat the cinem , cleD at its mostexperimental, not a rnol"mist art. is 2) Aft degenentes ae it approaches the co rlitiotr af theata, 'I heatreis thc commondenominatorthat biffls a larse and sccmi'rgly disparatevaicty of activitiesto one another.and that distin[rishes t]iose .rctivities Irom the radicalty ditrercnt enterpriscs ol thc rnodemist arts. Here as elsewhere the qrestion of valuc or level is rcntral. For example, .! failu.e to resister thc enormous difierencc in rluality betlvcen, sa]', the music oI Catcr and that of Cnee or bclNccnthr painlings Iouir dnJ dm:c ol R:rusch"nt,ers ol rh"t mi.ans tl'e rcrl dislindions-lrehvceD musicand rherrrc in rhe first inst.rnce nDdbehveenpaintnrg sd theatre in the second-arc disolacedbv thc ijiusion Lbatthe lrdriers bchlccn rhe ans are in r_hc oro".*, oi rrumhlnrq iCage rnd Raus.henbcrg Leirg scnq ronccrtyl,as simi. and that tle arts tlerrsetves are at Iajt slidins towards some lind of ffndl. implosi!e. hug.h Lle.irabtesy:orhc\ii.,,\vh{ in
nRiD, lDs (allcd ancntion, in .{nversarion, to the sort of rctuenbetury thnt loes into giriDg ar ac.tut of a novie, and nore Esjc.illy ro rlc nuture of r h d i $ . u l r r - r h - r ! , i n r o h F d i n p i ! i n r .u ( h a n x.m u r ,r r;Ttis is the vie{ of Susu Sonrag, s,hosc various essiys. colleck\l j, AIJ.i6t lnteryrctation, Dount ro per}aps the pu.cst<eitanrly tle mo* .grcsious<,rpressio! of irhat I have ben callins thcatric.l scnlibiltv jn rccent criticism. In tlis sese ihev are indeed the ..cascshrdiesfor nn a$thetic. tr lhtury or my r h d . . h " r J.F. l h ,.o l o l F. In ., ( h a r tuk,n ti ; p.sagc lliss Soltns contends: An lclay is J s k n d o f j n . r r u T e n t. a . i n .tr r n e r ,l tu r m o d tfl i n g $ n \ c 'u u r n . \ \ a n d o'n . , " i / i , ! D e w m o J",.t,q F:!i l i h . rE An ,l th ( m e a n s fo r p i J ! . i i i n a r r r h " r F - b e e n r a . l i , " l l y . (e n d e d . . . . p d i n t+ n o to n {e r fe e l th,m.elv,s .odn.d lo env", .nd, brr cmntov htln. nhor;srilbi \v"\..rnd rirp.. rh,.ir ovn roorhbrushes nnd $ck". . : . An kin( or .onvcntionally acc€pred boundaria lave ihereby been chnllen{od: ,ot j$r the one b€h{een &e sciendf,c" and the ,.litcriry arustic,' cuiiures. or


l,ti.hoel F ied


A.t ond Obiecthood


fact the individual arts havc ncver been norc cr?licitly conccm(d with thc conventions that constihrte dreir respective essences. 3) Tlrc concep.sol q alitg anel aalue 'aruI to the enefi thtt o, thesearc centrd to art, tlrc conceptof utt itsery arc D.ea'1itt'!lnl, uholly nuaningful, on/v ivithin tie indil)iLlua!ads. What lies ba twccn tft? a,ts is theatre. It is, I think, sigDiffcart that jn tl)eir various statcments the literalistshare largely avoided the issuc ol vallre or quAlity at the sametime as they ha\€ sho\m considcrabl uncertainty as to whether or not what ihey are making is art li, dc$c be their entcrpnsc rs an atteDpt to establisha nzlf art clocs not removc the unccrtaintyi at most it points to jts source.Jutld himsclf has as nuch as Rctaovledgedthc problematicclurncter of by the literalistenterprise his claim, A work needsonly to be irter gcnerally,all that maiFor Judd. as for literalist sensjbilit,v esting," js whether or not a given wor]( is able .o elicit aDdsustain(his ) ters interest.\VhcreasNithin the modernistarts nothing slmrt of ronui( tion-speciffcatly, thc conviction that a particular painting or scub' ture or poem or pic.c of music can or cannot support comparisorr with past wo* within that art {'hose quality is not in doubtmattcrs at all. (Literalist sork is oftcn condemncd \ehen it i\ condcmncd-for being bonng. A tougher charge \rould be that it is merelyintcrcsting. ) The interestof a given work resides,ia Judd's !iew, both in ils ch^r.cter as a Fhole nnd in the sheerspecfcitv o{ the matcridlsol which it is mad€, either rccent inventions Most o{ the 1r'orktuvolvesne\\-materials, or thiDgsnot nsed beforc in art. . . . Vatedals vary greatly an(l arc simDlynlateri:rls-Iomica, aluminum,cold-roled steel,plc)iiglas, rcd and comoon brass,and so forth. They arc sp€ciffc.1l
the one betwccD rrt" ard non-art ; but also mary stdblisheJ dislinctior' s'it])jn the uanl{l oI (ltrre itself t!!t bex!@n fod and.6nteDt, the frilo lous nrd t!r, sernus, lrd (a fayorite of literary "high u(l "low' culium. ll)]). 996 97) 'lhc tru$ is thit tlc dkln!{ion b€t{Ten ihe hivolos and tlE seriouebe.u!. mon ulseDt, dcn iLn,lrr,., e\€D da), and d,e enie4'ns.s of tle m.denist d''r. more purely motilaic(l l)v the t lt ned to perpetute the stand,rds anil uht* of rhc higl lrt ol the pisl.

th€I arc us.d dire.tlv. d,c} ue nrorc spccr6( Also. rtrcy arc usu rlly aggrFssne. Thercis M oLi.etivit)ro rl,eol)d,,r.rtc rir) ot ide Like tl€ shapeof the obiecr,the nrateriats nor reprcs€nt, do signify, or alludeto arything; rhe1, rvhat thcy are .rnd nothing rrc_ are -lnd what th€y arc ii not, stricrty speaking, somethingthat is grAspcct or hrtuitcd or rccognized once and tbr all. Rrthcr, the i'bdurate identitr' of a speciffcmaterirt, Iike rhe rvholcncx o{ the shape, sinply statedor given or est:rLlished tho vcry outset,if is at not before the outset;accordingly,$e expcrience lnth is one of oI rDdlessn€ss, incxhaustibilitr., being able to go on and on ler, oI of llng, for example,the matcrial itself conlrort onc in dl its litcral_ its "objectivi!,,. its abseDcc anything bcyond itscu. In a oI 'r(ss, $nnihr lcin trIoris haswritten: Charactefistic of a gestalt is rhat oncc ft is cstrblithcct all the infomution about it, grd gestal! is cxhausted.(One does not, for example,seekthe gestaltof a gesralt. . . . One is thcn both ) frce of the shapeand bound to it. Free or relcased because the of cxhaustionof infomation about it, as $hapc,and bound to it because remainsconstanrand it nrdivisible. Tle same note is struck by Tony Srnith in a statement the first ientenc€ of which I quoted earlicr: Im intercstcd in the inscrurability and mysteiior$ness the of thing. Somethingobviouson tle face of it (like a washing machiDe or a pDmp) is of no futhcr interest. A Bcnningron earthens,aretar, for instanc€, Ilas subttcty oI color, largeness form, a of general suggestionof subsrancc, generosity,is calm and rcasrrring---qualitiesthat tlke ft be) ond pure utiliry. It continucsto nourishus tim€ and time again.We can,t sce it in a sccond,wo continueto r€ad it. Therc is something absurdin thc fact th:r you cango back to a cubein th€ s,rme way. l,ikc Judd'sSpeciffcObjecrsand MoEis's gestaltsor unitary forms, S'nitlis cube is dhdrs ot further interest;one nevcr feels ihat one has come to the end of itj it is inexhaustible. is inexhaustibte, It


Ad ond Obiecrhood


ol horvever, because nny fullncss rldt is tlre inexhaustibility not oI is cndlcts thi art bui becauscthcrc is nothing lhcre io e\ for \,\'ay roadmight be: if it wcre circDlar, eliample. a trndlcssncss, benrgable to go on nnd on. evenha\iog to go on an(l on, is central botl to the concepto{ inteJestand to that of objeci bood. In fact, it seems be tlr(i c\penencctliat most deeply cricit,\ to literalistsensibilit),and that liicralist artistsseekto objcctify in thcir work-for exanplc, by tlc rcpetition of identicalunjts (Judds oD| thing ,ft$ anodrei ), \lhich cnrriesthe nnplcatior tlnt $e units irl questioncould be multiplied a(/ i,,fnttrr,.15 Smittrs accountof hi\ on experience the un6nishcdturnfik. recordsthat cxciteDentall hul e\plicitl)'. Similarlv, lbrris's clrnn that in the best nerv rvork thc is rclationship: beholderis made arvarethit "he hnDself establishing ns he apprchcnds thc objcct fronr various positiorsaDd rndcr v.rr!. to tng conclitions light rnd spaiialcontext"amounts the claiD th.rl of aDd thc bcholderis made awareof the endlessness ine\haustibility l1 not o{ the object itself at any rate of his er?edence of it. This ax'areness fur$er e\acerb.rted whai might be called the tnclr is by sio,'rrss of his situation,that is, b!, the fact, rcDdkcd carlier, thal everlthing he obsenescountsas Dart of that situationand hcnce is felt to bear in someway that rennins undennedon his expc;ence ol thc objcct. Ilere finall,s I \rant to emphasize something that may alread\ in have becomeclear: the e)iperience questionpersxts in firn", arr(l tle prcsentment endlessncss oI that, I barc bcen cliimiDg, is certtful {)l prescntBentof cndless, to liter.tlistdt and thcory is csscntiall-\'a indcfinilc, (lrratron. Once ngain Smitht accountof his night drnc is rclcvant,as well as his remark,"trVecan't seeit [i.e.,tbe jar and. b\ Ne implication,the cubel nr a second, continueto read it." Monj\. too, bas stated erplicitly, The erperienceof the rvork necessarill existsin time' thoug} it *ould make no difierenceif hc bad Dot
rs Tlat is, drc ddkl nnrnxr of strch units in N giver licce n fch to bc .rl, trnry, nnd th€ pje.e itselt-despitc the Lteralist pr6€Dtation Nith sholi\ln fomFis s..n ns r frnsmL,rt oI. or (ut into, someihing infinitely hrg.r. lli\ i or of thc most importu,t dillcrenc$ bctrvccn lit.{alist rvork tnd'nr paintnrs, $|lich ha madc isclf r$poNible fo. ts phr;si€l timils as neler l), for.. Notadi and Olilsl,i s paintnrsr a.€ t\ro oblios, atrd dill€r€nt, cites n, Don,t. It is il this conrcction, too. tllt ih€ importan€ of tle paint.\l brnn' Nound ihc bottom and th{, top of Olitslis sculpturc, Bdsa, tEcomc dr.r

o _ i i , , . l , p r j l n . ( s . i - t n , r ri r , i , t - ., " d - Fp ,ft. i l ' h ,,h ,A,r l e r r }r ; Jn d i m F " l j . r . " i b r h ( . , r . , n J , e . *, h F t"u p r D - tp . r i .p U ,,.1 ri . ttr e ol "..k ,i . \ ,o Bo,h :."",.,y ,r.,i i. ,i ]lll l:"J:, ":-. . 9 I n r,(hrdrhr- e mLennrF.r. ^mpl.v " . J {n . . r q ,,d n . i - . o m p l Fr c.I.n r t,r ..L 4 r t i n m i lI" ', :J a,1 to r , . u p o D o r r '/ i r . r , 'b r e . l . n , . ] ,,- l U D "."1 1 n . o t u t,,F,,. \j n S,r r i Fl tb m ^l trdrior6_'l,e ,to-.1 Jn I rh"!tune(l xrrrffdJ o S r r , . i t : , o J. to tj h r .,tf n . r Tu n y Sm i r l l , r r $ l l o F?,rtu,dcs.nbedrhc.riFrflp...!. 1! - S,,n r a L i { t- n .l "c"p ,* .; 1 1 ;, n 6 n ;.u up b\ \,yrnc thal sum,rti{ se.\ibit\. n. ,n.,nif.{r,t in rt,. **,", .,dnr\. .,d tndJnr .pu\ibdit! a,c bod, r/,"ar,nr?. ""1':' I ,to nor (o,rf,h,rehtood.s

'fhe litdalist prcoccupationwith time-more prccisety,with the thtratkn,olllr .rlt t ieru., -is.t sugserr p,r.rd]smnti( *Iy rr,..1r;_ .ir: rs !rsh Lhr"tre.or,trolr.rhe heholJ,r.11Idrlcrehy j.otxtFs 'l fiirn.$idr lhc endlcrsn:s\ jusl ot obi,LthoorlI.ur nor ot rjrr.; or ..s rl'oughlhe scnsc $hich, at \,ncc ot is x rcmpo-ralit).,oJ rime borh passir€ and to come, ntuItlnco1lsll 1q)_ roaching drl recetlin{:, as if apprehended in ar inffnite pcrspccrive . .rs Ttus prnoccunlion mr,Ls a protound diocrencc Lcnveen rrr.rati\t $ort ind moJcrn;(t nting r\ rs though p, oDcs erperienccof rhe laftcr lz ro duation_.ot bccruse o"c ln //ca erpdiences a pichrre by Nolanrt or Olitski or A scutprurcby frrvid Smithor Crro in no tn,r ar rlJ.bur f,..nn. ,,t coc,i n,on,,,r I.t,ruorti itvtJ is ttltoll.'J rr,,ry'.v. Tljsish eot \culphrrc.l,\t tF ll'c ob! i,nrsfa,r th.rt.b€ing rhrPc dimFr.ion.,l, crn ir" ,c", r,o,n ir rn infinite numbcr of points of vic.$,. Ones expcrience r Caro is of not incompletc, and onc's convicrion as to jts quality is not sus pcnded,sinrph. btrruse one has secn ir only fio"r rvhcre o,re is xt.nding. \Ioreovcr. in thc grip of his best lyork one,svielv o{ the u"l b"r$e.n.(!hrr,.essioD \umc.eb ,\per!f,e or and ,-ll3::.*l, x. ,f rh,. 6,.r {.c,r i kind of D,tu'Jrmetrpr;{ Jo, rr,,. :.1l'ry,",1p'aent n "--l ..'ua b nu, h Suft rtnl rrJinbns , p.o . up |.hi,n.u, trh, T.n,rur, \roreu\"!. trmDu ror.,.,mpr-. r,rr,,,r.r"n, ll {r,- :., pr.tutim,nr. rir\_h,nire.e.r. memun. norJe,...r..n. i ,nrLn .\!r..i. rhc ::1-:-,li::'i .nnmr

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tr,c Jhorp \hffr, turj.\ rJir J. drr: J !n,hpr.uou. l"::"j., A r J n n , c o )"* l u r s o r l m r s r ( 1 n b . , t c \ . ri b .d j . d r ,d b r d t ;, L i Jcn n e tr i \ su r . ,rlrsrrudprLF. otr thc,oilnr hdnd.i n r ,r h Jp . n o r r j d r u ,r l .i J.n i n .,n c/ th r t

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sculpture is, so to speNk,ecltps"d L)'$e sculpture itself-$ hich it is plainly neaninglcss to spoak of as onl] pdr.rg' present. ) It is this continuoLs and cntjrc, amounting, as it \eeie, to th( pcrpehral creation of itself, that oDe expcriences kind o{ inston. taneou$ness:as though if onl) one Nere iDffnitcly morc acute, r sinsle in6dtel)' brid{ iustant $ould be Iong enough to see crer}' thing, to e\perie ce the sork in all its dep$ and frlllness, to h, forever conrin.ed by it. (Hcrc it is $orth noting th^t t}le conccpt ol interest implics tcmporalitr in thc folm of continuing attention di rcctcd at the objcct, \'hcrcas the conccpt o{ con\iction does not.) I want to claim that it is b) !irluc of thcir prcscntnessand inst.rnt ). ousness that modernjst prrinting and sculpiure defeat thcatre. LL fact, I rnn tempted f,u belol)d n)' krowledge to suggcst that, fac(.(l with the Decd to dclcat lhcairc, it is .ibove all to the condition .] painting rnd s.ulphrr('-thc coDclition,that is, of e)iisting iD, 'ndef(l of secrcting or constitutnrg, a continuous and perpetual p,ese,rlthat thc othcr coDk'Dporary nrodemjsi arts, most notably\ and music,' r" $'hat ihls neans nr €x.I art \ill natuollt be dille.cnt. Fo. cxafrpl.. mnsics situationis espe.jdllydil$cult in thrt mosic shares \ith ihe,i.e dr. @n\.c'tion,if I friy crll it thrt, of durdtioFa coNerrior ihat, I am srl. lus it\.lf b.con. iD.r($hslr tle!rri..l. Besides, ph]iicsl cn.unl tbe s€stins, stan@sof a con.elt resenble rhoseof a thealrical perfomnn.c. lt n.,\ hlve b€enthe deie f.r lonrething lile prcsenrness ar ler\t io some.\ ti.t, tent, led Brccht t. adro.rt( a nonill$ioristi. tlatue, i! \rhich for e..'rrnpl, tlre staselislitnrs vrl,l bc visiblero the audience, nhich the dctoB \oul,l in not id€ltily $ith th. lhir.ctes th€r Dln,y but rathcr \rould slo\ rlremfo!tl,. dnd jn \rhich t.mpohlity ilsclf \$onklbe prcse.icdh a neN w.y: Just as the n.tor n. l{)hrer Ifls to pcNr.d€ the a,diencc tlr.t it is tlr' author's churct.r rnd rot }imself that is standins ihe stase,so .lso l, o! need.ot pr.ten(l lhit llc rlenrs takins placeon tle stagchrve neverbar relea*ed. n.d rn,rN\ l,rppcDin!for the fi6t and only rim€.Schill.r\ di. tin.tion k ro lons.r vilidr tliflt the Ihn!)sodist ro b€r his materialr' ld {holly in tle pist; tho mine his, as \rhoily here md now. rt shouldl), apDrurt all rl,ursh lis D€rfo.mance er€n at tI€ stirt ind in th. nnl th.t ile he knors ho$ it .ndi nhd hr mast d,u\ miltain a calm indepeDd.n( rb.oughout.' I Ic narrt.s Ilc (ory of his charactd by yivid port rril, al\\ r\ . hno$nts more thrn it (lo.s rnd tr.nting nos' and 'hcre' .ot d a p€t.lti nade possibl.b lh. r,l.s of the sme but s mcthing to be disti!!$isl,r,l frcm yesterdry and !,me other place, so I to make vjsible tle kuottjll toseiher of ihe events.( o. 194.)

Ari ond Obiecth@d


v l
This essay iyitl b€ read as an attack on ceiain artists (and critics) ltt)das a defense others.And of courscit is true that the desireto of distinguish between \r'hat is to me the authentic art of our time and other work, which, ivhatever rhc dedication.r,assion.and inrellig.nce ol ils creato^. s.pms to m. to share frtain ehararreristics ssociated here *ith the @nccpts of literalism and theatre, has l.trgely motilated what I have wdften. In thcse last setrtences, how cver,I want to call attentionto the utter pewasiveness the vitual universalig- {f the scnsibilityor modc ot b€ing thar I luve char.rc, k.rizcdas.omrpted or pcrvenedby thertre.\Vc re all Ul.ratirrs all of ou livcs.Presentncss srace. is 'uostor
lhrt jest {s t}e e$oscd lishtilg Br€c}t .dvocdtes l.s be.omc mer€ly a.other k 'k l o l t h q F r J , , a v c n r i o nr ^ r c , no r co ve r . |}l 1 t .Ir p n !t.4 ," r m p o j r ,l n , l . D t n , C r . F d J t o n o t l r " n l i , r su k, J: th , n ,.l a ttd H o n\h $ o f J,,d d \ rir cube pi€.c in the Dvan Callety sho$,s), it is not cleir $,!erler rhe hnn,lling of time Brecht calls for is t.ntasount to .ut}entjc,ntn€ss. mcrclv or r , , . , n . 'h , r L n d o f r , , . n . , i , . l o r h e !r e .p ,,r m ,.n l u D . i .., l t * r h n u si l "t il rvere some sort of litenlisr object. In poet.'. rle nccd for Dresentness mui_ n r h i l \ & l J i - l h . l ) n . p . , m : r h r r i . i n r t,_ ( r t r h "i r q ,,,r p . ,r . o "o r ,,"u n .n r . F o r d r " t r . . i o n . o f d e 'r ', r " l c \ r h r tn th r s ( * ") ,"c C J\F , F- n I o n Bd .kttt\ Lnd Canp. Endinc rli. $c jng Crme, anJ thc A\oi,bn\F ot Love; Reading of Kirs If,ar, to be prblishcd in 6r We :\teaa Whar We Saq?

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