Abandon Hope

Posted: April 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Auguste Rodin
The Gates of Hell (unfinished, 1917)

Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of Power divine,
Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.

Robert Rauschenberg
Treasury of the Conscience of Man (1970)

Treasury of the conscience of man.
Masterworks collected, protected and
celebrated commonly. Timeless in
concept the museum amasses to
concretize a moment of pride
serving to defend the dreams
and ideal apolitically of mankind
aware and responsive to the
changes, needs and complexities
of current life while keeping
history and love alive.


This is the kind of event that made my college years truly educational and memorable. I hope students will make an effort to attend.

Wat Buddhikaram

3325 W 3800 S, West Valley City, UT 84119

The performances/food will be happening today and tomorrow noon to 4pm

I’ll be performing around 1:00ish both days. I’d ask those who come to dress in nice (modest, no jeans, etc.) clothes and to take their shoes off in the temple.

“This was in our otherwise stately suburban home, where the children and parents had absolutely no overlap — down to different dining rooms and entrances to our home, which came to feel almost like compartments. Or Hell.”

It pains me to say it, but I am a failed artist. “Pains me” because nothing in my life has given me the boundless psychic bliss of making art for tens of hours at a stretch for a decade in my 20s and 30s, doing it every day and always thinking about it, looking for a voice to fit my own time, imagining scenarios of success and failure, feeling my imagined world and the external one merging in things that I was actually making. Now I live on the other side of the critical screen, and all that language beyond words, all that doctor-shamanism of color, structure, and the mysteries of beauty — is gone.

“I’m Against Modern Feminism.” I recently heard a very nice but rather naive young woman make this pronouncement. My immediate thought was, What does that even mean? What kind of feminism are you talking about?

Betty Friedan
Demystifying The Feminine

Gloria Steinem
Women’s Liberation

Angela Davis
Militant Feminism

Catherine McKinnon
Women’s Social Justice

Andrea Dworkin
Sexual Manumition

Kate Millet
The Politics of Sexuality

Toril Moi
Linguistic Constructivist Feminism

Donna Haraway
Post-Humanist Feminism

Judith Butler
Post-Gender Feminism

We’ll try to cover only the first two essays by Rosalind Krauss next Monday. Impossible. But we’ll try anyway. These readings are very dense and difficult. Do the best you can with them. If there’s something you don’t understand, either large or small, just consider it an opportunity to ask a question and help your sagging grade. Have a good weekend. I will see you soon.


Rosalind Krauss is, without visible rival, the most influential American art writer since Clement Greenberg. Together with her colleagues at October, the journal she co-founded, she has played a key role in the introduction of French theory into the American art world. In the 1960s, though first a follower of Greenberg, she was inspired by her readings of French structuralist and post-structuralist materials, revolted against her mentor’s formalism, and developed a succession of radically original styles of art history writing.

Auguste Rodin
The Three Shades (1886)

Untitled (1993)

Playpen (1987)

Image  —  Posted: April 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

You know you’ve reached the acme of academic superstardom (and also that we really do live in a postmodern culture which is officially finished with ‘authenticity’ and ‘originality’) the day people begin producing historical reenactments of your conference talks, and considering these reenactments performance art. “The Motivation of The Sign” was first presented at a 1989 symposium at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, which we see “pastiched” (Fredric Jameson‘s term) below. Such ironic restagings of critical battles in the arts had previously been explored in the work of painter Mark Tansey. But here high theory has finally become melodrama, and Krauss is queen!

Picasso/Braque 1989 – A Theory Installation
Presented by The Jackson Pollock Bar
Directed by Christian Matthiessen

An installed video projection of “Picasso/Braque 1989” appeared at Gallery 400, 1 May 2009—4 July 2009. Installation set constructed by The Project for the New American Century. The text is derived entirely from phrases spoken by the historical figures in question. However, the phrases are derived from many different sources. The conversation below never took place.

Four actors are seated at a panel discussion (from Left to Right): Edward Fry, Yve-Alain Bois, Rosalind Krauss, Leo Steinberg. They are later joined by the voice of Kirk Varnedoe.

Krauss [raising hands in exasperated gesture]: Well, Leo, they can’t just enter the work by walking in. We need a model for how they get instituted within the aesthetic structure. In other words, we can read all of the newspaper clippings in Picasso and Braque’s collages but does that tell us anything whatsoever about them as aesthetic constructions? I think it doesn’t. The newspaper is enormously important, and I want to deal with its importance in relation to the structure of the aesthetic object, the work of art. You can’t just dump meaning onto the work.

Field Trip!

Posted: April 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

Dreamdecay put out one of the best albums of the year last year and are INCREDIBLE! Iron Lung put it out so you know the band is fantastic.




No Sun


Tuesday, April 24 at 8 PM – 11 PM
Diabolical Records
238 S Edison St, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Praising Rosalind Krauss

Posted: April 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

2012 Distinguished Scholar Session
Honors Rosalind Krauss

College Art Association

The 2012 Distinguished Scholar Session, taking place at the 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, will honor Rosalind Krauss, University Professor at Columbia University in New York. Yve-Alain Bois of the Institute for Advanced Studies will chair a session, called “The Theoretical Turn,” in which five to six participants—among them Harry Cooper, Jonathan Crary, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and Hal Foster—will explore and celebrate Krauss’s many contributions to the history of art. The Distinguished Scholar Session will be held in Room 515B at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday, February 23, 2:30–5:00 PM.

Krauss’s acute observation of twentieth-century art began at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she received her undergraduate degree in 1962. She began writing criticism in 1966, mostly for Artforum, while working on her PhD at Harvard University, which she earned in 1969. MIT Press published an expanded version of her dissertation as Terminal Iron Works: The Sculpture of David Smith in 1971.

Krauss continued writing criticism and generating art-historical essays that challenged steadfast analyses of Auguste Rodin, the Surrealists, and Jackson Pollock, to name a few topics. She joined the Artforum editorial board in the late 1960s and appeared on the masthead as assistant editor from 1971 to 1974. Krauss and her colleague Annette Michelson left the magazine in 1975 to establish the scholarly October, which strove to forge a relationship between contemporary concerns and scholarship, with particular emphases on the history of modernism, its fundamental premises, and the ability of writing to reinvigorate the era. For Krauss and others, October was an opportunity to integrate artists such as Richard Serra and Sol LeWitt into their theoretical convictions and investigative criticism.

(read more)


Professor Rosalind Krauss Receives Honorary Degree from Harvard University

University Professor Rosalind Krauss received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Harvard University at their 360th Commencement on May 26, 2011.

In a voice that is both passionate and precise, conceptual and tactile, Krauss reveals recurring structures of form and meaning that resound across various artistic practices—abstraction, photography, video and performance art—connecting them to each other and their historical context, without conflating their methods or meanings in grand generalizations of aesthetic value. Krauss writes, “What I must acknowledge is not some idea of the world’s perspective but simply my own point of view. One’s own perspective, like one’s own age, is the only orientation one will ever have.”

It is no exaggeration to say that Rosalind Krauss has been the preeminent American art historian to have taught generations of colleagues and students, across the arts and the humanities, to courageously espouse, what she once described as “the paraliterary space”: “the space of debate, quotation, partisanship, betrayal, reconciliation…” We honor Rosalind Krauss for her indomitable spirit and her pioneering work.

–Drew G. Faust, President, Harvard University

“We have here yet another example of [Hilton] Kramer‘s moralizing cultural conservatism disguised as progressive modernism.”

–Douglas Crimp

Roger Kimball
(b. 1953)

Kimball’s Review of Rosalind Krauss’s The Optical Unconscious

Roger Kimball
The Spectator
February 3, 2018

Some students have expressed interest in seeing the essay below. It is OPTIONAL. The essay discusses the discrepancy between the sanitized and popularized Andy Warhol most people recognize, in a way akin to how legal currency and major credit cards are recognized.

At present, Warhol ranks as the one of the most “collectable” artist on earth. Yet the majority of Warhol’s work most museums choose to keep underground, considering it not in keeping with the image of him the public finds agreeable. Consequently, it’s a fun and family-friendly Andy that most of us have come to know and love. Consider, for instance, this cheerful statement.

‘I am so delighted to have Warhol’s work out in the communities throughout the West so that people of all ages can experience these works personally,’ said Jordan Schnitzer, President of Harsch Investment Properties and print collector. ‘He was an icon of his time and these suites act as a powerful mirror for exploring our shared values.’ (UMFA Website)

AGAIN, this article is NOT assigned, but feel free to read it if you’re interested in Pop Art and queer aesthetics and politics. If I were a better teacher I’d probably make it required reading. But I can only do so much in fifteen weeks.

Douglas Crimp
“Getting the Warhol We Deserve”

Social Text, No. 59 (Summer 1999)


Students may also be interested in another take on Andy Warhol, that of Princeton University art historian Hal Foster, author of The First Pop Age.

Hal Foster
“Death In America”
October, No. 71 (Winter 1996)

Andy Warhol
Saturday Disaster (1964)

Children of All Ages!

Posted: April 17, 2018 in Uncategorized


~ “Charles [Eames] was on the board of the Ringling Brothers [Clown] College and often referred to the circus as an example of what design and art should be.”

–Beatriz Colomina, “Surrounded by Screens: The Eames’s Media House”



“Crime and Perfectionism”

Posted: April 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

A post from the last time I taught this course.

A child is amoral. A Papuan too, for us. The Papuan slaughters his enemies and devours them. He is not a criminal. But if a modern person slaughters someone and devours him, he is a criminal or a degenerate. The Papuan covers his skin with tattoos, his boat, his oars, in short everything he can lay his hands on. He is no criminal. The modern person who tattoos himself is either a criminal or a degenerate. There are prisons in which eighty percent of the inmates have tattoos. People with tattoos not in prison are either latent criminals or degenerate aristocrats.

–Adolf Loos

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.

–Ludwig Wittgenstein

TEACHER: Dear Student: OK, I’m even more on board with you than before with respect to these key issues. Especially after going to the Smithson Effect exhibition yesterday. In case you can’t tell, I am absolutely exasperated, indeed infuriated, by the way many critics, or what Krauss calls “Historicists,” feel compelled to read all artistic activity, and by extension all political action, in the most beaming terms. In discussions of the most virulently antinomian acts and objects, the same nauseating words come up again and again: Beauty, Inspiration, Achievement, Excellence, Progress, etc. It’s so obvious to me that Smithson and Krauss saw that kind of meliorism for the pure ideology it is, an ideology which, for all its claims of benevolence and good will, performs a very specific kind of violence against those it seeks to boost and cheer. It’s maddening. In strict defiance of this mania for the upbeat, Krauss and Smithson begin to explore the notion of formlessness and wretchedness, as deliberately anti-aesthetic and, if you will hear me, anti-political positions. They begin, in a word, to embrace the Ugly. Both artist and critic take a deliberate turn toward the outrage of art as Vandalism and Crime. This is exactly what a piece like Glue Spill is all about – I don’t care what anyone else may say. If the great modernist architect Adolf Loos sought to establish modern Art and Cultural as the diametrical opposite of of Crime, then Krauss and Smithson have tried to undo Loos’s work, arguing in their respective theory and practice that Art and Crime are indissolubly linked, veritable cradlemates. Consequently, the two great artists of the ’60s and ’70s, for Krauss, will be Robert Smithson and Sherrie Levine, one a savage and the other a pirate.

Jean Dubuffet
Body, 1950
oil, soot and dirt on canvas

For those of you who can read Spanish.

Readings for April 18th

Posted: April 16, 2018 in Readings


Le Corbusier
L’Architecture d’Aujourd’Hui

Image  —  Posted: April 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

Issued by The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Jackson Pollock Jazz
1. Jelly Morton and His Red Hot Peppers – Beale Street Blues
2. Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra – Lazy River
3. Louis Armstrong – Mahogany Hall Stomp
4. Count Basie and His Orchestra – One O’Clock Jump
5. Billie Holiday – I Got a Man Crazy For Me (He’s Funny)
6. Duke Ellington – Delta Serenade
7. Artie Shaw and Orch – It Had To Be You
8. Billie Holiday – When a Man Loves a Woman
9. Duke Ellington – Solitude
10. Fats Waller – Carolina Shout
11. Count Basie and Orch – Boogie Woogie
12. T Bone Waller – I Got a Break Baby
13. Lionel Hampton – Central Avenue Breakdown
14. Coleman Hawkins – Boff Boff (Mop Mop)
15. Coleman Hawkins – My Ideal
16. Lionel Hampton – Jack The Bellboy
17. Louis Armstrong – St. James Infirmary