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HOWEVER FALLIBLE

Duchamp note

Let’s look at two rather arbitrary quotes which fool-heartedly venture to summarize what art is. First, a modernist credo:

One must make an optic, one must see nature as no one has seen it before.

On the surface these words by Paul Cézanne would seem to echo my own sentiment of humility and wonder as an alternative to violence. However before we debate that apparently simple notion – the ramifications of such being anything but simple – must we not first resolve not only what comprises “an optic,” but also, and more fundamentally, how one “sees” or “perceives” at all? Which leads us to our second quote:

The subject of art is the human potential for an aesthetic awareness (perspective).

Here the American artist Robert Irwin not only concisely summarizes his own practice but brings to light an even more fundamental and elusive question, namely who or what is this…

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