Sunday, January 27, 2013
destruction vs. subversion of art
"Art seems compromised, historically, socially. Whence the effort on the part of the artist himself to destroy it."
"Unfortunately, this destruction is always inadequate; either it occurs outside the art, but thereby becomes impertinent, or else it consents to remain within the practice of the art, but quickly exposes itself to recuperation (the avant-garde is that restive language which is going to be recuperated). The awkwardness of this alternative is the consequence of the fact that destruction of discourse is not a dialectic term but a semantic term: it docilely takes its place within the great semiological "versus" myth (white versus black); whence the destruction of art is doomed to only paradoxical formulae (those which proceed literally against the doxa): both sides of the paradigm are glued together in an ultimately complicitous fashion: there is a structural agreement between the contesting and the contested forms.
(By subtle subversion I mean, on the contrary, what is not directly concerned with destruction, evades the paradigm, and seeks some other term: a third term, which is not, however, a synthesizing term but an eccentric, extraordinary term....)"
-- Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text. Trans. Richard Miller