Thirty-Three Questions

What has schizophrenia to do with serious art?1

Is psychosis something that interests you?2

And where in this delirium is the place of the human self?3

Isn’t there perhaps something diabolic in the yearning for perfection that can be glimpsed in this work that strives for the heavens?4

The yearning to be able to adhere to the notion of culture as a contemplative spectacle and maintain credibility as well?5

To what human being can a god ever be subjected?6

The loon gliding lonesome over the lake, with whom is he communicating?7

What enormous force is being concealed?8

Which would you say it was: wild or elegant, and why?9

How does this patch stand to the next?10

A painting of some dogs playing poker?11

Are they copies of one ideal model?12

The shooting goes on, profiteering goes on, hunger goes on, lying goes on; why all that art?13

Is it really necessary to be optimistic in the face of these facts?14

Can we set a limit to hubris?15

But how, and where, and through what gates?16

What has that to do with morality?17

Does the onlooker realize the amount of affection which goes into a work of art?18

The torments of the jellyfish, who ever feels them?19

But perhaps you have in mind the marble block which the sculptor shaped in the image of the darling boy?20

Are not all these separate “individuals” in fact moving in lockstep, only to a rather different drummer from the one called style?21

Does this suggests the existence of a vicious circle?22

Will we also set a limit to the exploration of those cultural experiences which go beyond moral norms and embrace the demonic in the delusion that all experience is “creative”?23

Would you have us present this abstract concept, with all its complicated feelings, by means of a boy and girl lightly tripping?24

How does it relate to the audience for whom it is made?25

Are we not on quite a different plane?26

How can we forget what has happened to painting, not to mention any other art, in the countries where the revolution has triumphed?27

Is there any need before we go to bed to recite the history of the changes and will we in that bed be murdered?28

What then is one to do with the container?29


What is the justification of this classification?31

What right do you have to enter art’s soil?32

How does this “spirit of the place” seize you?33

1: Hans Prinzhorn, Artistry of the Mentally Ill
2: Fred Tomaselli, “Ourself behind Ourself, Concealed…”
3: Antonin Artaud, “Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society”
4: Marco Belpoliti, “The Memory of Oblivion”
5: Benjamin Buchloh, “Interview with Gerhard Richter”
6: Carl Einstein, Negro Sculpture
7: Barnett Newman, “The First Man Was an Artist”
8: Lawrence Rinder, “Tuymans’ Terror”
9: John Cage, “On Robert Rauschenberg, Artist, and His Work”
10: Richard Wollheim, “The Work of Art as Object”
11: Ted Cohen, “Humor”
12: Jean-François Lyotard, “The Sublime and the Avant-Garde”
13: George Grosz, “Art Is in Danger”
14: Alexander Blok, “Nature and Culture”
15: Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism
16: Leon Trotsky, Literature and Revolution
17: Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism Is a Humanism
18: David Smith, “Aesthetics, the Artist, and the Audience”
19: Georg Baselitz, “Pandemonium Manifesto”
20: Jean-Paul Sartre, “The Search for the Absolute”
21: Rosalind Krauss, “Notes on the Index: Part I”
22: Aaron Meskin, “Style”
23: Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism
24: Adam Gottlieb, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, Statement from the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, June 7, 1943
25: Vanessa O’Reilly, “Boa Constrictor Digesting an Elephant”
26: Samuel Beckett, Proust and Three Dialogues with Georges Duthuit
27: Alain Robbe-Grillet, “Commitment”
28: John Cage, “On Robert Rauschenberg, Artist, and His Work”
29: Robert Smithson, “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects”
30: Dan Graham, “Presentation to an Open Hearing of the Art Workers’ Coalition”
31: Clive Bell, “The Aesthetic Hypothesis”
32: Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant
33: Ilya Kabakov, “On Installations”