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Re: Book Art vs. Book Arts



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"designed to elicit . . .?" " . . . engage in diversionary tactics and
avoid addressing my comments directly . . . ?" ". . . if you are
truthful?"

These phrases take me back. I don't mean shock me. I mean, they remind me
of, well, they remind me of Nixon, really, the sort of tough, ham-handed,
hot under the collar, committee-backed pursuit of menace and threat, of
the relentless, beady-eyed pursuit of suspicious, shadowy, undercover,
evil (or was it evil that was beady-eyed?), that Nixon framed so
memorably. They remind me of comic books, too, the long, jagged shadows,
the luridly colored cars that resembled crouching, prehistoric beasts and
the grimly determined jawlines of guys in hats.

I mean, I am personally fascinated by your interrogation of my politics,
because it is reminiscent for me of a kind of cold war paranoia, and, more
broadly of the political sacred. (In the context of this sub-thread,
Richard, and of Jules Siegel's apparent convictions, I do agree with your
too-general formulation that poltics is religion; but, surely it is not
religion for those who do not see it as possessing the authority or power
of the irreducibly real? Surely for many on this list, and perhaps for
you, yourself, shouldn't the formulation be 'Art is religion'?)

But, whatever my thoughts on Joe Stalin or communism, they bear none of
the weight or genetic material of my ideas about the valorization of The
Book, and the nuanced interelationships between book arts, fine art and
some all sanctioning, lifeanddeath, idealized 'Art.' I would be amazed
Jules Siegel, if they were of the remotest interest to anyone else reading
this discussion group (Mr. Sweetwater a possible exception), who might
have engaged with other, academic facets of our exchange. It seems a shame
to leave it at a question of whether I'm soft on the red menace or how
bloody-minded MOMA is. Of course, discussion groups giveth and discussion
groups taketh away.

Michael Joseph

On Fri, 31 Aug 2001, Jules Siegel wrote:
>
> It's not an argument. It's a set of questions designed to elicit your
> political attitudes. If you are truthful, your answers will enable me to
> justify my argument or frame a new one.
>
> Just answer the questions, Mr. Joseph. I don't want to be rude, but you do
> tend to engage in diversionary tactics and avoid addressing my comments
> directly. You might also answer why you consider a factual description of
> Clement Greenberg's actions character assassination? I'm not exaggerating or
> distorting them in any way. The biographical details are quite ugly and have
> not, as far as I know, been challenged. I don't think that "vicious" is too
> strong an adjective here.
>
> >> If you actually read my messages, you'll see that despite my personal
> >> preferences for craftsmanship, physical beauty and easily accessible meaning,
> >> I was arguing in favor of broad definitions rather than narrow ones, even
> >> when those broad definitions include works that I personally find ludicrous.
> >>
> > If I were actually reading your mind I might have seen this, perhaps.
>
> How about this?
>
> On Fri, 24 Aug 2001 09:42:54 -0500. Jules Siegel <siegel@cafecancun.com>
> wrote:
>
>
> >> From: Diane Westerfield <dwester@WPO.IT.LUC.EDU>
> >> Reply-To: "Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.philobiblon.com"
> >> <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
> >> Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 08:51:19 -0500
> >> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
> >> Subject: Re: Book Art vs. Book Arts
> >
> >> I hate elitism, but one has only to look at the current crafts scene in the
> >> U.S.  It has been swamped by "hotglue crafters" who stick a bow on a
> >> prefabricated teddy bear and think they have made something wonderful. Craft
> >> items of all types are often copied by Chinese manufacturers who sell cheaper
> >> and more cheaply made versions.  These practices have damaged the credibility
> >> of real crafters who have spent years perfecting their art
>
> > I don't think that the existence of junk damages the credibility of any "real"
> > artist (note quotation marks). Frankly, most of what passes as book art looks
> > like performance art to me. That is, it is utterly ridiculous and without
> > merit, except, possibly, as comedy. I could rave on at great length about
> > this, but why bother? Some kid starts painting by the numbers and ends up
> > becoming a great artist. Maybe it's the same with performance art and hot glue
> > crafters. History makes the final choice, possibly by sheer error, but mostly,
> > I believe, because true art inspires eternal love and that enables great
> > objects to survive, when they survive.
>
>
> --
>
> JULES SIEGEL Apdo 1764 Cancun Q. Roo 77501
> http://www.cafecancun.com
>
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