Skip to content

October 3, 2011

Donald Kuspit

Quotes from an interview which he gave in 2004 and which I may use later:

Postart is not a point of no return, as I indicated in my Postscript, and in fact there are many fine artists who continue to make important art. 

But a larger issue informs the development of anti-aesthetic postart, namely, what T. S. Eliot called the “dissociation of sensibility,” that is, the separation of thinking and feeling (ratiocination and sentiment were his terms), which he thought (correctly) was a pervasive issue in modernity.

The integration of thinking and feeling remains a general issue of selfhood, all the more so in modernity, when the split is celebrated and thinking elevated over feeling.

Art doesn’t save souls, but the best of it does have a cathartic effect, as Aristotle said, that is, makes us conscious of unconscious fantasy by way of a complex process of symbolization and identification.

art is more than the sum of its material characteristics and not simply a reflection of everyday life.

van Gogh wasn’t obliterating himself but discovering himself, more particularly, certain repressed parts of himself.

I think that it’s time for a new adult art.

They (postmodern artists) are scared of the inner truth about themselves, more particularly, about acknowledging psychic conflict and trauma as well as the primary creativity evidenced by fantasy (especially dreams)… … As for the postmodern rejection of the unconscious, and the treatment of it as another “discourse,” it was inevitable that one had to withdraw from it, on the principle that if one looks into the abyss the abyss will look into you (Nietzsche). One can look only so long into the depths without becoming dizzy and falling in, which is why the postmodernists prefer not to look deeply but stay on the everyday surface of life.

I think the point of psychoanalytic criticism and psychobiography is very simple if inherently complex: to infer and articulate the psychodynamic sources and dimension of art.

http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/kuspit.asp

And of course his book  “The End of Art”

Read more from Dissertation, Text

Comments are closed.