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The work of art is a scapegoat surplus product, a dispensable cliché of form and meaning, having only the value the spectator--the symbol of society at large--gives it as he encounters it in the no man's land of the gallery or museum. He victimizes it and is victimized by it; he is ambivalent about it as it is in itself. It has a certain amount of authority, yet no more than he gives it by channeling his life-energy in its forms. In other words, it forces him to recognize his own authoritarian style, i.e., his tendency to treat his own identity as a finished form, but at the same time possessed of an energy that contradicts that form by reashing for other identities. The work of art teaches the spectator that he too is communaal cliché and unfinished expression.

DONALD BURTON KUSPIT, Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries

The work of art is a revelation of the innate goodness of matter. Matter narcissistically mirrors itself in art, with the artist's hidden hand that holds the mirror up, the impersonal mechanism by means of which matter makes its perfection manifest.

DONALD BURTON KUSPIT, Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries


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