Baldessari Chapter 6

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S.R.: In relation to that, next question: Do you think that the conceptual paradigms, because you were talking about (?) a part of a paradigm in conceptual art, do you think that the conceptual paradigms are still in function?

J.B.: I think very much. I have an art critic friend of mine who thinks that's a plot. (laughs) They take over the art world. That's all there is. I don't think that it's that pervasive, but [...] the influence of Conceptual and Minimal art is constantly there. I don't think it's going to go away. I think it was born with Duchamp, the Surrealists and Dada [...]. Once artists had permission, it [...] just simply divided the world. A close friend of mine, a critic and a painter, of course he hates Duchamp and anything coming ouf of Duchamp, but we still talk. I'm interested in painting and he is interested in painting. Unfortunately he is not interested in the stuff I'm interested in (laughs) but at least that gives us something to talk about.

S.R.: [...] You say the art world is divided – but I feel [...] or I see that in many contemporary practices we have conceptual influences. But I like to separate the ones which are more interested in issues and philosophical or epistemological concerns and the ones which are much more on the surface, like graphic design or something like that. Do you think that it's possible that this younger generation, for example, today we saw this exhibition of Sam Durant in a gallery here, do you think that it's possible to renew constantly these [...] conceptual paradigms?

J.B.: It seems to be happening. On the other hand, I quite often think that there are sort of pendulum shifts. When you are tired of something and it shifts off to something else. I could speculate that art is going to get more and more conservative. There are signs of that. Writers and collectors and museum people are beginning to value technique and craft and so on. How beautiful this person can draw or paint [...]. That's almost like a reaction to something. I guess if I could predict I would be a millionaire art dealer. As soon as you predict, it doesn't happen...


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