Dion Chapter 4

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S.R. Do you think that the conceptual paradigms - if there is something like that - are still in function or can be still in function?

M.D. I think some conceptual paradigms function, but I think there is a difference. Largely because of the – I don`t know how to call it other than the death of the avant-garde, the idea of - at a certain point the notion that each generation of artists is attempting to make the new art for the next millennium. That idea sort of crumbles, and people no longer presume this idea of making a kind of universalizing art that is going to be a model that supplants all others - like the model of the Renaissance for example, or some kind of model like that. I think that that notion of art as a more dynamic, even an evolutionary process - that model supplants the avant-gardist model somehow. Instead of working toward creating the new art, it's much more emphasis on the working toward part without ever arriving. It does change somehow how conceptual models can function, because they always have to be put in brackets now.

S.R. How could a new approach, or these brackets as you say, of contemporary, conceptual approach be realized as a theoretical approach?

M.D. I think it is realized as a theoretical approach, but it's realized through practice. You know that realization of these new models, the theoretical approach that is realizing them is art making. Maybe it' s difficult when other people are trying to theorize them and trying to put them together, and when you start to begin to develop categories and when you start to begin to attempt to develop terms to talk about tendencies, you begin to have to force a lot of artists into categories that they don't fit very comfortably in. I think the work itself that is being produced is the theoretical framework. When people try to place an artificial framework on it through a kind of criticism, which tends to be reductive in attempting to put things together, then you get into a lot of problems. It's not so easy to make a lot of hard rules about a generation of artists who are consistent rule-breakers, and rule-formers, and rule-reformers. It's difficult for me to even imagine people who at one point I would feel a very strong affinity to, two years later I find that they are doing exactly the opposite kinds of things. So I can imagine how - if there is a framework coming from outside of the work, it would have to be one that is very dynamic and mobile.


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