Harrison Chapter 6

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R: As you are talking about the role model of the (?) for a lot of contemporary artists there is a discussion about how the artist behaves in front of the camera but also what can the role of the artist be in a film and there is the opinion that they have only two options: to play the role of the authentic artist in what way ever or to speak about this situation he/she is in, the production of the film. What do you think, is it approbate to have this two options?

H: Yes, except that now I suppose the authentic artist is somebody who is smart about the fact that what they involved in is a representation. So authenticity no longer means being an inarticulate person locked up in the privacy of the studio. Being an authentic artist means being smart and being smart about things like the fact that there's a camera over there and we need to be concious to the fact that we are talking in the presence of the camera. That's just non sophistication, isn't it? We cant no longer pretend that we are all alone in the world and unsurveyed and unrepresented.

R: I want to close with a more personal question to your own practice. We started with your approach to Art and Language and the CA and I am specifically interested in your own self reflection. Do you think the work with AL and CA changed your own practice in a way. That f. E the big collection of theoretical artist writing ART and Theory from 1900-2000 is representing a specific kind of practice of Art history that was not possible before.

H: Its undoubtedly true that involvement of AL changed my practice and changed my sense of what I could reasonably do. I had conventional education, I was privately educated, I went to Cambridge to study art history academicly and then went to do gradual work at the Quota Lins Studio. I mean that's very standard and conventional academic career for an art historian. I would say that the point at which I really started to learn was the point of a trial became involved at the people of AL and that involved a lot of unlearning of the things that I had learned previously. I mean of course I still retain some of the advantages of having had a formal education and I don't mean to minimize it. But I think what my involvement with AL gave me was the sense how necessary it is to stand apart from some of those values and to consider their limitations. Now also those limitations are all thought of social ?? I have always liked teaching and I think teaching is important. And one of the things I have always been concerned to do is to try and put materials into the hand of students. I think I have learned that one of the problems with my education was that the material that they put in my hands was the materials that those sort of responsible for me thought of source proper. They tend to control the materials available to me. I think that AL has always been concerned with the idea that your job is to try and make people think for themselves to turn consumers into producers to use a sort of Walter Benjamin-Ism. Certainly the object of those anthologies was to try and put him to the hand of students: that kind of materials that it takes, the resources of a specialized library, an art historical training and so on to dig up. So its really just trying to give people the tools to do their work. I think the sense of that is really important ...... that came to me through the work with AL. As did the idea that you can actually break down some of these professional barriers, that it is possible to be an art historian with a foot in the practice of art as it is possible for artists to have a group on theory and history ...for themselves.

R: Thanks a lot. I think that was very precisely.


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