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December 08, 2005



Nice to see some discussion regarding the Drucker posts. I will just say one thing (for now)!: complacency is not at all what Drucker -- nor I for that matter -- means by "complicity" -- people are having trouble with that term for some reason. Why not just start by realizing that we are all complicit. It's not a judgement, but an observation. I suggest people go out and get the book and start reading to get the full import of what she's saying. In a nutshell: the critics aren't looking fully at the art, which is very much OF our culture, and therefore complex, vibrant, and viable... as opposed to the [October] position which sees binaries everywhere, and art in terms of the morality code it imposes upon it -- a code of opposition ('you are either part of the problem or part of the solution'). Drucker is saying that much of the art we see now, from the mid-90s on, feeds off the rich, tacky, commercial, fun, immoral, highly-produced culture around us.... whether it critiques it or not, whether it despises it or not; it is interesting in that it can hold all these contradictory positions at once. That is NOTHING like being complacent.


Thanks for the comment. I'll try to post a note up top regarding your clarifications. When you write this:

I will just say one thing (for now)!: complacency is not at all what Drucker -- nor I for that matter -- means by "complicity" -- people are having trouble with that term for some reason.

I first apologize for any confusion - after reading your posts, I went surfing around the net for more info on Drucker and her argument. I likely confused something I found along the way with your posts or her book (as I think is clear in the post, I wasn't really sure where this was coming from.)

On the other hand, just for now, I should say that the idea that we are all complicit is one I agree with, to a point, and something I was, in my own confused way, trying to say. Ambivalence on this point is only to be expected.

Curious: in light of what you describe Drucker actually arguing, might it be that she sees us as enacting a variety of baroque? Um, I'm not being clear, and I don't have time for more - consider it an idea for later discussion (or embarrassed retraction.)

I do need to read this book. What's stopping me is the $40 price tag. $25, or thereabouts, I'd have bought it already. But I can't splurge until I've finished buying presents for others.

I really am grateful for your posting here, and for doing all the great stuff you do at your site. Thanks.


hey, the apologies may be mine to make, as mine counts as a late-nite ranty comment (I don't comment anywhere much; I had a beer and scallion pancakes fueling me, etc.) I do love, btw, your quoting that line "Sir, you are the Man. Are you sticking it to yourself?"

I am not finished reading the Drucker book -- I feel mostly affirmation from it as an artist. For a contrast, maybe read about the October group's recent manifesto "Art Since 1900..." -- I just posted a link to a nice tart review written by Barry Schwabsky for The Nation -- the 'lack of freedom' he mentions (last paragraph of his review) is the same prudish code that Drucker is dissing:


No need to apologize at all - I was very happy to receive your comment. It sounds like a fascinating book, and the more I learn about Drucker's accomplishments, the more interested I am in reading it. It definitely sounds more timely that the Octoberfest!

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