PAY FOR YOUR PLEASURE (reprise)
Dye transfer ink on polyester poplin with velcro
1 pair 1st edition Nike Air Jordan
basketball shoes, 1985
2 IKEA Billy Bookcases (altered), 2002
1 Kalashnikov AK-47 automatic assault rifle, 2003
49 banners, each measuring 118 x 42 inches
Each banner contains one of the following portraits and quotations:
The common stock of intellectual enjoyment should not be difficult of access because of the economic position of him who would approach it.
Today . . . there is . . . a belief in the artificial preservation of a market that is no longer of vital importance.
Temptations can be got rid of . . . by giving in to them.
—Honoré de Balzac
We live in a throw-away economy, a culture in which the most fundamental classification of our ideas and worldly possessions is in terms of their relative expendability. It is clearly absurd to demand that objects designed for a short useful life should exhibit qualities signifying eternal validity.
We have been present at the establishment of a new Church, with its dogmas, its rites, its faithful, its priests, and even its martyrs . . . Their revolt has become the matter on which their career has been built.
—Simone de Beauvoir
What the economic approach calls normal responses of supply to changes in demand, others call . . . 'prostitution' when applied to intellectual or artistic pursuits. Perhaps, but attempts to distinguish sharply the market for intellectual and artistic services from the market for 'ordinary' goods have been the source of confusion and inconsistency.
I, too, wondered if I couldn't sell something and succeed in life.
The doubt felt by the artists who preceded us concerned their own talent. The doubt felt by artists today concerns the necessity of their art, hence their very existence.
It is a hard matter, my fellow citizens, to argue with the belly, since it has no ears.
Can we ever have too much of a good thing?
—Miguel de Cervantes
All of us invent ourselves. Some of us just have more imagination than others.
Give the people what they want
when they want
and they wants it all the time.
Give the people what they need
when they need
and the need is yours and mine.
Of all things in the world good sense is the most equally distributed, for everybody thinks he is so well supplied with it, that even those most difficult to please in all other matters never desire more of it than they already possess.
If, on this ocean of objects surrounding us, there should appear a few that seem to break through the surface and to dominate the rest like the crest of a reef, they merely owe this advantage to . . . conventions . . . that have nothing to do with the physical arrangement of beings.
True, we are straying from the path of utter purity when we consider anything but pure form, proportion, line, and color, but we have larger horizons than the purist need consider.
For why should I desire a Temple, when the whole world is my temple? . . . Nor am I yet so foolish as to require statues or painted images, which do often obstruct my worship.
The . . . obstinate point of view of the masses, which may seem shrunken and limited, is in the end the most worthwhile and the most efficient mode of procedure.
If I love you, what business is it of yours?
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Perhaps those who learn the great truths of the social travail in the school of life do not need the message of . . . art.
I was sort of raised all my life to do art . . . I just felt like I should be doing music. It seemed to me that this was really the next step after Pop Art, you see, entering directly into a popular form of culture instead of commenting on it.
The democracy of it:
can hope for a turn
at being wanted.
Abandon any art form that costs too much. Insist that it's as cheap as possible is number one, and also that it's aesthetically correct. After that, anything goes.
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the many.
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Once and for all we have decided to side with the many. . . . What we want, we can still do. Together. A glorious future!
An article I'd written . . . exhorted artists . . . to emerge from their academic sanctuaries where they huddle like shivering, runty, sexless, nihilistic mice—to emerge into the intoxicating, palpitating, nutrient-rich sunlight of the marketplace, to intermix with the great people of a great nation and to be emboldened by the truculent spirit of the populace.
Without a free exchange of opinions, life dies out in every public institution and only bureaucracy remains active.
Whoever is the cause of another's coming to power falls himself, for that power is built up either by art or by force, both of which are liable to the one who has become powerful.
On some preference esteem is based; to esteem everything is to esteem nothing.
I have only one complaint, which is the all too frequent visits from buyers which often disturb and bore me, although some of them, the only ones who cannot buy, do have taste.
So varied are the tastes of mortals, so peevish the characters of some, so ungrateful their dispositions, so wrongheaded their judgments, that those persons who pleasantly and blithely indulge their inclinations seem to be very much better off than those who torment themselves with anxiety.
—St. Thomas More
In every important decision, there is one option which represents life, and that is what you must choose.
I have many swift arrows in my quiver which speak to the wise, but for the crowd they need interpreters. The skilled poet is one who knows much through natural gift, but those who have learned their art chatter turbulently, vainly.
We admire the work, but despise the workmen.
The much maligned 'art scene' of the present day is perfectly harmless and even pleasant, if we don't judge it in terms of false expectations. . . . It is . . . just one variation on the never-ending round of social game-playing that satisfies our need for communication, alongside sport, fashion, stamp-collecting and cat breeding.
There is no use in distinguishing between the mores of a nation and the objects of its esteem, for all of these things . . . are necessarily intermingled.
The faith which art demands is tolerance, the belief that each man may seek quality in his own way.
—Eva Watson Schütze
The culture industry speaks for itself.
It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, for kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people . . . Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs.
It has been said that things hardly 'exist' before the fine artist has made use of them, they are simply part of the unclassified background material against which we pass our lives.
—Alison and Peter Smithson
After all anybody is as their land and air is. . . . It is that which makes them and the arts they make and the work they do and the way they eat and the way they drink and the way they learn and everything.
Instead of dirt and poison we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest things, which are sweetness and light.
The question is not to know whether any intellectual authority exists in an age of democracy, but simply where it resides and by what standard it is to be measured.
—Alexis de Tocqueville
As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.
—The Brihadaranyaha Upanishad
It is the essence of 'industrial art' products, if they are to pass inspection by the adepts, that they must be sufficiently expensive to preclude their use by the vulgar.
Business Art is a much better thing to be making than Art Art, because Art Art doesn't support the space it takes up, whereas Business Art does. If Business Art doesn't support its own space it goes out-of-business.
In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
Art should not try to be popular. The public should make itself more artistic.
The world . . . does not ask people to write poems and novels and histories. . . . Naturally, it will not pay for what it does not want.
Mortals deem that the gods are begotten as they are, and have clothes like theirs, and voice and form.