Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Looking at the Large Glass, the thing that I like so much is that I can focus my attention wherever I wish. It helps me to blur the distinction between art and life and produces a kind of silence in the work itself. There is nothing in it that requires me to look in one place or another or, in fact, requires me to look at all. I can look through it to the world beyond. Well, this is, of course, the reverse of Etant Donnés. I can only see what Duchamp permits me to see. The Large Glass changes with the light and he was aware of this. So does a Mondrian. So does any painting. But Etant Donnés doesn't change because it is all prescribed. So he's telling us something that we perhaps haven't yet learned, when we speak as we do so glibly of the blurring of the distinction between art and life. Or keeping the distinction, he may be saying neither one is true. The only true answer is that which will let us have both of these."

John Cage, 1973

1 comment:

Richard Pinnell said...

Thanks for posting that Brian. I hadn't read that before, and the photo of the Duchamp was new to me too, not seen any of the work with anything other than a white gallery wall visible through it before.

All very beautiful.