Lesson 2: On Beheading
Some people inform me that there is no such thing as a School of Destructive Arts. Well, I have to contradict that.
Think of ISIS, it does not have a headoffice somewhere in the desert where you can drop down on the roof with your helicopter.
But modern Headquarters in the Arabian deserts have Fata Morgana qualities. You know they are out there but you will not see them. They have affiliates and local shops, but you won’t find them in any local guide book with a street and a number, a door to knock. International organizations today are social networks without transparency.
As always, some social phenomena are real, as real as you can get, but only in their consequences.
I’m citing Richard Merton, a well known American sociologist in 1958. As an Undergraduate at the University I was asked to guide him on a tour into unknown Amsterdam. Obviously, because I was the only young man around who could cite his works on every subject that crossed the minds.
As it turned out, it was Richard Merton who knew every corner and cat on the roof in the darkest quarters of Amsterdam, and I, shame upon me, I knew nothing. Not a little bit, nothing at all. He liked that. Youth and Ignorance.
So you can look at Art, and see nothing. There are levels of cognition, and there are frames of reference.
All Art is Conceptual Art. Some art is born as a piece of Destructive Art. The maker may be unaware of it. The observer as well. Two ships that pass in the night.
But look at that lady. When found in the desert you would immediately notice: She’s beheaded! Second thought. ISIS was here!
Musea tend to work as safe havens. In exposing, they are making a real world invisible.