P h e c o n t i n u e s whether this discour se is

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Unformatted text preview: ous. At fir st glance he appear s to support Laclau and Mouffe’s ant agonism thesis: While I admire art ist s who const ruct “better” v isions of how t hing s might be, the middle- ground, negot iated terr itor ies I am interested in always carr y t he possibilit y of moment s where idealism is unclear. There are as many demonst rat ions of compromise, st rateg y, and collapse in my work as there are clear recipes for how our environment can be better.50 However, when one looks for “clear recipes” in Gillick’s work, few if any are to be found. “I’m working in a nebulous cloud of ideas,” he says, “which are somewhat part ial or parallel rather than didact ic.”51 Unwilling to st ate what ideals are to be compromised, Gillick t r ades on t he credibilit y of referencing architecture (it s engagement with concrete social situat ions) while remaining abstract on the issue of art iculat ing a specific posit ion. The Discussion Platfor ms, for example, do not point to any part icular change, just change in gener al— a “scenar io” in which potent ial “narrat ives” may or may not emerge. Gillick’s posit ion is slipper y, and ult imately he seems to argue for compromise and negot iat ion as recipes for improvement . Logically, t his pragmat ism is t ant amount to an abandonment or failure of ideals; his work is the demonstrat ion of a compromise, rather than an art iculat ion of a problem.52 By contrast , Laclau and Mouffe’s theor y of democracy as ant agonism can be seen in the work of t wo art ist s conspicuously ignored by Bourr iaud in Relat ional Aesthet ics and Postproduct ion: the Swiss art ist Thomas Hir schhorn and the Spanish F r a n k f u r t e r A l l g e m e i n e Z e i t u n g , D e c e m b e r 1 9 , 1 9 9 6 , q u o t e d i n R i r k r i t Ti r a v a n i j a , n . p . H e c o n t i n u e s : “ Whether this discour se is read on a naïve or a context- educated level— the intermediate level would be the obligator y reference to Duchamp — is a matter of chance and depends on the respect ive part icipant s. Anyway, t he fact t hat communicat ion in general and a discussion on art in part icular t akes place, gains a posit ive value as smallest denominator.” 49. Essent ially, t here is no difference bet ween utopia (societ al per fect ion) and t he microtopia, which is just per sonal per fect ion to t he power of ten (or t went y, or however many part icipant s are present). Both are predicated on exclusion of that which hinder s or threatens the harmonious order. This is seen throughout Thomas More’s descr ipt ion of Utopia. Descr ibing a troublesome Chr ist ian zealot who condemned other religions, the traveler Raphael recount s: “ When he’d been going on like t his for some t ime, he was arrested and charged, not wit h blasphemy, but wit h disturbance of t he peace. He was duly convicted and sentenced to exile —for one of the most ancient pr inciples of their const itut ion is religious tolerat ion” (Thomas More, Utopia [London: Penguin Bo...
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This document was uploaded on 02/20/2014 for the course PHILOSOPHY 244 at University of Tennessee.

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