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The turning of the screw : the Sixth Guggenheim International Exhibition, Daniel Buren, and the new cultural… Alberro, Alexander 1990

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THE TURNING OF THE SCREW: THE SIXTH GUGGENHEIM INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, DANIEL BUREN, AND THE NEW CULTURAL CONSERVATISM By ALEXANDER ALBERRO B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f F i n e A r t s ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1990 C o p y r i g h t A l e x a n d e r A l b e r r o , 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of F i n e A r t s The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date A p r i l 2, 1990 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT In t h i s s t u d y I have sought t o e x p l o r e t h e t h e o r e t i c a l f o u n d a t i o n s o f t h e F r e n c h a r t i s t D a n i e l Buren's work and i t s subsequent resonance i n a c o n t e x t o f emergent c u l t u r a l c o n s e r v a t i s m . The s t u d y a l s o t r a c e s , t h e i n c r e a s i n g l y tenuous p o s i t i o n o f t h e a v a n t - g a r d e , t h e s u r v i v a l o f which i s c o n t i n g e n t on t h e p r e s e n c e o f c e r t a i n l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c i n s t i t u t i o n s . F o r me t h e s e c o n c e r n s l e d t o a s y s t e m a t i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e c e n s o r s h i p o f Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n at t h e 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n . T h i s was t h e l a s t i n a s e r i e s o f e x h i b i t i o n s t h a t was t o promote i n t e r n a t i o n a l g o o d w i l l by b r i n g i n g t o g e t h e r t h e b e s t o f r e c e n t l y p r o d u c e d works by contemporary a v a n t - g a r d e a r t i s t s from around t h e w o r l d , and awarding p r i z e s t o t h o s e c o n s i d e r e d o u t s t a n d i n g . But t h e r e a l i d e o l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s show was apparent i n t h e a g g r e s s i v e attempt by t h e a d m i n i s t r a t o r s o f t h e Guggenheim t o promote American c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y . Buren was i n v i t e d t o c o n t r i b u t e a p i e c e t o t h e show i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t h i s work f i t i n t o t h e f o r m a l i s t mode around w h i c h t h e e x h i b i t i o n was o r g a n i z e d . Yet t h e day b e f o r e t h e show opened Museum o f f i c i a l s s u d d e n l y d e c i d e d t o remove h i s work from t h e e x h i b i t i o n . The o f f i c i a l e x p l a n a t i o n p r o v i d e d by t h e a u t h o r i t i e s o f t h e Guggenheim c i t e d t h e s i z e and placement o f Buren's work as b e i n g i n d i r e c t c o n f l i c t w i t h t h e work o f o t h e r a r t i s t s i n t h e e x h i b i t i o n . However, t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n was c l e a r l y s p e c i o u s g i v e n t h a t t h e Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s knew months i n advance e x a c t l y what t h i s work would l o o k l i k e , and i t s i n t e n d e d p l a c e o f i n s t a l l a t i o n . Moreover, Museum o f f i c i a l s used th e c o m p l a i n t s of f o u r p a r t i c i p a t i n g a r t i s t s as j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h e i r a c t i o n s . Meanwhile, f i f t e e n o t h e r a r t i s t s i n t h e show o b j e c t e d t o the Museum's use of c e n s o r s h i p . The i s s u e o f t h e Guggenheim Museum's sudden d e c i s i o n t o withdraw Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n from t h e S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l i s t h u s more complex t h a n t h e o f f i c i a l e x p l a n a t i o n would i n d i c a t e . My t h e s i s contends t h a t t h e a b r u p t removal of D a n i e l Buren's work i s t r a c e a b l e t o e f f o r t s by Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s t o p r o t e c t o t h e r works i n t h e e x h i b i t i o n , and t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s as a whole, from f l o a t i n g i n t o t h e a v a n t - g a r d i s t - t r a d i t i o n a l i s t p o l e m i c t h a t had a g a i n f l a r e d up i n t h e New York a r t w o r l d . C h a p t e r s One and Two examine t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l and t h e r a t i o n a l e b e h i n d t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n . C h a p t e r Three l o o k s a t t h e t h r e e f o l d c o n t r o v e r s y s u r r o u n d i n g t h e 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l : t h e c o n f l i c t t h a t a r o s e between p a r t i c i p a t i n g a r t i s t s , t h e q u e s t i o n s o f c e n s o r s h i p t h a t were r a i s e d by t h e a c t i o n s o f Museum o f f i c i a l s , and t h e o v e r w h e l m i n g l y h o s t i l e c r i t i c a l r e s p o n s e t o t h e e x h i b i t i o n . T h i s s t u d y i n v e s t i g a t e s a p e r i o d o f s o c i a l and e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l r u p t u r e i n American a r t , t h e r e v e r b e r a t i o n s o f which c o n t i n u e t o be f e l t t o d a y . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT v i INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I. "A T r a d i t i o n i n the Ar t w o r l d " . . . . 9 The Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l s . . . . . .10 The S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l . . . . .12 CHAPTER I I . The Rationale of the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l . 17 N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s . . . . .18 Complete Lack of Subtlety . . . . . . .21 A Highly V o l a t i l e C u l t u r a l Scene . . . . .27 The S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l ' s Middle Ground . . .31 CHAPTER I I I . C o n f l i c t , Censorship and C r i t i c a l Censure 36 Ins i d e and Outside, Verso and Recto . . . .37 The New Art-For-Art's-Sake .42 Beyond the Zero Degree of Form . . . . .48 The Guggenheim's Misjudgement . . . . . .55 R e v i v a l of the M o d e r n i s t - T r a d i t i o n a l i s t Controversy 57 CONCLUSION 62 POSTSCRIPT 68 NOTES 71 ILLUSTRATIONS .119 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 127 i v LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 1. P r e s i d e n t Eisenhower p r e s e n t i n g the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l Award to Ben Nicholson, 1957 119 2. P r e s i d e n t Eisenhower p r e s e n t i n g the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l Award to Joan Miro, 1959 119 3. R i c h a r d Long, Brooklyn Clay, 1971 120 4. Bruce Nauman, Bar Piece, 1971 120 5. Mario Merz, Fibonacci's Progression, 1971 121 6. D a n i e l Buren, untitled, 1971 122 7. D a n i e l Buren, untitled, 1971 123 8. Michael Heizer, A c t u a l Size, 1971 124 9. Donald Judd, untitled, 1971 125 10. Dan F l a v i n , untitled, 1971 126 v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Today the only works which really count are those which are no longer works at all. Theodor W. Adorno This t h e s i s owes much to the U.B.C. Department of Fine A r t s ' seminars and s c h o l a r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y Dr. Serge G u i l b a u t , who deserves s p e c i a l thanks. Through h i s unwavering s c r u t i n y , he helped me become a more c r i t i c a l and t h e r e f o r e b e t t e r a r t h i s t o r i a n . I would a l s o l i k e t o thank Pr o f . John 0'Brian f o r reading and rereading d r a f t s of t h i s t e x t and making p e r t i n e n t comments. Thanks are a l s o due t o the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum Program of the N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s f o r making t h e i r a r c h i v e s a v a i l a b l e . I must a l s o acknowledge the i n d i v i d u a l support I have r e c e i v e d while working on t h i s t h e s i s . For g r a n t i n g me i n t e r v i e w s and corresponding w i t h me, I thank Ward Jackson, Edward Fry, Douglas Crimp, Thomas M. Messer, N o e l l e N a s t a l l a , David Bancroft, J e f f W a l l , C a r l Andre, Don Judd and Dan F l a v i n . For t h e i r help w i t h the p o l i t i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r y of the 1960s, I thank David Howard and Charles Reeve. I am a l s o g r a t e f u l to Barbara D a n i e l f o r her suggestions regarding the o r g a n i z a t i o n , p r e c i s i o n and c l a r i t y of t h i s t e x t . F i n a l l y , f o r the s p i r i t u a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l support which they provided me throughout my graduate s t u d i e s , I thank Lora Rempel and e s p e c i a l l y Ana L i z o n . v i One immunizes the contents of the c o l l e c t i v e i m a g i n a t i o n by means of a small i n o c u l a t i o n of acknowledged e v i l ; one thus p r o t e c t s i t against the r i s k of a g e n e r a l i z e d subversion. This liberal treatment would not have been p o s s i b l e only a hundred years ago. Then, the bourgeois Good d i d not compromise wit h anything, i t was q u i t e s t i f f . I t has become much more supple s i n c e : the bourgeoisie no longer h e s i t a t e s to acknowledge some l o c a l i z e d subversions: the avant-garde, the i r r a t i o n a l i n childhood, e t c . Roland Barthes (1957) The avant-garde i n most western c o u n t r i e s i s now sought out and supported as part of o f f i c i a l c u l t u r e , and t h i s i s not only because a l l new ideas e v e n t u a l l y become o l d and acceptable ones but because the myth i t s e l f has become p a r t of our creed. The e f f e c t s have been f e l t r i g h t down the l i n e : the museums who put on modern e x h i b i t i o n s , the business firms who i n v e s t i n modern a r t . . . t h e courts who r e j e c t attempts at censorship: o u t s i d e Weimar Germany none of these would have given much support t o the avant-garde e a r l i e r . Times Literary Supplement (1964) The important c o n s i d e r a t i o n i s t h a t , as an ideology, l i b e r a l i s m had become dominant over these past decades.... What the c o u n t e r - c u l t u r e embodies i s an extension of the tendencies i n i t i a t e d s i x t y years ago by p o l i t i c a l l i b e r a l i s m and modernist c u l t u r e , and represents, i n e f f e c t , a s p l i t i n the camp of modernism. For i t now seeks t o take the preachments of personal freedom...to a p o i n t i n l i f e - s t y l e t h a t the l i b e r a l c u l t u r e . . . i s not prepared t o go. Yet l i b e r a l i s m f i n d s i t s e l f uneasy to say why. I t approves a b a s i c permissiveness, but cannot with any c e r t a i n t y d e f i n e the bounds. And t h i s i s i t s dilemma. In c u l t u r e , as w e l l as p o l i t i c s , l i b e r a l i s m i s now up a g a i n s t the w a l l . D a n i e l B e l l (1970) 1 In e a r l y October of 1970 Thomas Messer, the D i r e c t o r of the Guggenheim Museum i n New York C i t y , sent a l e t t e r t o twenty-four a r t i s t s from v a r i o u s p a r t s of the globe. "I am w r i t i n g t o t e l l you," he s a i d , t h a t we would l i k e to extend a c o r d i a l i n v i t a t i o n to you t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the SIXTH GUGGENHEIM INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION which i s scheduled t o open i n t h i s c i t y February, 1971. As you know the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l s are p e r i o d i c reviews of the current s t a t e of a r t . . . . My colleagues, Edward Fry and Diane Waldman, both A s s o c i a t e Curators of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, have t r a v e l l e d through many p a r t s of the world t o search f o r a r t i s t s and works th a t would be i n harmony with our aims. On the b a s i s of t h e i r f i n d i n g s we are now i n a p o s i t i o n t o proceed with s p e c i f i c c hoices. I hope, t h e r e f o r e t h a t we may have your acceptance i n p r i n c i p l e at your e a r l i e s t convenience. I look forward to seeing you at the opening i f not before.1 Twenty-one a r t i s t s agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e — among them, the French a r t i s t D a n i e l Buren. But Messer would not have the opportunity t o meet Buren at the opening.2 No one, l e a s t of a l l Messer, could have a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t t h i s c o r d i a l f o r m a l i t y would be so e a s i l y undone by the appearance of two pieces of s t r i p e d f a b r i c . I t was Buren who would become the u n w i t t i n g v i c t i m of the Museum's p o l i t i c a l agenda. Despite i t s benign appearance, Buren's work became a pawn of the e x h i b i t i o n ' s a n a c h r o n i s t i c c o n t i n u a t i o n of an ideology of avant-gardism that f l o u r i s h e d i n America i n the 1950s and i n t o the 1960s.3 2 Emerging i n the United States during the e a r l y years of the Cold War, t h i s b a s i c a l l y l i b e r a l view of the avant-garde and i t s (high) modernist defenders was c o n t r o v e r s i a l during i t s ascendency. P o l i t i c a l l y c o nservative t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s i n the 1940s and e a r l y 1950s argued that the avant-garde's r e j e c t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l forms i n a r t proved that i t s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y sought to promote chaos and u l t i m a t e l y the downfall of American s o c i e t y i n the face of communism.4 The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the avant-garde as subversive was exacerbated by the f a c t t h a t , to the American p u b l i c , the very newness of the avant-garde i n the United States made i t seem conspicuously foreign.5 However, f o l l o w i n g the coming t o maturity of the h i g h l y p r a c t i c a l improvements of l i b e r a l reform introduced by the New Deal and the postwar boom of Keynesian c a p i t a l i s m , by the l a t e 1950s the United States had become the world i n d u s t r i a l paradigm. America's e x t r a o r d i n a r y success as an i n d u s t r i a l n a t i o n was followed by an increased expression of generous f e e l i n g s , e s p e c i a l l y towards the nation's poor and u n d e r p r i v i l i d g e d . Through the mediation of President Eisenhower, even r i g h t - w i n g Republicans accepted the c r e a t i o n of a s o c i a l welfare system. The era came t o be i d e n t i f i e d as the age of the end of ideology. I t was maintained t h a t there was no longer any need f o r i d e o l o g i c a l t h i n k i n g s i n c e those small reforms s t i l l necessary could best be organized by a s c i e n t i f i c a l l y t r a i n e d e l i t e of p o l i c y p r o f e s s i o n a l s . 6 This mood was underscored by American 3 s o c i o l o g i s t D a n iel B e l l i n The End of Ideology (1960). B e l l wrote t h a t an i n t e l l e c t u a l consensus among American l i b e r a l s i n the l a t e 1950s underpinned a p o l i t i c a l consensus: In the West, t h e r e f o r e , there i s today a - rough consensus among i n t e l l e c t u a l s on p o l i t i c a l i s s u e s : the acceptance of a Welfare State; the d e s i r a b i l i t y of a d e c e n t r a l i z e d power; a system of mixed economy and of p o l i t i c a l p l u r a l i s m . In that sense, too, the i d e o l o g i c a l age has ended.7 Infused with l i b e r a l ideology, t h i s s t e l l a r p r o s p e r i t y was r e a d i l y t r a n s l a t e d i n t o the popular b e l i e f that America was capable of absorbing any c u l t u r a l tendency re g a r d l e s s of how subversive i t may have p r e v i o u s l y been perceived t o be.8 The l i b e r a l m i l i e u made p o s s i b l e the deposing of the dominant t r a d i t i o n a l i s t a e s t h e t i c . As Jane De Hart Mathews observes i n her study "Art and P o l i t i c s i n Cold War America" (1976), i n t h i s predominantly l i b e r a l context the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s found that they had been outmaneuvered by more s o p h i s t i c a t e d i n d i v i d u a l s eager to c a p i t a l i z e on the f a c t that avant-garde a r t and c u l t u r e e x i s t only i n a s o c i e t y t h a t i s l i b e r a l - d e m o c r a t i c ( p o l i t i c a l l y ) and bourgeois-c a p i t a l i s t ( s o c i o e c o n o m i c a l l y ) . . . . So r a p i d and complete was t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n t h a t by the mid-s i x t i e s modern a r t i t s e l f had somehow become i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d with the United States as i f only i n America could the avant-garde " s p i r i t " t r u l y f l o u r i s h . 9 Whatever overt i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s the avant-garde might have i n i t i a l l y been i d e n t i f i e d w i t h i n i t s European forms were s u b s t i t u t e d with an a e s t h e t i c i s m which was, i n f a c t , an implementation of the market p r i n c i p l e s of 4 c a p i t a l i s t economy.10 These f a c t o r s d i d much to p o p u l a r i z e the n o t i o n among American e l i t e s and the American middle c l a s s t h a t avant-garde a r t was i n p r i n c i p l e i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from any other range of commodities i n c a p i t a l i s t economy and t h e r e f o r e non-threatening.11 This union between l i b e r a l i s m and avant-gardism i n America, as sanctioned by the laws of e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l c a p i t a l i s m , was al s o manifest i n Richard Nixon's b i d f o r the presidency i n 1968. Nixon campaigned f o r the White House as a l i b e r a l . Arguing that he was a "pragmatic c e n t r i s t , " he pledged t h a t , i f e l e c t e d , he would immediately end the war i n Vietnam, f o s t e r a "generation of peace," and seek t o encourage and develop i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t i c t a l e n t and new concepts i n a r t , j u s t as we do i n science and technology.... [Everything that we w i l l ] do to a i d the a r t i s t and h i s a r t [ w i l l ] be done to enlarge, not r e s t r i c t , the area of freedom which i s the essence of a r t i s t i c expression.12 With h i s promise of e n l a r g i n g the realm of a r t i s t i c freedom and h i s encouragement of new concepts i n a r t , Nixon seemed to be r e a f f i r m i n g the l i b e r a l i s m t h a t i n the l a t e 1950s and 1960s made American avant-gardism p o s s i b l e . But the 197 0s i n the United States began w i t h a massive wave of r e a c t i o n marked by a t u r n t o extremely c o n s e r v a t i v e p o l i t i c s and a pervasive c a l l f o r the re-emphasis of t r a d i t i o n a l values. By the 1970s, much of the optimism that had c h a r a c t e r i z e d the previous decade had soured. Himself a refugee from fascism, Herbert Marcuse expressed the 5 i n c r e a s e d d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t most p o i n t e d l y i n h i s C o u n t e r r e v o l u t i o n and Revolt (1972): The Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n has strengthened the c o u n t e r r e v o l u t i o n a r y o r g a n i z a t i o n of s o c i e t y i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s . The forces of law and order have been made a for c e above the law. The normal equipment of the p o l i c e i n many c i t i e s resembles t h a t of the S.S. — the b r u t a l i t y of i t s a c t i o n s i s f a m i l i a r . . . . A vast army of undercover agents i s spread over the e n t i r e country and through a l l branches of society.13 In r e t r o s p e c t , we can see t h a t the e l e c t i o n of P r e s i d e n t Nixon symbolized the i n c r e a s i n g power of the r i g h t i n America.14 Soon a f t e r Nixon moved i n t o the White House, the p r i n c i p l e s of "law and order" became the r h e t o r i c a l theme of the f e d e r a l Administration.15 The A d m i n i s t r a t i o n immediately set out to subvert the hard won c i v i l r i g h t s l e g i s l a t i o n passed i n the 1960s.16 A l s o subverted were many of the l i b e r t i e s guaranteed to i n d i v i d u a l s by the American B i l l of Rights.17 In e a r l y 1970, the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n began se c r e t B-52 bombing missions i n Cambodia, f a l s i f y i n g o f f i c i a l r e p o r t s to make i t appear th a t the a t t a c k s were occuring elsewhere. When the news tha t American involvement i n Indochina was i n c r e a s i n g beyond Vietnam i n t o neighbouring c o u n t r i e s was f i n a l l y made p u b l i c , i t touched o f f the most widespread campus u p r i s i n g i n American h i s t o r y . Students across the United States took over u n i v e r s i t i e s , and organized p u b l i c demonstrations and protests.18 However, by 1970 t o l e r a n c e of d i s s e n t had worn out f o r a l a r g e segment of the American establishment, and across the country the N a t i o n a l Guard was 6 c a l l e d upon t o quench campus demonstrations.19 In a tone th a t e e r i l y presages the events of 1989, when asked about the campus u p r i s i n g s f o l l o w i n g on the news of the American push i n t o Cambodia, Ronald Reagan, the Governor of C a l i f o r n i a , answered: " I f i t takes a blood bath, l e t ' s get i t over w i t h . No more appeasement. "20 Yet i t was Attorney General John M i t c h e l l who most s u c c i n c t l y summed up the hawkish mood tha t was growing i n America. Speaking t o a r e p o r t e r i n the summer of 1970 about the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s p o l i t i c a l agenda, M i t c h e l l q u i t e c a n d i d l y noted t h a t "This country i s going so f a r r i g h t you are not even going to recognize i t . " 2 1 In the p o l i t i c a l sphere, by the F a l l of 1970 i t was evident t h a t the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n was not only on a crusade against c i v i l l i b e r t i e s , c i v i l r i g h t s , the student movement and persons whom they deemed " p o l i t i c a l enemies," but had a l s o p l a c e d l i b e r a l i s m on the h i t l i s t . For example, i n September of 1970, when s e v e r a l Democratic Senators were up f o r r e - e l e c t i o n , Nixon sent V i c e P r e s i d e n t Sp i r o Agnew on a cross-country campaign p o r t r a y i n g l i b e r a l s as r a d i c a l e x t r e m i s t s who refused to support "law and order." In a way th a t r e c a l l e d another Republican demagogue, Joseph McCarthy, Agnew informed Americans t h a t the "great q u e s t i o n " before the n a t i o n was: W i l l America be l e d by a Pr e s i d e n t e l e c t e d by a m a j o r i t y of the American people or w i l l he be i n t i m i d a t e d and blackmailed i n t o f o l l o w i n g the path d i c t a t e d by a d i s r u p t i v e r a d i c a l and m i l i t a n t m i n o r i t y 7 — the pampered p r o d i g i e s of the r a d i c a l l i b e r a l s i n the United States Senate?22 The t u r n to the r i g h t spread across the no-longer-s i l e n t American m a j o r i t y , l e a d i n g Los Angeles Times columnist W i l l i a m S h i r e r to comment i n the s p r i n g of 1970 th a t "we may be the f i r s t people t o go F a s c i s t by the democratic vote."23 S h i r e r ' s comments were supported by the f i n d i n g s of psephologists Richard Scammon and Benjamin Wattenberg i n The Real Majority (1970) . F o l l o w i n g a l a r g e demographic survey, Scammon and Wattenberg found that Americans were i n c r e a s i n g l y nervous about the breakdown of t r a d i t i o n brought about by successive l i b e r a l governments.24 The demise of an e f f e c t i v e l i b e r a l p o l i t i c l e d t o a resurgence of popular contempt f o r the avant-garde. By the e a r l y 1970s, the idea of avant-garde c u l t u r e i n America was again being r e j e c t e d from most q u a r t e r s . Nowhere was t h i s so evident than i n the events surrounding the 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n , the focus of t h i s a n a l y s i s . Having presented the p u b l i c with an i l l - r e c e i v e d swan-song f o r the avant-garde, the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s proceeded to make the u l t i m a t e statement on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between contemporary America and avant-garde c u l t u r e : i t r o l l e d over and d i e d t o accomodate the new conservatism. My study w i l l begin with a thorough examination of the S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , t r a c i n g i t s connections to the I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s as a whole and r e c o n s t r u c t i n g i t s i d e o l o g i c a l framework. From there I w i l l c o n sider the s h i f t of the Museum's r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the broader c u l t u r a l m i l i e u i n New York and i n the United States as a whole, examining why Museum o f f i c i a l s organized the I n t e r n a t i o n a l the way they d i d . Chapter Three examines the t h r e e f o l d controversy surrounding the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l : the c o n f l i c t t h a t arose between p a r t i c i p a t i n g a r t i s t s , the questions of censorship t h a t were r a i s e d by the a c t i o n s of Museum o f f i c i a l s , and the overwhelming h o s t i l i t y of c r i t i c a l response t o the e x h i b i t i o n . The time of the 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l was a strange one i n American a r t -- a p e r i o d of s o c i a l and e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l rupture, the r e v e r b e r a t i o n s of which continue t o be f e l t today. 9 CHAPTER I "A T r a d i t i o n i n the A r t w o r l d " The Guggenheim Internationals are attempts to gather the best recently produced works of art from available sources. Thomas M. Messer 25 Focusing on the l a t e s t avant-garde trends i n a r t , the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s was the o l d e s t of i t s k i n d i n New York C i t y . From the s e r i e s ' i n c e p t i o n i n 1956, the aim of these e x h i b i t i o n s had been to f i n d "one p a i n t i n g or s c u l p t u r e of greatness...that could be accepted and acclaimed by knowledgeable c r i t i c s throughout the world."26 The contemporary a r t i s t who was deemed to have produced the best avant-garde work was t o be awarded $10, 000 -- the l a r g e s t p r i z e o f f e r e d t o an a r t i s t by any of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l a r t s e r i e s operating at the time.27 According to the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the Guggenheim, the f i r s t p r i z e of t h i s s e r i e s of e x h i b i t i o n s would provide "an important m a n i f e s t a t i o n of i n t e r n a t i o n a l g o o d w i l l , " and become as p r e s t i g i o u s and coveted as the Nobel Prize.28 Throughout the 1950s and i n t o the 1960s, the Museum advanced claims t h a t the I n t e r n a t i o n a l s were non-partisan by o r g a n i z i n g an elaborate " o b j e c t i v e l y f u n c t i o n i n g machinery" t h a t would s e l e c t the works f o r these e x h i b i t i o n s . 2 9 This s e l e c t i o n "machine" was c o n t r o l l e d by a system of n a t i o n a l s e c t i o n quotas which ensured the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a wide array of nations by a comparable number of a r t i s t s . N a t i o n a l 10 Section J u r i e s , whose r o l e i t was to submit f i v e artworks from t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r c o u n t r i e s t o each Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , were set up i n over twenty c o u n t r i e s . From these artworks an e l e c t e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l j u r y of reputable c r i t i c s s e l e c t e d the p r i z e - w i n n i n g work.30 The establishment of t h i s I n t e r n a t i o n a l Award i n the United States was looked on with favor by the American government. As a New York-based s e r i e s of avant-garde e x h i b i t i o n s which claimed to f u n c t i o n i n a p o l i t i c a l l y n e u t r a l way, the l i b e r a l ideology of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l s p a r a l l e l e d the ideology which the Eisenhower A d m i n i s t r a t i o n had come to embrace i n i t s l a t e r years. 31 The p a r a l l e l between the c u l t u r a l ideology of the Guggenheim Museum and th a t of the Eisenhower A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s m was h i g h l i g h t e d when, i n e a r l y 1956, the President i n s t i t u t e d the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Awards at the White House on an on-going b a s i s (f i g s . 1-2) . 32 With i t s huge award, the I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s advanced the claims t h a t the United States was a devoted patron of high c u l t u r e , and i n p a r t i c u l a r of avant-garde a r t . As such, t h i s was a patronage which was intended t o promulgate the idea t h a t the United States was the home of l i b e r a l democracy and the only t r u l y f r e e s o c i a l system.33 With support from the United States government and from v a r i o u s i n t e r n a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s such as the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l of Museums, the I n t e r n a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n of A r t C r i t i c s , and the I n t e r n a t i o n a l 11 A s s o c i a t i o n of P l a s t i c A r t s , the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n s r e c e i v e d a great deal of exposure. By 1961, a mere f i v e years a f t e r i t s commencement, the event was being promoted by the Museum as "a t r a d i t i o n i n the a r t world."34 Over the years the format of these e x h i b i t i o n s changed somewhat. The f i r s t p r i z e was converted i n t o a purchase p r i z e and the i n t e r n a t i o n a l j u r i e s were abo l i s h e d , f o r example. But through to the f i n a l I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n 1971, what was purportedly being sought was s t i l l the best contemporary avant-garde art.35 This concept of the best of avant-garde a r t echoed a way of t a l k i n g about a r t which was popular i n American a r t c r i t i c i s m f o l l o w i n g the Second World War. The o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim were p a r t i c u l a r l y i n f l u e n c e d by the w r i t i n g s of the American c r i t i c Clement Greenberg, who a r t i c u l a t e d a way of l o o k i n g at a r t which i n s i s t e d t h a t the same e v a l u a t i v e c r i t e r i a could be a p p l i e d t o a r t r e g a r d l e s s of where i t was from.36 The s i g n i f i c a n t i n f l u e n c e which t h i s type of supra-contextual a r t c r i t i c i s m had on the Museum was made emphatic by D i r e c t o r Thomas Messer i n the catalogue f o r the F i f t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n 1967: An i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t y l e has become a f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d n o t i o n i n our time. This means the mere e l i m i n a t i o n of n a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and t h e i r displacement by a world-wide i d e n t i t y of c r e a t i v e aims.37 In the above passage, Messer resonates the Greenbergian maxim tha t not only n a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , but a l s o socio-economic context can be dispensed w i t h when e v a l u a t i n g 12 a work of a r t . Such c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , which are v i t a l t o any l e g i t i m a t e l y d i a l e c t i c a l assessment of the work of a r t , are deemed superfluous and must, of a e s t h e t i c n e c e s s i t y , be "transcended."38 This phenomena, d e r i v i n g i t s v a l i d a t i o n from the b e l i e f t h a t enjoyment i s the sovereign e v a l u a t i v e c r i t e r i a , i s s o c i a l l y and n a t i o n a l l y n o n - s p e c i f i c . 3 9 This purported n o n - s p e c i f i c i t y became the s h i b b o l e t h f o r a l l would-be entrants i n the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l s . By the time of the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l p a r t i c i p a n t s were s e l e c t e d e x c l u s i v e l y by the Museum D i r e c t o r and h i s two a s s o c i a t e c u r a t o r s . Their c o l l e c t i v e judgement completely superseded t h a t of the o r i g i n a l " s e l e c t i o n machine." This was not e n t i r e l y new t o the I n t e r n a t i o n a l e i t h e r ; both the Fourth (1964) and F i f t h (1967) I n t e r n a t i o n a l s had a l s o been handpicked by Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s . What was new t o the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l however was that f o r the f i r s t time the e x h i b i t i o n was not conceived of as a d i v e r s e , i n t e r n a t i o n a l survey. Whereas a r t i s t s from twenty d i f f e r e n t c o u n t r i e s were i n c l u d e d i n the I n t e r n a t i o n a l of 1967, only e i g h t nations were represented i n the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l . Furthermore, of the e i g h t n a t i o n s represented by the twenty-one a r t i s t s i n t h i s show, seven were represented through works by only one or two a r t i s t s each, while the e i g h t h , the United States, was represented by no l e s s than t h i r t e e n a r t i s t s . In f a c t , the l a r g e b i a s towards American a r t i s t s at t h i s e x h i b i t i o n was g r e a t e r than t h i s breakdown by n a t i o n a l i t y suggests. Some of the a r t i s t s 13 pur p o r t e d l y r e p r e s e n t i n g f o r e i g n c o u n t r i e s , such as the Japanese On Kawara, the B r i t i s h Richard Long, the Dutch Jan Dibbets and the German Hanne Darboven, e i t h e r l i v e d i n New York at the time or were e x c l u s i v e l y represented by New York dealers.40 Almost o b l i g a t o r i l y , the Museum d i d b r i n g i n a few a r t i s t s from outside: Mario Merz ( I t a l y ) , J i r o Takamatsu (Japan), V i c t o r Burgin (England), and Daniel Buren (France). The show's organizers sought t o j u s t i f y the domination of t h i s I n t e r n a t i o n a l by American a r t i s t s . They argued that New York avant-garde a r t i s t s were the world leaders and that the ideas and the premises which u n d e r l i n e d t h e i r work were in s t r u m e n t a l i n the production of works by avant-garde a r t i s t s across the globe i n the l a t e r 1960s.41 As Messer wrote i n the catalogue to the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l : The preponderance of Americans i n the s e l e c t i o n o b v i o u s l y c a r r i e s w i t h i t assumptions about the primacy of U.S.-made a r t throughout the l a t e 1960s — the p e r i o d covered by t h i s S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l . 4 2 I t was a convenient argument but one that d i r e c t l y c o n t r a d i c t e d the Greenbergian non-contextual precepts on which the e x h i b i t i o n was fundamentally based. The o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim supported t h e i r a s s e r t i o n s about "the str e n g t h of the United States i n the present a r t balance" by c i t i n g what they claimed was a "conce n t r a t i o n of c r e a t i v i t y i n New York."43 In p a r t i c u l a r , the Museum put forward the argument th a t the new developments i n avant-garde a r t which had emerged i n the l a t e 1960s — e.g. Land A r t , Conceptual 14 A r t , Process A r t — had t h e i r d i r e c t r o o t s i n Minimalism, o s t e n s i b l y a New York based avant-garde movement.44 A r t i s t s s e l e c t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l were requested to produce a s i t e - s p e c i f i c work which used the unique space of the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Ll o y d Wright, as a p o i n t of departure, a request w i t h which most complied.45 Even a r t i s t s who were working w i t h Land A r t or Conceptual A r t , trends which of t e n claimed t o f i n d the idea of the museum a n t i t h e t i c a l t o t h e i r aims, attempted to adapt t h e i r approach s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the s i t e of the Museum.46 The Guggenheim sent out press r e l e a s e s t o newspapers around the globe to p u b l i c i z e the event. These made e x p l i c i t the e s s e n t i a l c l a i m of the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l : t h a t the avant-garde trends i n a r t of the previous few years forwarded many of the issues which the New York M i n i m a l i s t a r t i s t s had addressed: The overwhelming a r t i s t i c development of the l a s t f i v e years which the e x h i b i t i o n serves t o e s t a b l i s h i s the displacement of the f i n i t e object i n favor of the id e a . The current trends toward e a r t h and process a r t are rooted i n the premises e s t a b l i s h e d i n the middle 1960s by the m i n i m a l i s t s c u l p t o r s C a r l Andre, Donald Judd, Dan F l a v i n , Robert Morris and Sol LeWitt.47 In a l l of the p u b l i c i t y promoting the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , the Guggenheim emphasized the e x t r a o r d i n a r y c h a r a c t e r of t h i s e x h i b i t i o n — the success of which, as we w i l l see, became c r u c i a l t o the Museum i n 1971. A n t i c i p a t i n g the p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n which previous I n t e r n a t i o n a l s 15 had r e c e i v e d , the Guggenheim i n v i t e d a r t c r i t i c s from across the United States to preview the show and meet the a r t i s t s . 4 8 The l i s t of guests expected at the opening of t h i s g a l a a f f a i r i n c l u d e d the usual V.I.P. l i s t of Guggenheim Trustees, A s s o c i a t e s , Members, American a r t c r i t i c s , d e a l e r s and other a r t patrons.49 The p r e s t i g i o u s i n t e r n a t i o n a l aspect of t h i s e x h i b i t i o n a l s o warranted the i n v i t a t i o n of a l a r g e array of f o r e i g n diplomats and United Nations delegates. Many United States government o f f i c i a l s , a l a r g e c r o s s - s e c t i o n of American Senators, Members of Congress, and of the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, were i n v i t e d to the opening as well.50 The United States government was f u r t h e r represented by the United States Information Service (USIS) , who were there t o make a f i l m about the e x h i b i t i o n f o r f o r e i g n d i s t r i b u t i o n . 5 1 The Guggenheim had made arrangements f o r the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n to t r a v e l t o modern a r t museums i n the c a p i t a l s of various L a t i n American c o u n t r i e s . For t h i s venture, they had e n l i s t e d the help of the USIS, probably i n the hope t h a t the f e d e r a l agency would help o f f s e t t r a v e l l i n g expenses. The show was s l a t e d t o t r a v e l to Colombia, Uruguay, and Argentina, c o u n t r i e s which, as Henry K i s s i n g e r noted r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y , were known to be "plagued" by r a d i c a l movements i n the e a r l y 1970s.52 I t would seem th a t the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim had performed t h e i r task admirably i n o r g a n i z i n g the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l . A l l those i n v o l v e d had very s p e c i f i c reasons 16 f o r wanting t h i s e x h i b i t i o n t o woo a l l p a t r i o t i c , c u l t u r a l l y - s o p h i s t i c a t e d c i t i z e n s of the United States — e s p e c i a l l y those who had access to the c o r r i d o r s of p o l i t i c a l power. Yet the e f f o r t s of the org a n i z e r s of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l were met wi t h v i r t u a l l y unanimous condemnation. An a r t i c l e i n the New York Times summarized the c r i t i c a l response t o t h i s show as "the biggest p u b l i c thumbdown t h a t s t a f f e r s can remember."53 The f i r s t s i g n that the show's organizers had miscued occurred the day before the show was scheduled to open. Museum o f f i c i a l s removed the work of the French a r t i s t D a n i el Buren from the I n t e r n a t i o n a l without the a r t i s t ' s p r i o r consent. On the surface t h i s appeared t o be a c r i s i s of an i n t e r n a l nature. However, t h i s s i n g u l a r a c t i o n on the part of the Museum's o f f i c i a l s was symptomatic of much deeper problems. As I w i l l demonstrate i n the f o l l o w i n g chapter, e s s e n t i a l t o understanding these problems i s the f a c t t h a t s t a g i n g an e x h i b i t i o n c o n s i s t e n t with the i n t e r e s t s of the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n was c r u c i a l t o the Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s . I r o n i c a l l y enough, i t had become apparent t h a t the w e l l -being of the vested i n t e r e s t s of the Museum proceeded d i r e c t l y from t h a t A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . 17 CHAPTER I I The R a t i o n a l e of the S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l In fact, in our age of media produced attitudes, the ideological insistence of a culture drawing attention to itself as superior has given way to a culture whose canons and standards are invisible to the degree that they are "natural, " "objective," and "real." Edward Said 54 The 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l was organized p r e c i s e l y at the moment when the most severe budget c r i s i s ever t o h i t the Museum c o i n c i d e d with a v a s t l y i n c r e a s e d amount of government funding being a l l o c a t e d t o the a r t s . L i k e v a r i o u s other major New York museums, such as the Museum of Modern A r t and the Whitney Museum of American A r t , the Guggenheim Museum entered i n t o the 1970s i n what one sen i o r a r t s a d m i n i s t r a t o r c a l l e d "the most severe f i n a n c i a l embarrassment th a t museums have ever suffered."55 I n c r e a s i n g o p e r a t i n g c o s t s , coupled with the d i m i n i s h i n g funds of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation endowment, were compromising the standards of the Museum's e x h i b i t i o n s . There was a l s o f e a r t h a t the r e p u t a t i o n t h a t the Guggenheim had e s t a b l i s h e d i n the preceding t h i r t y years as a venue f o r " e x h i b i t i o n s by major f i g u r e s of the modern movement" was i n jeopardy.56 In response t o the f i n a n c i a l c r i s i s , the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the Guggenheim began a s e r i e s of i n t e r n a l d i s c u s s i o n s to deal w i t h the problem i n d e t a i l and attempt t o a r r i v e at an 18 acceptable s o l u t i o n . I t was c l e a r t h a t the funding provided by the endowment was i n s u f f i c i e n t t o meet the needs of the Museum's o r i g i n a l o b j e c t i v e s . E q u a l l y apparent was t h a t the i n s t i t u t i o n r e q u i r e d a d d i t i o n a l operating funds. But the o f f i c i a l s of the Museum were unsure whether they should seek f i n a n c i a l support from the p r i v a t e or p u b l i c sector.57 While i t i s l i k e l y t h a t they decided to adopt a p o l i c y of pursuing funding from both s e c t o r s , an important part of t h e i r f i s c a l program was the aggressive seeking of government aid.58 In the e a r l y 1970s, government funding of museums p r i m a r i l y took the form of grants from the N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s (NEA). During the 1960s v a r i o u s prominent p o l i t i c i a n s had v i g o u r o u s l y l o b b i e d f i r s t the Kennedy A d m i n i s t r a t i o n and then the Johnson A d m i n i s t r a t i o n t o d r a f t a f e d e r a l a r t s program. R a i s i n g the spectre of the Cold War, they argued th a t a comprehensive n a t i o n a l a r t s program was a b s o l u t e l y necessary to support the f r o n t l i n e s of the c u l t u r a l Cold War against the Communists. For instance, New York Senator Jacob J a v i t s s t a t e d i n Congress i n June of 1963 t h a t [A comprehensive n a t i o n a l a r t s program] . . . w i l l enable us — f a r b e t t e r than we do today — to meet the challenge of the Communist's c u l t u r a l ideas i n the world, on which they are spending great amounts of money f o r t h e i r propagation and which represent the key aspects of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s , which are designed to "bury" the Free World.59 This type of Cold War r h e t o r i c was h i g h l y e f f e c t i v e , and the NEA was signed i n t o law by the Johnson A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n 1964. In h i s State-of-the-Union message of t h a t year, Johnson j u s t i f i e d h i s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s d e c i s i o n t o found the f e d e r a l a r t s program by s t r e s s i n g the importance of promoting America as a world c u l t u r a l power. According to Johnson, the NEA's mandate was "to a s s i s t a c t i v e l y i n American c u l t u r a l development."60 Beginning i n 1969, the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n d r a m a t i c a l l y i n c r e a s e d funding a l l o t t e d to the NEA. In the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s f i r s t term, funding f o r t h i s agency skyrocketed by over nine-hundred percent.61 Many American p o l i t i c a l a n a l y s t s commented on the NEA increase, p a r t i c u l a r l y s i n c e almost every other s o c i a l program was s u f f e r i n g a l l o c a t i o n cutbacks at t h i s time.62 F o l l o w i n g a speech by the President i n which he requested t h a t Congress double the money earmarked f o r a r t s funding, i n e a r l y 1970 the Wall Street Journal p u b l i s h e d an e d i t o r i a l by John O'Connor, i n which he commented on the ambiguous nature of Nixon's commitment. "Somewhat i r o n i c a l l y , " wrote O'Connor, Pres i d e n t Nixon, who i n i t i a l l y reaped l i t t l e p o p u l a r i t y among most a r t s p r o f e s s i o n a l s , has sent t o Congress one of the strongest statements on the r o l e of the a r t s ever t o come out of the White House.63 Nixon, l i k e the p r e s i d e n t s during the twenty years preceding him, framed h i s arguments about c u l t u r a l p o l i c y i n terms of u n i v e r s a l i t y . In t h i s sense, h i s p u b l i c statements on a r t were o f t e n c l o t h e d i n a r h e t o r i c s i m i l a r t o t h a t of previous Administrations.64 Notions about the value of a r t i s t i c "non-suppression" and "non-repression" formed a 20 backdrop f o r t h e j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f h i s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s sudden i n t e r e s t i n t h e a r t s . N i x o n ' s c u l t u r a l p o l i c y r e i t e r a t e d American C o l d War r h e t o r i c i n i t s p r o m o t i o n o f freedom as b o t h symbol and commodity.65 In a t e x t d e l i v e r e d t o t h e A s s o c i a t e d C o u n c i l s o f t h e A r t s i n 1971, N i x o n s t a t e d : We c o u l d be t h e r i c h e s t n a t i o n i n t h e w o r l d , t h e most p o w e r f u l n a t i o n i n t h e w o r l d , t h e f r e e s t n a t i o n i n t h e w o r l d -- but o n l y i f t h e a r t s a r e a l i v e and f l o u r i s h i n g can we e x p e r i e n c e t h e t r u e meaning o f freedom. . . . So, i n u r g i n g g r e a t e r s u p p o r t f o r t h e a r t s , I do i t not o n l y because t h e a r t s need h e l p . I do i t because t h e n a t i o n needs what t h e a r t s — and o n l y t h e a r t s -- can g i v e . 6 6 The b e n e f i t s which t h e i d e o l o g y o f "freedom" i n t h e a r t s c o u l d reap f o r t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s were s p e l l e d out by N i x o n i n a s p e c i a l message t o Congress (December, 1969). S t a t i n g t h a t "few i n v e s t m e n t s we c o u l d make would g i v e us so g r e a t a r e t u r n , " N i x o n e n c a p s u l a t e d t h e r e a s o n s h i s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n f e l t i t i m p o r t a n t t o f u n d t h e a r t s i n a way t h a t was r e m i n i s c e n t o f t h e c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s o f t h e p r e v i o u s s e v e r a l decades: A m e r i c a has moved t o t h e f o r e f r o n t as a p l a c e o f c r e a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n . The e x c e l l e n c e o f t h e American p r o d u c t i n t h e a r t s has won w o r l d - w i d e r e c o g n i t i o n . The a r t s have t h e r a r e c a p a c i t y t o h e l p h e a l d i v i s i o n s among our p e o p l e and t o v a u l t some o f t h e b a r r i e r s t h a t d i v i d e t h e world.67 C l e a r l y , t h e N i x o n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n p r o p a g a t e d t h e b e l i e f t h a t a r t and c r e a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n h e l d a s t r o n g p l a c e w i t h i n n a t i o n a l c o n c e r n s . 21 The growing acceptance of l i b e r a l i s m at a f e d e r a l l e v e l meant t h a t the Guggenheim, an i n s t i t u t i o n devoted t o modern a r t from i t s i n c e p t i o n , played an e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g r o l e i n the promotion of American c u l t u r a l supremacy and the c e n t r a l i t y of the New York avant-garde. The most v i s i b l e way i n which the Museum performed t h i s r o l e was through the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l s . As the Museum's most p r e s t i g i o u s s e r i e s , the importance of these e x h i b i t i o n i n garnering f e d e r a l a t t e n t i o n could hardly be overstated.68 Contrary t o o f f i c i a l claims made by the Museum, the workings of these I n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n s were anything but above ideology. From the time th a t t h i s s e r i e s was launched, the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Broadcasting D i v i s i o n of the United States Information Agency (USIA) was rec o r d i n g i n t e r v i e w s w i t h a r t i s t s and w r i t i n g f e a t u r e s t o r i e s i n many d i f f e r e n t languages f o r f o r e i g n r a d i o broadcasts, thus ensuring t h a t the United States' i n t e r e s t i n modern c u l t u r e was heard of abroad.69 F o l l o w i n g the T h i r d Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n 1961, the p a r t i c u l a r s of the " o b j e c t i v e s e l e c t i o n machinery" meant to l e g i t i m i z e t h i s event as non-partisan began t o be readjusted.70 Thomas Messer, who had sin c e become the Museum D i r e c t o r , was h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the f i n a l s e l e c t i o n of these e x h i b i t i o n s . From the moment Messer took c o n t r o l of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l s , the message of the e x h i b i t i o n s became more aggressive. The diminished importance which the Guggenheim place d on concealing the i d e o l o g i c a l make-up of 22 the I n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n s had i t s p a r a l l e l s i n the incr e a s e d confidence of the c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s of the Kennedy Admi n i s t r a t i o n . 7 1 Concurrent with governmental u t i l i z a t i o n of high c u l t u r e as a t o o l f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l propaganda was the r o l e of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s i n the Cold War a r s e n a l . In reviewing the Fourth Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n January 1964, New York Times a r t correspondent Grace Glueck noted the t a c t f u l n e s s of the Museum i n awarding one of i t s l a r g e p r i z e s t o the Cuban p a i n t e r Wifredo Lam f o r h i s "Tropic of Capricorn."72 The aggressiveness of the Guggenheim's i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s m was p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n the i d e o l o g i c a l c o n s t r u c t i o n of the F i f t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n 1967. This show, which focused e x c l u s i v e l y on s c u l p t u r e , was b i l l e d as pre s e n t i n g the best works by a r t i s t s of three generations. One s e c t i o n of the show was comprised of a r t i s t s born before 1910, and in c l u d e d s c u l p t u r e s by Pablo P i c a s s o , Henry Moore, David Smith, Jacques L i p c h i t z , and other s . A second s e c t i o n was made up of a r t i s t s born between 1910 and 1925, such as Cesar, P o l Bury, Anthony Caro, and Eduardo P a o l o z z i . The t h i r d s e c t i o n i n c l u d e d a r t i s t s l i k e Jacques Tinguely, George Segal, Claes Oldenburg and Robert M o r r i s , who were born i n the p e r i o d a f t e r 1925. By awarding the top award t o M o r r i s , who was then a s s o c i a t e d with the M i n i m a l i s t group of a r t i s t s , the 1967 I n t e r n a t i o n a l served t o v a l i d a t e t h i s New York-based avant-garde. In f a c t , not only d i d i t l e g i t i m i z e 23 Minimalism, but by p l a c i n g i t i n a h i s t o r i c a l context at the long end of modernist s c u l p t u r e , and s i n g l i n g i t out as "the best" a r t being produced at the time, i t crowned the New York-based avant-garde as the epitome of high c u l t u r e . 7 3 The S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l ' s lack of s u b t l e t y i n promoting an American avant-garde owed much to the Guggenheim's own budget c r i s i s . Underwriting the e x h i b i t i o n was a desperate attempt to c u r r y the favour of the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n and i t s a r t s funding agency. Supportive of t h i s i s the f a c t that the Guggenheim submitted i t s f i r s t funding request at the opening of the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n February 1971.74 The Guggenheim's conspicuous focus on Minimalism was c o n s i s t e n t w i t h what were the presumed c u l t u r a l a s p i r a t i o n s of the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . As K a r l Beveridge and Ian Burn note i n t h e i r a r t i c l e "Don Judd" (1975), the image of i t s e l f t h a t the United States p r o j e c t e d on the world stage i n the 1960s was t h a t of e x p o r t i n g technology, a technology which i s democratic because i t i s good, n e u t r a l , and p r o g r e s s i v e , a technology which i s e q u a l l y a v a i l a b l e to everyone -- the means f o r a b e t t e r l i f e , and f r e e from i d e o l o g i c a l bias.75 The clean-cut i n d u s t r i a l design and s c a l e of the M i n i m a l i s t a e s t h e t i c , as w e l l as the type of s c u l p t u r a l m a t e r i a l s which the M i n i m a l i s t s used to connote an a e s t h e t i c of n e u t r a l i t y , b o l d l y a s s e r t e d American c u l t u r a l n a r c i s s i s m abroad. And the M i n i m a l i s t a r t i s t s became, i n Beveridge and Burn's words, "the ' c u l t u r a l engineers' of ' i n t e r n a t i o n a l a r t . ' With the 24 image of n e u t r a l i t y — s e l l i n g a r t , not ideology. "76 The p a r a l l e l s between the M i n i m a l i s t a e s t h e t i c and America's i n t e r n a t i o n a l image meant that Minimal a r t d i d not need the k i n d of packaging that 1950's American a r t r e q u i r e d to promote the ideology of freedom, since t h a t message was part of i t s formal r e q u i s i t e s : When Ab s t r a c t Expressionism was sent t o Europe, i t had to be packaged, i t had to be given a form i n the media, a p u b l i c i t y wrapping of "free expression i n a free s o c i e t y . " The a r t of the s i x t i e s and seve n t i e s was media-conscious, the packaging was a fe a t u r e of the "expression," i n t e r n a l to a c t u a l production.77 The Museum t r i e d to connect the p a r t i c i p a t i n g a r t i s t s i n t h i s I n t e r n a t i o n a l with the American M i n i m a l i s t avant-garde i n two ways. F i r s t , by requesting that the a r t i s t s i n v i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e produce a s i t e - s p e c i f i c work which used the context of d i s p l a y as a p o i n t of departure, the Museum l i n k e d the artworks i n the I n t e r n a t i o n a l w i t h a concept t h a t was c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h Minimalism. As Beveridge and Burn poi n t out, the M i n i m a l i s t s ' use of s i t e -s p e c i f i c i t y r e p l i c a t e d i n various ways "the American way of doing t h i n g s " by c a s t i n g the a r t i s t as a " c u l t u r a l engineer," the c r e a t i v e persona as American pragmatist: This has even been i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d by g a l l e r i e s and museums, b r i n g i n g a r t i s t s t o make work "on the spot." The impact of t h i s i s immeasurable, as a way of showing other a r t i s t s the American way of doing t h i n g s , of making a r t . This i s the extent t o which production i t s e l f d uring the s i x t i e s came t o embrace and i n t e r n a l i z e the " i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s t " ideology.78 25 G e t t i n g a r t i s t s t o produce s i t e s p e c i f i c works e f f e c t i v e l y l i n k e d the p a r t i c i p a t i n g a r t i s t s w i t h Minimalism. In a d d i t i o n , s i t e - s p e c i f i c i t y provided a means by which the Museum could i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e some of the new avant-garde trends which Messer i r o n i c a l l y c a l l e d " c r e a t i v e evidence no longer presentable i n a museum."79 By asking Land a r t i s t s and Conceptual a r t i s t s to produce an artwork that was s i t e -s p e c i f i c , the organizers of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l could e f f e c t i v e l y c i r c u m s c r i b e these new a r t forms w i t h i n the same o b j e c t - o r i e n t e d l e x i c o n of the New York avant-garde.80 The second way i n which the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t e d the new works with Minimalism was by i d e n t i f y i n g them wi t h the same formal concerns as Minimalism. In the catalogue f o r the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , Diane Waldman argued that the " s o - c a l l e d M i n i m a l i s t s : Andre, Judd, F l a v i n , M o r r i s and LeWitt," had "provided the major impetus f o r subsequent developments i n Europe and the United States"81: In de-emphasizing the importance of the end-state, the M i n i m a l i s t s p r e d i c t e d s e v e r a l subsequent developments: wi t h Robert M o r r i s , the focus on pr o c e s s / m a t e r i a l s has been c a r r i e d on by a group of younger a r t i s t s who, however s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y , have chosen t o r e t a i n the object or some semblance of i t ; w i t h S o l LeWitt, whose e a r l y involvement w i t h i d e a t i o n has been extended by a younger group of Conceptual a r t i s t s ; and w i t h C a r l Andre, whose emphasis on s c u l p t u r e as place has provided some of the impetus t o earthworks.82 For the Guggenheim Museum, then, the a e s t h e t i c of Minimalism provided a convenient p u l p i t from which t o preach American c u l t u r e . By a r t i c u l a t i n g the new avant-garde trends as having been a e s t h e t i c a l l y d e r i v e d from American images, 26 the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l reproduced the l o g i c of these new trends as being fundamentally American. E s p e c i a l l y important f o r the Guggenheim would have been the avant-garde working i n France. P r i o r t o the New York artwor l d ' s ascendancy i n the post-war era, P a r i s had commonly been known as the c u l t u r a l c a p i t a l of the world. In the l a t e 1960s, the French a r t i s t Daniel Buren was producing s i t e - s p e c i f i c work which on the surface looked l i k e what the M i n i m a l i s t s were doing. Consequently, Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s l i k e l y regarded i n c l u s i o n of h i s work i n the show as most d e s i r a b l e s i n c e i t allowed a b a s i s from which t o argue that the most current French work was i n l i n e with American avant-garde a e s t h e t i c s . This would thereby provide proof f o r claims such as those made by Nixon t h a t "America has moved t o the f o r e f r o n t as the place of c r e a t i v e expression," and thus r e a f f i r m the c u l t u r a l supremacy of the United States over France i n the postwar period.8 3 The e x h i b i t i o n provided a showcase whereby a few s e l e c t c o u n t r i e s could a s s e r t t h e i r c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y by demonstrating the f a c i l i t y of t h e i r a r t i s t s t o conform t o American-based standards of a e s t h e t i c e x c e l l e n c e . The economic and i d e o l o g i c a l tendencies of those nations chosen suggests t h a t a e s t h e t i c e x c e l l e n c e may not have been the only c r i t e r i o n used. Those nations chosen would be encouraged t o maintain and advance the cause of American c u l t u r a l supremacy and t h e i r attendant p o l i t i c a l and economic i n t e r e s t s . 8 4 27 The c e n t r a l i t y of New York avant-gardism prominent throughout the late 1950s and 1960s was beginning to crumble by the early 1970s. Even i n New York i t s e l f , people were beginning to acknowledge that the c i t y ' s c u l t u r a l hegemony showed signs of decline.85 The focus of the art scene was increasingly turning to more international trends such as Conceptual Art, Land Art, Process Art, and others. The in t e r n a t i o n a l character of these new trends, many of which seemed to de-aestheticize the art object, was conveyed in various surveys of the new art assembled i n Europe during the l a t e 1960s. Although these international avant-garde shows included American a r t i s t s , for the f i r s t time i n over a decade they were neither the majority nor the most dominant, but equal with other groups who shared a si m i l a r agenda.86 New York's c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s were la t e to acknowledge t h i s phenomenon. By 1970 however large avant-garde exhibitions i n which American a r t i s t s did not figure prominently began to be held i n New York. These included the Museum of Modern Art's "Information" show, the New York C u l t u r a l Center's "Conceptual Art and Conceptual Aspects" show, and the Jewish Museum's "Software" show.87 In the catalogue for the "Information" show, curator Kynaston McShine explained that the new art had transcended New York. "For both a r t i s t s and t h e i r p u b l i c , " wrote McShine, " i t i s a stimulating and open si t u a t i o n , and c e r t a i n l y less parochial than even f i v e years ago."88 McShine and various other players i n the New York 28 artworld were not averse to the decentralization of avant-garde art production. The aesthetic agenda of these c r i t i c s and curators was characterized by a t h i r s t for the new, regardless of where i t was from. In a manner that r e c a l l s Harold Rosenberg's analysis of the avant-garde as a " t r a d i t i o n of the new," these c r i t i c s understood the avant-garde simply as "what comes l a t e r . " According to t h i s constituency of the New York i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , the r e j e c t i o n of the most recent avant-garde art, which i t s e l f would be rapidly consigned to the detritus of the old, was a r e f l e x of the modern tradition.89 The avant-garde was not theorized as a threat to the interests of the r u l i n g c l a s s . Quite the opposite, the in s a t i a b l e search for the new was seen as part of t h i s s o c i a l formation's perpetual e f f o r t to seek the attention and patronage of the bourgeoisie.90 McShine's comments sharply contrast those issued by the Guggenheim Museum in the promotion and construction of the Sixth International. To r e i t e r a t e , the Guggenheim's t a c t i c was to dispense with the claims to internationalism which McShine was only just a r r i v i n g at, and take up an overtly New York-oriented exhibition p o l i c y . Apart from the positions of people l i k e McShine and the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim, i n 1971 there was another type of response to the new avant-garde trends by New York c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s . This reaction was characterized by conservative t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s who argued that the perpetual aesthetic innovation of the previous decade had allowed the 29 " a n t i - b o u r g e o i s " v a l u e s o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l a v a n t - g a r d e movements o f t h e e a r l y - t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t o permeate i n t o A m e r ican c u l t u r e . Some of t h e most v i r u l e n t o f t h e s e a t t a c k s i n t h e e a r l y 1970s came from t h e v e t e r a n New York c r i t i c H i l t o n Kramer who warned t h a t " p o l i t i c s . . . h a s f i n a l l y p e n e t r a t e d t h e New York a r t w o r l d . "91 In a s e r i e s o f a r t i c l e s t h a t he wrote f o r t h e New York Times i n t h e e a r l y 1970s, Kramer blamed t h e new s i t u a t i o n on t h e l i b e r a l s i n New York c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s who p a t r o n i z e d a r t t r e n d s s i m p l y because t h e y were new. In p a r t i c u l a r , Kramer's r e a c t i o n a r y c r i t i c i s m was concerned t o r a l l y s u p p o r t a g a i n s t t h e new, " s u b v e r s i v e " avant-garde t r e n d s which s u p p o s e d l y d e a l t " c r u s h i n g blows t o b o u r g e o i s t a s t e s and v a l u e s . " 9 2 T h i s was t h e n a t u r e o f Kramer's argument i n J a n u a r y o f 1970 when he p l e a d e d t o a l l o f t h o s e New Y o r k e r s who b e l i e v e i n t h e v e r y i d e a o f a r t museums -- i n museums f r e e o f p o l i t i c a l p r e s s u r e s -- t o make our commitments known, t o say l o u d and c l e a r t h a t we w i l l n o t s t a n d f o r t h e p o l i t i c i z a t i o n o f a r t t h a t i s now l o o m i n g as a r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y . 9 3 The c o r r e l a t i o n between t h e a v a n t - g a r d e and t h e breakdown o f t r a d i t i o n s u g g e s t e d i n t h e above passage by Kramer was an i n c r e a s i n g l y common theme not o n l y i n a r t c r i t i c i s m i n t h e e a r l y 1970s, i t a l s o c o l o u r e d a s u b s t a n t i a l amount o f t h e s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m b e i n g w r i t t e n a t t h e t i m e . In p a r t i c u l a r , t h i s theme was t a k e n up by a group o f d i s a f f e c t e d former l i b e r a l s who i n t h e e a r l y 1970s came t o be known as "the n e o c o n s e r v a t i v e s . " 9 4 One o f t h e most 30 i n f l u e n t i a l members o f t h i s group was D a n i e l B e l l . I n a s e r i e s o f a r t i c l e s t h a t began t o appear i n New York based j o u r n a l s Commentary and The Public Interest i n t h e F a l l o f 1970, B e l l blamed t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f a v a n t - g a r d e c u l t u r e i n t o t h e American psyche f o r t h e e r o s i o n o f t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s . Much l i k e Kramer's p a r t i c u l a r c o n f l a t i o n o f a e s t h e t i c s and p o l i t i c s , B e l l e l a b o r a t e d a p o l e m i c t h a t blamed t h e a v a n t - g a r d e f o r t h e contemporary s o c i a l problems of A m e r i c a . H i s c e n t r a l t h e s i s p o s t u l a t e d t h a t t h e "open f i e l d o f v i e w " o f t h e l i b e r a l i d e o l o g y had p r o v i d e d no r e s i s t a n c e t o t h e a v a n t - g a r d e , which he saw as "an a d v e r s a r i a l c u l t u r e " a n t i t h e t i c a l t o t h e maintenance o f a s t a b l e s o c i a l system.95 A c c o r d i n g t o B e l l , t h i s a d v e r s a r i a l c u l t u r e sought t o undermine t h e l e g i t i m a c y o f b o u r g e o i s norms and t h e r e s o u r c e s o f b o u r g e o i s t r a d i t i o n by i n t e g r a t i n g r a d i c a l i d e a s i n t o "the f i e l d s o f manners, m o r a l s , and u l t i m a t e l y p o l i t i c s . "96 B e l l went on t o argue t h a t t h e i n c r e a s e d s o c i a l u n r e s t and d i s a v o w a l o f t r a d i t i o n a l v a l u e s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n t h e 1960s was p r o o f t h a t "the a v a n t - g a r d e [had] won i t s v i c t o r y . " 9 7 Thus, l i k e Kramer and many o f h i s n e o c o n s e r v a t i v e c o l l e a g u e s , B e l l blamed l i b e r a l i s m f o r h a v i n g g i v e n t h e avant-garde (counter) c u l t u r e "a b l a n k check," and sounded t h e s i r e n s o f r e a c t i o n i n an e f f o r t t o s h i p w r e c k t h e i d e o l o g i e s o f b o t h l i b e r a l i s m and a v a n t -g a r d i s m . 98 31 A l t o g e t h e r , i t was a h i g h l y v o l a t i l e time amid the New York c u l t u r a l scene when the Guggenheim Museum began pr e p a r a t i o n s f o r i t s S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l . On one s i d e were cu r a t o r s of major museums, l i k e Kynaston McShine, who were accepting o u t r i g h t the new, more i n t e r n a t i o n a l avant-garde trends w i t h a l a c k of any k i n d of judgement. The only c r i t e r i a employed was that whatever was being i n t e g r a t e d by the c u l t u r e be new and up-to-date. Contrary t o McShine's view, there were people l i k e Kramer and B e l l who were concerned w i t h r e s u s c i t a t i n g a controversy between avant-gardism and t r a d i t i o n a l i s m s i m i l a r t o tha t which was commonplace i n the United States during the l a t e 1940s and i n t o the 1950s. This view c o n f l a t e d the r e l a t i o n between r a d i c a l p o l i t i c s and avant-garde a e s t h e t i c s , and argued t h a t the new a r t trends and t h e i r supporters sought t o subvert the American way of l i f e . In the midst of t h i s maelstrom were the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim Museum, promoting t h e i r I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n a way that would occupy a middle-ground between these p o s i t i o n s . In search of NEA funding, the Museum read the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s c u l t u r a l p o l i c y i n such a way t h a t d i d not a l l o w them to accept the new a r t trends without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . But as an i n s t i t u t i o n of modern a r t , the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the Guggenheim were a l s o concerned not t o dismiss the new avant-garde i n the way c r i t i c s l i k e Kramer were c a l l i n g f o r . In short, the Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s d i d not accept or r e j e c t o u t r i g h t the new avant-garde trends. 32 Instead they attempted t o engage these new trends by r e s t r u c t u r i n g them t o make them c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s . As part of t h i s e f f o r t , the Museum o f f i c i a l s argued t h a t the challenges of avant-garde a r t were confined to the a e s t h e t i c realm. This message was made e x p l i c i t i n the I n t e r n a t i o n a l ' s catalogue where Diane Waldman argued that whatever r a d i c a l q u a l i t i e s the new avant-garde a r t might have were e x c l u s i v e l y confined t o the a e s t h e t i c realm and d i r e c t e d only towards a t t a c k i n g preceding a r t trends: The challenge to the system, however, i s only symptomatic: the r e a l a s s a u l t i s based upon the need t o question previous a r t s t y l e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y those that d i r e c t l y preceded them, and t o propose a r a d i c a l break wi t h t r a d i t i o n . 9 9 Waldman's view was e s s e n t i a l l y the same as Messer's whenever he had occasion t o d i s c u s s the avant-garde. In a 1969 a r t i c l e t i t l e d "Impossible A r t — Why I t I s ? " Messer defended the avant-garde as f o l l o w s : Subversiveness i n the c r e a t i v e sense, however, has l i t t l e t o do w i t h r e v o l u t i o n a r y intentions and a great deal w i t h the for m u l a t i o n and m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n of ideas powerful enough t o challenge — through their mere existence — p r e v a i l i n g assumptions.100 Messer's way of t h i n k i n g about the pro g r e s s i o n of avant-garde a r t as a proce s s i o n of modes succeeding or c r i t i q u i n g what came before was s i m i l a r t o t h a t promoted by the community of c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n New York dur i n g the 1950s and e a r l y 1960s.101 But the p a r t i c u l a r type of language t h a t Messer uses t o desc r i b e the p r o j e c t of the 33 avant-garde has the same romantic tone t h a t appears i n the w r i t i n g s of l i b e r a l f o r m a l i s t s l i k e Clement Greenberg. According t o Greenberg, at the time s t i l l regarded by Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s as a sovereign a u t h o r i t y i n matters of a e s t h e t i c judgement, the avant-garde had " c o n s i s t e d from the f i r s t i n devotion to standards, to the highest l e v e l of achievement, r e g a r d l e s s of n o n - a r t i s t i c consequences."102 I t i s the word "achievement" by which Greenberg's argument f o r the avant-garde, and by extension that of the Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s , can best be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from t h a t of c r i t i c s l i k e McShine. I f McShine's n o t i o n of the avant-garde encumbered him w i t h the anguish of having t o unceasingly f i n d something new and novel, then Greenberg's idea of the avant-garde burdened him w i t h the task of having to p e r p e t u a l l y f i n d what was best. In short, r a t h e r than "what comes l a t e r , " t h i s l a t t e r n o t i o n of the avant-garde sought "what i s b e t t e r . " For Greenberg then the avant-garde, "regardless of n o n - a r t i s t i c consequences," functioned as the standard bearer of culture.103 However, the e f f o r t s of the organizers of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l t o chart a f i n e l i n e between the s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n s of people l i k e McShine and Kramer were thrown o f f balance as a r e s u l t of a s e r i e s of events which took place the day before the e x h i b i t i o n was t o open. Suddenly the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim found themselves i n the r a t h e r awkward p o s i t i o n of t r y i n g t o negotiate w i t h the French a r t i s t D a n i e l Buren f o r permission to modify h i s 34 i n s t a l l a t i o n f o r the show. These n e g o t i a t i o n s concluded w i t h Buren's r e f u s a l t o grant permission f o r h i s piece t o be a l t e r e d i n any way, and the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the Guggenheim's d e c i s i o n t o censor h i s work. The censorship was p a r t i c u l a r l y curious c o n s i d e r i n g that the organizers of the e x h i b i t i o n had p r e v i o u s l y f u l l y approved of Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n which he had described to them i n de t a i l . 1 0 4 The p a r a d o x i c a l nature of the Guggenheim's d e c i s i o n was f u r t h e r emphasized by the o f f i c i a l e x p lanation provided by the Museum f o r i t s sudden d e c i s i o n to remove Buren's work. According t o the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim, Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n was " i n d i r e c t c o n f l i c t with the work of other a r t i s t s i n the e x h i b i t i o n . " 1 0 5 Thus, f o r example, f o l l o w i n g the removal of Buren's work Messer answered the question of why the censorship took place by c i t i n g the i n t e r e s t s of the other a r t i s t s : I t h i n k that i n h i s e f f o r t to upstage, which may or may have not been d e l i b e r a t e , he created a c r i s i s t h a t could only be res o l v e d i n co-operation among a r t i s t s and c u r a t o r i a l s t a f f , or by the e l i m i n a t i o n of the t r e s p a s s i n g piece.106 The i r o n y of Messer's explanation i s revealed when we consider t h a t the vast m a j o r i t y of the other a r t i s t s i n the e x h i b i t i o n disagreed w i t h the Museum's a c t i o n s . A p e t i t i o n p r o t e s t i n g the censorship was immediately c i r c u l a t e d and signed by a l l but f i v e of the twenty-one a r t i s t s i n the Int e r n a t i o n a l . 1 0 7 35 What was the nature of the c o n f l i c t t h a t caused the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the Museum to suddenly f i n d Buren so o f f e n s i v e ? As we s h a l l see i n the f o l l o w i n g chapter, the abrupt censorship of Buren had more to do w i t h the Guggenheim Museum's e f f o r t s t o p r o t e c t t h e i r I n t e r n a t i o n a l avant-garde show from d r i f t i n g i n t o the midst of the avant-g a r d i s t - t r a d i t i o n a l i s t controversy t h a t was beginning to f l a r e up again i n New York, than w i t h the complaints of other a r t i s t s . 1 0 8 However to p r o p e r l y understand what brought t h i s deeper c u l t u r a l c o n f l i c t to the surface we need to examine the ways i n which Buren's work and t h a t of the a r t i s t s who took issue with i t are s u p e r f i c i a l l y s i m i l a r , yet c r u c i a l l y at odds. 36 CHAPTER I I I C o n f l i c t , Censorship and C r i t i c a l Censure [In the case of Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n ] the limits of what was acceptable were exceeded. At that point...the tacitly existing rules had to be re-invoked. ... Tt was a commonsense assumption that certain restraints have to be operative in order to assure the freedom of action of all those concerned. Thomas M. Messer 109 Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n at the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l was yet another m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the same motif t h a t he had used t o analyze the nature of p a i n t i n g and of the p o l i t i c s of c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s f o r the preceding f i v e years. This i n s t a l l a t i o n c o n s i s t e d of an ensemble of two nea r l y i d e n t i c a l pieces of cotton canvas woven i n a l t e r n a t e v e r t i c a l s t r i p e s of blue and white. Each s t r i p e was 8.7 centimeters wide, and the two white s t r i p e s on the edges of both side s of each canvas were coated w i t h white p a i n t . The f i r s t canvas was 1.5 meters high by 10 meters wide and hung across 88th S t r e e t . The canvas s t r e t c h e d between the Museum on Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue t o the opposite side of 88th S t r e e t . The second was 20 meters high and 10 meters wide, suspended i n the a x i s of the Museum's c e n t r a l shaft ( f i g s . 6 - 7 ) . This huge canvas spanned from j u s t below the Museum's s k y l i g h t , down the depth of the c e n t r a l w e l l of the s p i r a l i n g g a l l e r i e s , to a p o i n t s e v e r a l yards above the floor.110 J 37 Suspended as banners, both the verso and the r e c t o of each canvas were i n t e g r a l p a r t s of the whole. Since the s t r i p e s of white p a i n t which Buren a p p l i e d t o each s i d e of the two canvases d i d not conceal the u n d e r l y i n g blue and white motif woven i n t o the f a b r i c by the manufacturer, the p a i n t i n g s themselves revealed t h e i r own processes. Thus, the work emphasized the canvas and the p a i n t i n g , both l i n k e d yet d i f f e r e n t , and addressed the simultaneous process of the death of the canvas and the b i r t h of a p a i n t i n g which occurs when p a i n t i s a p p l i e d . The two p a i n t i n g s d i d not employ the t r a d i t i o n a l wooden support which s t r e t c h e s the canvas, and i n s t e a d used t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r context as a s u p p o r t / s t r e t c h e r : two c i t y b u i l d i n g s o u t s i d e , the museum s k y l i g h t i n s i d e . In t h i s way, the s u p p o r t / s t r e t c h e r was not, as i s u s u a l l y the case, concealed. Rather, i t was p l a i n l y exposed. Suspended as they were from t h e i r surroundings, w i t h the absence of the frame which t r a d i t i o n a l l y encloses the margins of the canvas, both p a i n t i n g s addressed t h e i r context i n an open and unambiguous way. Buren was a c u t e l y aware of the problems inherent t o e x h i b i t i n g a p i e c e i n the Guggenheim Museum. His awareness was i n c l u s i v e of the contextual d i f f i c u l t i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y those of the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l f u n c t i o n of the a r c h i t e c t u r e i t s e l f . The a r c h i t e c t u r a l forces i n the i n t e r i o r of Wright's b u i l d i n g are so powerful t h a t they tend t o reduce whatever i s i n s t a l l e d i n the g a l l e r y space t o mere de c o r a t i v e 38 embellishments, which i n t u r n corresponds t o the b u i l d i n g ' s u l t i m a t e g o a l . I l l For i t i s evident t h a t the Museum was designed l e s s t o d i s p l a y p a r t i c u l a r a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s than, through i t s very s i z e and a r c h i t e c t u r a l dynamics, t o prevent anything i n s t a l l e d w i t h i n i t from d e t r a c t i n g from the uniqueness of the a r c h i t e c t ' s own project.112 The means by which the a r c h i t e c t u r e of the Guggenheim Museum overpowers whatever i s i n s t a l l e d w i t h i n i t i s t h r e e f o l d . F i r s t , the Museum i s c o n s t r u c t e d along an extended s p i r a l ramp which does not f a c i l l i t a t e separate viewing spaces f o r i n d i v i d u a l artworks the way most museums do. The works i n s t a l l e d i n t h i s b u i l d i n g are not s p a c i a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from each other; i n s t e a d they are f o r c e d i n t o comparison w i t h other works which are o f t e n not comparable. As a r e s u l t , the confusing jumble of signs produced by a group show i n t h i s Museum renders the s p e c t a c u l a r b u i l d i n g i t s e l f the most s i g n i f i c a n t artwork. In t h i s sense, Wright may have been f u n c t i o n i n g as a j b r i c o l e u r when he designed t h i s b u i l d i n g , a p p r o p r i a t i n g every e x h i b i t i o n t h a t took p l a c e w i t h i n i t , as w e l l as e r a s i n g or s u b v e r t i n g the o r i g i n a l meanings of the works placed on i t s premises.113 Second, the a r c h i t e c t u r a l form i s e s s e n t i a l l y d i c t a t o r i a l i n nature. The s i n g u l a r 7-story-high s p i r a l ramp allows the viewer no r e a l choice as t o how he or she w i l l view the works. Therefore Museum or g a n i z e r s are s i g n i f i c a n t l y empowered to o r c h e s t r a t e or otherwise c o n s t r u c t n a r r a t i v e from the works on e x h i b i t i o n . Just as a 39 motion p i c t u r e f o r c e s a p a r t i c u l a r s e q u e n t i a l p e r c e p t i o n , the s l o p i n g ramp of the Guggenheim Museum determines the viewer's path and e s t a b l i s h e s the e x h i b i t i o n as an absolute narrative.114 T h i r d , the Museum i s i t s e l f a s p e c t a c l e . Those works on e x h i b i t are i n constant competition with the grandeur of the omni-present gaping vortex. This e f f e c t i s a m p l i f i e d by the s p i r a l l i n g ramps, which, l i k e the c u r v i l i n e a r motion of a w h i r l p o o l t h a t i s d i r e c t e d toward the center of the a x i s of r o t a t i o n , a t t r a c t the viewer's eye inward toward the v o i d where the b u i l d i n g c e l e b r a t e s i t s e l f . The b u i l d i n g ' s c e n t r i p e t a l f o r c e s draw the viewer's a t t e n t i o n away from what i s i n s t a l l e d i n i t s g a l l e r y spaces, and render those i n s t a l l a t i o n s , whether they be p a i n t i n g s , s c u l p t u r e s , or other o b j e c t s , ambient and confined t o the f r i n g e s of the impe r i o u s l y grand experience o f f e r e d by the i n t e r i o r of the build i n g . 1 1 5 By i n s t a l l i n g one of h i s huge p a i n t i n g s i n the center w e l l of the Museum, Buren tapped i n t o the s t r u c t u r a l flow of the Museum's a r c h i t e c t u r e and prevented h i s work from being overpowered by the a r c h i t e c t u r a l plan of the b u i l d i n g . P l a c e d i n the center of the Museum, the l a r g e p a i n t i n g emphasized the pomposity of the space. As such, Buren e f f e c t i v e l y detoured Wright's attempt t o prevent h i s masterpiece from being surpassed by anything i n s t a l l e d w i t h i n i t . 116 From the bottom f l o o r of the Museum and a l l seven l e v e l s of the ramp, Buren's work was p e r s i s t e n t l y i n 40 the s p e c t a t o r ' s f i e l d of view. Consequently, the tendency of the Museum's a r c h i t e c t u r e t o dominate whatever was w i t h i n i t was simultaneously accentuated and exposed. The magnetic q u a l i t y of the p a i n t i n g i n the c e n t r a l space a l s o exposed the f u t i l i t y of those works that neglected t o take the dynamics of the a r c h i t e c t u r e i n t o account. Confronted w i t h a c r i t i q u e which p o w e r f u l l y e x p l o i t e d the dynamics of the Guggenheim's s t r u c t u r e and revealed the inadequacy of other works that had not f u l l y considered the Museum's unique p l a n , some of the a r t i s t s i n v o l v e d i n the I n t e r n a t i o n a l reacted adversely to Buren's p a i n t i n g . Instead of conceding the shortcomings of t h e i r own works which had u n c r i t i c a l l y submitted themselves to the sp e c t a c u l a r a r c h i t e c t u r e of Wright's b u i l d i n g , s e v e r a l a r t i s t s i n the I n t e r n a t i o n a l complained to the Museum's o f f i c i a l s that Buren's huge blue and white s t r i p e d f a b r i c v i s u a l l y compromised t h e i r own i n s t a l l a t i o n s . But the accusation t h a t Buren's work v i s u a l l y o b s tructed t h e i r own was, i n the main, f a l s e . Michael Heizer's complaint provides a good case i n p o i n t . His i n s t a l l a t i o n , t i t l e d Actual Size ( f i g . 8 ) , c o n s i s t e d . of a p r o j e c t e d photographic s l i d e of an a e s t h e t i c a l t e r a t i o n of the n a t u r a l landscape: a rock, measuring twenty-three by seventeen by t h i r t y - f i v e f e e t , w i t h a human f i g u r e standing i n f r o n t of i t . In order f o r the p r o j e c t i o n t o f u n c t i o n p r o p e r l y , Heizer's d i s p l a y n e c e s s i t a t e d a darkened s i t e . I t was thus set up i n the Museum's High G a l l e r y , an enclosed 41 viewing space on the top f l o o r of the Guggenheim. Since Heizer's i n s t a l l a t i o n was i s o l a t e d i n a room separate from the space i n which Buren's p a i n t i n g was d i s p l a y e d , h i s complaint regarding Buren's work was c l e a r l y not based on v i s u a l compromise, but rather on the f a c t t h a t Buren's work was overshadowing h i s , both i n t e l l e c t u a l l y and symbolically.117 In f a c t , Dan F l a v i n was the only a r t i s t t o p r o t e s t Buren's work with a somewhat l o g i c a l complaint. His u n t i t l e d i n s t a l l a t i o n c o n s i s t e d of a system of 32 f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t f i x t u r e s (fig.10).118 Sixteen of these were f i t t e d w ith white bulbs each 24 inches i n length ; the other 16 were f i t t e d w i t h coloured bulbs (4 each of pink, green, yellow and blue) each 96 inches i n length. F l a v i n chose 9 niches, or g a l l e r i e s , the e n t i r e s i x t h ramp of the Museum, f o r h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n . Through a s t r a t e g i c arrangement of the f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t f i x t u r e s , he constructed a k i n d of l i g h t s c u l p t u r e which e x p l i c i t l y adapted t o the Guggenheim Museum's a r c h i t e c t u r a l d e t a i l i n g by foc u s i n g l i g h t from the le a d i n g edges of the upright w a l l s s e p a r a t i n g the niches and throwing i t inward. The cool blue and green l i g h t s i n s t a l l e d a l t e r n a t e l y i n s i d e the niches mixed wi t h the warm yellow, pink and white l i g h t s placed on the p r o t r u d i n g w a l l s which p a r t i t i o n e d the g a l l e r i e s . The synt h e s i s of r a d i a t i n g l i g h t thereby j o i n e d each niche with those adjacent t o i t and combined t o produce a lar g e m u l t i c o l o u r e d arrangement, which transformed the white w a l l s of Wright's a r c h i t e c t u r e . Due to 42 the sheer expanse of F l a v i n ' s i n s t a l l a t i o n , then, Buren's banner suspended i n the c e n t r a l w e l l of the b u i l d i n g would have obscured some of i t s vantage p o i n t s . Of course, F l a v i n ' s i n s t a l l a t i o n i t s e l f f looded a vast expanse of space wi t h emanating coloured l i g h t and compromised i t s surroundings, i n c l u d i n g Buren's p a i n t i n g suspended from the b u i l d i n g ' s dome. Therefore the same o b j e c t i o n s which F l a v i n expressed about Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n c o uld have been l e v e l l e d against h i s own work. C l e a r l y there was something other than a case of v i s u a l o b s t r u c t i o n t h a t was at the root of the o b j e c t i o n s to Buren's work. That Museum o f f i c i a l s should have s i d e d so s w i f t l y against Buren only compounds the enigmatic character of the controversy. For a f u l l and cogent a n a l y s i s of the s i t u a t i o n , we w i l l now t u r n our a t t e n t i o n t o the a r t i s t i c b iographies of Buren and h i s c h i e f antagonist F l a v i n and the i n t e l l e c t u a l and a e s t h e t i c h i s t o r i e s that gave r i s e t o t h e i r work. A l l the whi l e , however, we should not l o s e s i g h t of the Guggenheim's p o l i t i c a l r o l e as mediator of t h i s curious debacle.119 The type of c r i t i q u e that F l a v i n performs w i t h h i s a r t work has i t s foundations i n the post-Greenbergian t h e o r i e s which proceeded from the fragmentation of American formalism as i t d e r i v e s from the Modernist paradigm. 120 By the e a r l y 1960s the hegemony which Greenberg's p o s i t i o n had a t t a i n e d i n New York a r t c i r c l e s i n the postwar p e r i o d was i n d e c l i n e . This was due i n part t o what I w i l l r e f e r t o as a 43 new a r t i c u l a t i o n of a r t - f o r - a r t ' s - s a k e . Greenberg's i d e a l i s t type of argument f o r the avant-garde was being challenged by a much more p o s i t i v i s t , t a u t o l o g i c a l t h e o r i z a t i o n of a r t -f o r - a r t ' s - s a k e i n American a r t c r i t i c i s m . As noted above, Greenberg had i d e a l i z e d the avant-garde a r t i s t as a h e r o i c f i g u r e whose r o l e was to p r o t e c t high a r t from mass c u l t u r e by c o n t i n u a l l y c h a l l e n g i n g the achievements of i t s high a r t predecessors. The new conception of the a r t i s t emerging i n the l a t e 1950s i n v o l v e d a d i s m i s s a l of the more h i s t o r i c a l l y prominent myth of the a r t i s t and i t s c e n t r a l i t y t o avant-garde thought. Instead, t h i s new conception was a p o s i t i n g of the a r t i s t as a c o o l , r a t i o n a l expert (e.g., Frank S t e l l a ) who d i d not seek to p r o t e c t high a r t as much as solve a e s t h e t i c problems. This new concept was propagated by, among others, Donald Judd who was t r a i n e d i n philosophy at Columbia U n i v e r s i t y i n the e a r l y 1950s when American pragmatism was dominant.121 One of the outcomes of t h i s new type of f o r m a l i s t a r t c r i t i c i s m was t h a t by 1959 Judd had emerged as a powerful and w e l l - r e s p e c t e d voice i n a r t w r i t i n g c i r c l e s , w ith a r e g u l a r column, f i r s t i n A r t News and then i n A r t s Magazine. Judd's w r i t i n g s and a r t pr o d u c t i o n , which i n l a r g e part provided the foundation f o r what came to be c a l l e d Minimal a r t , were c r u c i a l i n promulgating the idea t h a t Greenberg's a e s t h e t i c s had run t h e i r course. Greenberg's i d e a l i s m forwarded the b e l i e f t h a t the Modernist artwork was a locus f o r the u n i t y of m a t e r i a l object and a e s t h e t i c a l s u b j e c t . By 44 t h i s he meant tha t the object i t s e l f , standing apart on a pe d e s t a l or as pure a r t , was the s u b j e c t . Judd moved away from t h i s argument t o propound an a e s t h e t i c wherein the ob j e c t ' s i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s had been e l i m i n a t e d a l t o g e t h e r . I f up t o t h i s p o i n t Modernist a n a l y s i s had e n t a i l e d emphasizing the a r t object's formal essence or c a t e g o r i c a l being, then Judd's work fragmented the centered Modernist a r t object and focused i n s t e a d on the conventional l i m i t s of a r t . This type of fragmentation was accomplished through the employment of p r e f a b r i c a t e d i n d u s t r i a l m a t e r i a l s and the e l i m i n a t i o n of a r t i f i c i a l l y - v a l u e d s k i l l s t h a t t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n i m p l i e d , as w e l l as by the frequent use of a simple s t r u c t u r a l r e p e t i t i o n or s e r i a l p r i n c i p l e which repeated a p a t t e r n that d i d not b u i l d . During the e a r l y 1960s Judd's a r t c r i t i c i s m and h i s work was a major i n f l u e n c e on many of the newly emerging New York a r t i s t s , i n c l u d i n g F l a v i n . The c o n t i n u a t i o n of the type of formalism t h a t Judd t y p i f i e s i s manifested i n F l a v i n ' s work i n v a r i o u s ways. For inst a n c e , F l a v i n ' s use of h i s t o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c products of mass f a b r i c a t i o n had i t s foundation i n Judd's argument t h a t p r e f a b r i c a t e d m a t e r i a l s were a b s o l u t e l y n e u t r a l and that any artworks produced using these m a t e r i a l s would have elements of co n s i s t e n c y and s t a b i l i t y i n a way th a t a l l previous p l a s t i c a r t s had presumably lacked. Furthermore, l i k e Judd, F l a v i n a l s o dismissed the idea of an avant-garde. F l a v i n made t h i s e x p l i c i t l y c l e a r i n a 1966 a r t i c l e t i t l e d "some 45 remarks...excerpts from a s p l e e n i s h j o u r n a l , " where he wrote th a t The term 'avant-garde' ought t o be r e s t o r e d t o the French Army where i t s manic sense of f u t i l i t y p r o p i t i o u s l y belongs. I t does not apply t o any American a r t t h a t I know about.122 F l a v i n ' s r e j e c t i o n of the term avant-garde i s not s u r p r i s i n g s i n c e i t i s c o n s i s t e n t with Judd's r e j e c t i o n of the v e s t i g i a l romanticism i n the Greenbergian view of the avant-garde t h a t had come t o dominate i n post-war America, and the subsequent development of a purp o r t e d l y n e u t r a l view of the a r t object o u t l i n e d above. F l a v i n took the t h e o r e t i c a l background t h a t he acquired from c r i t i c s l i k e Judd and developed i t toward a type of p r o t o - c o n c e p t u a l i s t c r i t i q u e whereby the artwork began to take precedence over the a r t o b j e c t . For Judd there had always been an element of c r e a t i v e expression i n p i c k i n g up a telephone and ordering objects t o be b u i l t t o h i s p a r t i c u l a r s p e c i f i c a t i o n s . F l a v i n went even f u r t h e r i n e l i m i n a t i n g s i g n i f i c a n t decision-making from the process of production by c o n s i s t e n t l y using the same medium i n h i s work. As such, h i s formal e v o l u t i o n completely stopped i n 1962 when he began to use ready-made f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t f i x t u r e s . The f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t f i x t u r e s which he used i n h i s work were not a l t e r e d i n any way, and i n s t e a d remained i d e n t i c a l w i t h m i l l i o n s of other a r t i c l e s produced by the same f a c t o r y . 46 With F l a v i n ' s work, however, the type of formalism developed by Judd began to take a p e c u l i a r t u r n i n t h a t the a r c h i t e c t u r a l context was i n t e g r a t e d i n t o the artwork's c o n s t i t u t i v e elements and the artwork was thereby r e d e f i n e d i n terms of place and time. Indeed, i t was with t h i s p r a c t i c e of s i t e s p e c i f i c i t y t hat the centered (Modernist) a r t o b ject became completely fragmented. The object thus ceased t o be the locus of meaning and l o s t i t s e x c l u s i v e c l a i m t o being the subject. Since the work only e x i s t e d i n the l o c a t i o n i n which F l a v i n set i t up and only f o r as long as the organized e x h i b i t i o n l a s t e d , meaning came to be h o l i s t i c a l l y c o n s t i t u t e d by the t r i a d of o b j e c t , s i t e and spectator.123 In a d d i t i o n , the la c k of a coherent object i n h i s work was f u r t h e r emphasized by the f a c t t h a t the f i x t u r e s which he employed f o r h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n s were u s u a l l y rented and would be dispersed a f t e r t h e i r use i n a show. A l l of these elements were present i n F l a v i n ' s work at the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . The i n t e g r a t i o n of a r c h i t e c t u r a l references i n t o the work made a p o i n t about the contingency of the a r t ob j e c t ' s r e l a t i o n to space. The same medium of f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t f i x t u r e s was used and the f i x t u r e s were c a r e f u l l y arranged on the w a l l as the surrounding a r c h i t e c t u r e was at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t s set up i n the niches and on the p r o t r u d i n g w a l l s of the niches e f f e c t i v e l y imposed another order on the s i t e as they replaced the 47 l i t e r a l space w i t h a perceptual or an a e s t h e t i c space. This e f f e c t was l u c i d l y noted by a c r i t i c r eviewing the I n t e r n a t i o n a l : An e l a b o r a t e l i g h t piece by Dan F l a v i n flooded- Frank L l o y d Wright's e x h i b i t i o n spaces wi t h washes of pure c o l o u r i n such a way that j u s t f o r t h i s once the space became the p i c t u r e and no p i c t u r e had to be added.124 Hence, the a n a l y s i s p o s i t e d i n F l a v i n ' s work suggests th a t a r t can be seen as a f o r m a l i s t i n v e s t i g a t i o n superceding the m a t e r i a l requirements of the a r t ob j e c t . In t h i s sense, F l a v i n ' s work p o s i t s conceptualism as an i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n hyperformalism, an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of what c o n s t i t u t e s the idea of the a r t object. Moreover, si n c e i t was not so much the s p e c i f i c s i t e as the a r t i s t ' s placement of the work i n the s i t e t h a t concerned F l a v i n , when the need arose he co u l d e a s i l y formulate h i s c r i t i q u e i n v i r t u a l l y any i n t e r i o r , or almost anywhere i n that i n t e r i o r . This aspect of F l a v i n ' s work was made p a r t i c u l a r l y c l e a r three days before the I n t e r n a t i o n a l was scheduled t o open. When the Museum asked him to change h i s plan t o e x h i b i t i n the High G a l l e r y so that Michael Heizer could set up h i s s l i d e d i s p l a y t h e r e , F l a v i n had no o b j e c t i o n s . A l l t h a t was e s s e n t i a l t o i t s s i t e s p e c i f i c i t y was tha t i t not be a f f i x e d t o the c e i l i n g where i t would assume the standard f u n c t i o n and more mundane a e s t h e t i c . Therefore F l a v i n ' s work c e l e b r a t e d n e i t h e r the space i n which i t was i n s t a l l e d , nor the o b j e c t s out of which i t was made, but r a t h e r the a r t i s t ' s own inventiveness: the a r t i s t ' s own " c r e a t i v e genius." Buren's c r i t i q u e was i n marked c o n t r a s t t o F l a v i n ' s artwork. The extreme contextualism of Buren's work was h i g h l i g h t e d j u s t p r i o r to i t s censorship. When the organ i z e r s of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l requested t h a t he "execute another work f o r the e x h i b i t i o n , " or that he "hang j u s t the outdoor part of the two-part p l a n , " Buren refused on the grounds th a t any m o d i f i c a t i o n would m u t i l a t e h i s work.125 C l e a r l y , then, Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n was much more c o n t e x t u a l l y s p e c i f i c than that of h i s American counterpart. So s p e c i f i c , i n f a c t , that the banner i n s i d e the Museum would n e i t h e r f u n c t i o n nor f i t i n any other museum or e x h i b i t i o n . L i k e F l a v i n ' s , Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n a l s o used p r e f a b r i c a t e d m a t e r i a l s , and i t s s i t e s p e c i f i c i t y a l s o prevented i t from l a t e r being s o l d i n i t s o r i g i n a l form. Therefore at a s u p e r f i c i a l l e v e l there was an overlap between t h e i r works. But while both i n s t a l l a t i o n s were made to be s i t e s p e c i f i c , f o r F l a v i n the idea t h a t the s i t e was i n any way s p e c i f i c other than i n a formal sense was excluded. This e x c l u s i o n marked h i s work as a f o r m a l i s t end-p o i n t . For Buren, on the other hand, the extreme s p e c i f i c i t y of the work which he employed at the I n t e r n a t i o n a l served s e v e r a l f u n c t i o n s which took h i s p a i n t i n g s beyond formal problems. 49 S i m i l a r t o F l a v i n who c o n s i s t e n t l y used the same pa t t e r n of s t r i p s of f l u o r e s c e n t l i g h t , Buren repeated the same motif of p r e f a b r i c a t e d banners with a l t e r n a t i n g blue and white v e r t i c a l s t r i p e s whenever and wherever he was asked to e x h i b i t . However, the r a t i o n a l e behind Buren's disavowal of formal e v o l u t i o n was s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from F l a v i n ' s . In the l a t e 1960s, Buren e x p l a i n e d the purpose of h i s use of systematic r e p e t i t i o n as s e r v i n g not only to e l i m i n a t e "the concept of progress or p e r f e c t i b i l i t y " from h i s work, but a l s o t o a t t a i n the " t o t a l d e p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n of the t h i n g on d i s p l a y " by negating a l l " o r i g i n a l i t y . " 1 2 6 "The object's q u a l i t y of being a unique work," would thus be e f f e c t i v e l y and permanently removed.127 According to Buren, these f u n c t i o n s were necessary complements of h i s i n t e r r o g a t i o n of form — an i n t e r r o g a t i o n aimed at a c h i e v i n g a " n e u t r a l form."128 Un l i k e the roots of American pragmatism evident i n F l a v i n ' s work, the i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r y of Buren's c r i t i q u e , which engages i n a very p a r t i c u l a r way w i t h the very s t r u c t u r e of the c u l t u r a l apparatus i t s e l f , i s l o c a t e d i n a h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l i s t c r i t i q u e of c u l t u r e as a r e i f y i n g and l e g i t i m i z i n g device. This was p a r t of an idea which had been developing i n European c u l t u r a l c r i t i c i s m s i n c e the e a r l y 1950s, and which by the 1960s had c r y s t a l l i z e d i n t o a c r i t i q u e of Western c u l t u r e as a whole. A v i t a l p a r t of t h i s c r i t i q u e was d e r i v e d from the d i s c u s s i o n s of the i d e o l o g i c a l content of language i n French i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s which 50 f o l l o w e d the p u b l i c a t i o n of Roland Barthes' Writing Degree Zero (1953) and Mythologies (1957).129 The broad p a r a l l e l s between Buren's i n v e s t i g a t i o n s of form and the e a r l y w r i t i n g s of Barthes r e v e a l the l a r g e impact which the French c u l t u r a l c r i t i c had on the t h e o r e t i c a l development of Buren's work.130 This i n f l u e n c e i s underscored i n Buren's t h e o r e t i c a l t e x t "Beware" (1969) where he maintains that h i s e f f o r t t o achieve a n e u t r a l form was n e i t h e r f o r m a l i s t nor an end i n i t s e l f , but r a t h e r a means by which to reach a zero degree of form at which poi n t formal concerns become a secondary issue.131 In a 1968 i n t e r v i e w w i t h the French a r t c r i t i c Andre Parinaud, Buren answered the question of why he pursued the zero degree of form by expressing a d e s i r e t o open something f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n t h a t could be pushed f u r t h e r than the zero degree: I ' l l push i t f u r t h e r . I b e l i e v e we are the only ones to be able t o c l a i m the r i g h t of being "looked a t , " i n the sense t h a t we are the only ones to present a t h i n g which has no d i d a c t i c i n t e n t i o n , which does not provide "dreams," which i s not a " s t i m u l a n t . " Each i n d i v i d u a l can dream himse l f , and without doubt much b e t t e r than by the t r i c k e r y of an a r t i s t , however great he may be.... Perhaps the only t h i n g t h a t one can do a f t e r having seen a canvas l i k e ours i s t o t a l revolution.132 With the evacuation of a l l subject matter, formal changes, modes of expression and p i c t o r i a l language from the i n t e r i o r space of h i s p a i n t i n g s , the only subject t h a t they could have was the problematics of t h e i r own d i s p l a y . This would t h e r e f o r e t u r n the d i s c u s s i o n towards the un d e r l y i n g m i l i e u , 51 towards the context i n which the p a i n t i n g was witnessed. At that p o i n t , a l l the work could do was r e f l e c t upon i t s own inadequacy as a r t , while emphasizing the enormous discrepancy between i t s i n t e r i o r and i t s i n s t i t u t i o n a l context. As such, the work functioned as an i n t e r r o g a t i o n of the means by which the a r t system imbued the i n t e r i o r of artworks w i t h value. Simultaneous w i t h t h i s i n t e r r o g a t i o n was an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the h i s t o r i c a l , p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and i d e o l o g i c a l dynamics of t h i s process. In a d d i t i o n , by u t i l i z i n g the Museum e x t e r i o r i t s e l f , i n t h i s case by suspending a banner across 88th S t r e e t , Buren sought t o manifest the c o n t r a d i c t i o n between works that were v i r t u a l l y i d e n t i c a l yet d i f f e r e n t on account of t h e i r s p e c i f i c s i t e . The v a l i d a t i n g r o l e of the museum was thus revealed as necessary f o r the very e x i s t e n c e of a r t . A l s o exposed was the museum's p o l i t i c a l f u n c t i o n as a frame which, as Buren notes i n "Function of the Museum" (1970) , " s e l e c t s , c o l l e c t s , [and] p r o t e c t s " only what the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s f i n d appropriate.133 Buren's ensemble turned the d i s c u s s i o n away from the a n t i - d i a l e c t i c a l i d e a l i s m i m p l i c i t i n the t r a d i t i o n a l work of a r t i n the d i r e c t i o n of an exaggerated s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s of the r o l e t h a t the i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t a i n e r of a r t p l a y s i n endowing w i t h an aura what i s placed w i t h i n i t s domain. 134 As such, the c r i t i q u e had s e v e r a l aspects. By exposing the c o n d i t i o n of a r t as a h i g h l y dependent phenomenon, i t was c l e a r l y an attempt to c r i t i c i z e the a r t p r a c t i c e of people 52 l i k e F l a v i n who maintained the idea of t h e i r work's uniqueness and of t h e i r own o r i g i n a l i t y . But by r e v e a l i n g the u n d e r l y i n g r e a l i t y of the museum as a h i s t o r i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s e r v i n g p o l i t i c a l , economic, and i d e o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n s , the myth which p o s i t s the museum as " n a t u r a l " was challenged.135 Apart from the alignment w i t h Barthes, Buren's c r i t i q u e a l i g n e d i t s e l f w i t h the growing awareness i n 1960s French c u l t u r a l thought concerning the e f f e c t which the l e g i t i m a t i o n of a r t by the dominant c u l t u r a l apparatus had not only on the rece p t i o n of artworks but a l s o on t h e i r a c t u a l production.136 The r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t there e x i s t e d a connection between an enormous domination on the m a t e r i a l plane, and a domination on the i n t e l l e c t u a l plane, was part of the idea of the i n c r e a s i n g l y " s p e c t a c u l a r " nature of l a t e c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y put forward by the c o u n t e r - c u l t u r a l group of predominantly neo-Marxist t h e o r i s t s known as the S i t u a t i o n i s t s . 1 3 7 The S i t u a t i o n i s t s , who from 1962 were e x c l u s i v e l y centered i n P a r i s , devoted many of t h e i r s t u d i e s t o the e l a b o r a t i o n of a c r i t i c a l theory which sought t o e x p l a i n the manner i n which c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y f u n c t i o n s t o e r a d i c a t e " a l l the o l d v a l u e s . . . a l l the frames of reference of past communication," so as t o replace them w i t h a new r e a l i t y i n which consumption of commodities becomes the c h i e f b a s i s of the s o c i a l order.138 The new "consumer s o c i e t y , " according to the S i t u a t i o n i s t s ' theory of the s p e c t a c l e , f u n c t i o n e d to 53 m a r g i n a l i z e i t s members on the one hand, and confine them to merely reproducing the e x i s t i n g order on the other. In other words, the a l i e n a t i o n of commodity s o c i e t y reduced i n d i v i d u a l s t o seeking f u l f i l m e n t i n consumption and thus p e r p e t u a l l y r e p l i c a t i n g t h e i r own f a l s e consciousness.139 For the S i t u a t i o n i s t s , the r o l e of c u l t u r e i n the new s p e c t a c u l a r s o c i e t y was to c o l l a p s e the s o c i a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n s of c a p i t a l i s m by transforming a l l genuine experience i n t o commodities. Their p r o j e c t c o n t r i b u t e d i n l a r g e p a r t t o the i n c r e a s i n g l y s k e p t i c a l view of a r t that was developing i n the European c u l t u r a l m i l i e u during the 1960s. Since a r t which dominated the market was t h e o r i z e d as i n e v i t a b l y having a powerful i n f l u e n c e on the c r i t i c a l i n t e l l e c t of the a r t producer, i t t h e r e f o r e seemed l i k e l y t h a t a r t i s t s c ould only produce works appropriate to the c u l t u r e industry.140 As a response to the increased comprehension of the f u n c t i o n of c u l t u r e i n l a t e c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y , the S i t u a t i o n i s t s pronounced the death of a r t and argued that the only j u s t i f i a b l e a c t i o n l e f t t o people working i n the c u l t u r a l realm was t o expose the i d e o l o g i c a l workings of the c u l t u r a l apparatus. These i n t e r e s t s , t h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r y , appears i n Buren's work and i s a l s o made e x p l i c i t i n h i s w r i t i n g s . For example, i n " C r i t i c a l L i m i t s " (1970), Buren s t a t e s To pretend to escape from [the p r e c i s e and d e f i n i t e l i m i t s t o which a r t i s contained i n bourgeois s o c i e t y ] i s t o r e i n f o r c e the p r e v a i l i n g ideology which expects 54 d i v e r s i o n from the a r t i s t . A r t i s not f r e e , the a r t i s t does not express himself f r e e l y (he cannot). A r t i s not the prophesy of a f r e e s o c i e t y . Freedom i n a r t i s the l u x u r y / p r i v i l e g e of a r e p r e s s i v e s o c i e t y . A r t whatever i t may be i s e x c l u s i v e l y p o l i t i c a l . What i s c a l l e d f o r i s the analysis of formal and cultural limits (and not one or the other) w i t h i n which a r t e x i s t s and s t r u g g l e s . These l i m i t s are many and of d i f f e r e n t i n t e n s i t i e s . Although the p r e v a i l i n g ideology and the a s s o c i a t e d a r t i s t s t r y i n every way t o camouflage them, and although i t i s too e a r l y — the c o n d i t i o n s are not met t o blow them up, the time has come to u n v e i l them.141 With Buren, then, we have a c r i t i q u e of a r t w i t h a neo-M a r x i s t foundation, and t h i s l o c a t e s him i n a p o l i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n very d i f f e r e n t from a r t i s t s l i k e F l a v i n and Judd.142 The d i f f e r e n c e between the two c r i t i q u e s becomes e s p e c i a l l y c l e a r i f we compare Buren and F l a v i n i n t h e i r views of p o l i t i c a l a n a l y s i s , p o l i t i c a l economy and a r t p r o d u c t i o n . U n l i k e Buren, F l a v i n had no i n t e r e s t i n making any p o l i t i c a l c r i t i q u e with h i s work. Instead, what F l a v i n was i n t e r e s t e d i n was the promotion of the complete s e p a r a t i o n of a r t and l i f e . As he wrote i n "Several More Remarks..." (1969) : As a r t i s t s , t o assert personal opinions i n p o l i t i c a l concerns seems o r d i n a r i l y a p p r o p r i a t e ; to use a r t s i m i l a r l y seems to be i m p r a c t i c a l , i r r e l e v a n t abuse — of another a r t and l i f e confusion (as Don Judd might p l a i n l y explain).143 Hence F l a v i n disavows p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t s and a l l other i n t e r e s t s t h a t he deems extraneous to h i s a r t p r oduction. He proposes a e s t h e t i c s as a d i s i n t e r e s t e d , e v a l u a t i v e process, 55 as opposed t o the k i n d of m a t e r i a l i s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s which are i n evidence i n Buren's c r i t i q u e . As such, he r e i t e r a t e s a p a r t i c u l a r type of m y s t i f i c a t i o n of a r t production which views a r t as b a s i c a l l y a sphere of a c t i v i t y o u t s i d e of h i s t o r i c a l and a l l other non-aesthetic p a r t i c u l a r s . So i n the case of F l a v i n and many of h i s M i n i m a l i s t compatriots, what f i r s t appeared as a form of r a d i c a l iconoclasm was i n f a c t r a d i c a l conformism. In f r e e i n g the a r t making process from the "tyranny" of the a r t object, the primary tenets of Greenbergian transcendentalism r e a l i z e d t h e i r u l t i m a t e f r u i t i o n . For what are m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s i f not one more co n t e x t u a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n ? The M i n i m a l i s t s , i t seems, became more Greenbergian than Greenberg. I t i s hardly s u r p r i s i n g , then, that there was a c l a s h at the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l when works such as F l a v i n ' s were pl a c e d i n the same space as Buren's. What a l s o becomes apparent f o l l o w i n g t h i s comparison between Buren's and F l a v i n ' s work i s tha t the organizers of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l were only l o o k i n g at surfaces — and none too c l o s e l y at that — when they i n v i t e d Buren t o New York. Consequently, they allowed themselves t o be deceived by a l a r g e l y pseudomorphistic overlap between the work of Buren and of h i s American counterparts and p o s t u l a t e d a g e n e a l o g i c a l connection between the two. Yet the f a c t t h a t the Museum had e r r e d i n i n t e r p r e t i n g Buren's work became a l l too c l e a r when Buren made unequivocal the c r i t i q u e developed by h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n by p r o v i d i n g a p o l i t i c a l language outside of h i s work. Speaking to New York Times r e p o r t e r Grace Glueck who had come to preview the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , Buren i n s i s t e d t h a t he not be r e f e r r e d t o as an a r t i s t and proclaimed that "both a r t i s t s and museums i n the t r a d i t i o n a l sense are obsolete."144 Inasmuch as n e i t h e r t h i s nor any discourse could be perceived i n s i d e h i s work, Buren's own c r i t i c a l d i s c o urse outside the frame of the p a i n t i n g s created a c o n d i t i o n whereby the work i t s e l f f unctioned as a cypher p o i n t i n g to that r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e . 1 4 5 Buren's p r o v i s i o n of such a metalanguage f u n c t i o n e d to render unavoidable the d i r e c t l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n which questioned the f u n c t i o n not only of the r o l e of the other works i n the show, but a l s o of the Museum i t s e l f . Indeed, i t i s l i k e l y t hat more than anything e l s e i t was t h i s statement, which appeared i n the l a r g e s t d a i l y newspaper i n New York the day before the show opened, th a t l e d Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s to decide t h a t i t was i n t h e i r best i n t e r e s t s t o censor Buren's work. As mentioned above, i n the e a r l y 1970s the o l d a v a n t - g a r d i s t - t r a d i t i o n a l i s t polemic was once again f l a r i n g up i n New York with t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s l i k e H i l t o n Kramer and others simultaneously blaming the new avant-garde trends f o r the c u l t u r a l c r i s e s of the l a t e 1960s while f i n d i n g r e p e l l a n t the ready acceptance of t h i s n e a r l y d i a b o l i c a l a r t by New York's c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . L i k e the orga n i z e r s of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , these c r i t i c s a l s o f a i l e d t o d i s t i n g u i s h between c r i t i q u e s such as those performed by 57 a r t i s t s l i k e F l a v i n and Judd, and those by people l i k e Buren. Although the Museum as a l i b e r a l i n s t i t u t i o n would not have been averse t o some controversy, i n t h i s i n c r e a s i n g l y v o l a t i l e c u l t u r a l m i l i e u c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an e x p l o s i v e c o n f l a t i o n between avant-garde a r t and r a d i c a l p o l i t i c s , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that f o l l o w i n g Buren's r a d i c a l comment to the press the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim removed h i s work. This r a t h e r dramatic act of censorship was symptomatic of the i n c r e a s i n g l y r e a c t i o n a r y times; i t was c l e a r l y a method of damage c o n t r o l i n an e f f o r t t o save the other works i n the show and the e x h i b i t i o n as a whole. Buren's comments would have provided an i n c r e a s i n g l y conservative press with ammunition to at t a c k the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . Too much hinged on the success of t h i s e x h i b i t i o n f o r the o f f i c i a l s of the Museum to r i s k an o v e r t l y negative response by the New York a r t press. But i t was too l a t e . Buren's r a d i c a l comments to Glueck reverberated throughout her preview of the show. Glueck warned her readers t o be c a r e f u l about using "the d i r t y word ' a r t i s t ' " i f they went i n t o the Guggenheim Museum t o see the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . 1 4 6 Almost a l l of the New York c r i t i c s who reviewed the e x h i b i t i o n f a i l e d t o mention the c o n f l i c t between the a r t i s t s , or the absence of Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n . 1 4 7 S t i l l , the c r i t i c a l response t o t h i s show re v e a l s t h a t the New York a r t w o r l d was once again f u l l y caught up i n the dynamics of the a v a n t - g a r d i s t -58 t r a d i t i o n a l i s t controversy and the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l f l o a t e d r i g h t i n t o the b a t t l e zone. L i k e F l a v i n , and, a l b e i t f o r d i f f e r e n t reasons, l i k e Buren, as we s h a l l see, by 1971 the vast m a j o r i t y of New York c r i t i c s were no longer w i l l i n g t o accept the o l d a v a n t - g a r d e / l i b e r a l idea so s t r o n g l y h e l d by the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim through the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l . Instead, most of the c r i t i c s of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l saw the extreme formal r e d u c t i v i s m and the pervasive use of s i t e s p e c i f i c i t y of the new avant-garde trends as the t h i n edge of the wedge of c u l t u r a l subversion.148 What most alarmed these c r i t i c s about the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , however, was that t h i s e x h i b i t was a s i g n t h a t r a d i c a l avant-garde ideas had i n f i l t r a t e d the f a b r i c of the New York a r t w o r l d and were being supported by naive l i b e r a l s who were i n a d v e r t e n t l y a l l o w i n g American c u l t u r e t o be subverted. Denise Green, f o r instance, i n her review of the show f o r Art News, rebuked the patrons of t h i s a r t f o r a i d i n g i n the r a d i c a l subversion of e x i s t i n g c u l t u r e : P o l i t i c a l l y , these works are a d i r e c t t h r e a t t o the g a l l e r y and museum system. The c o l l e c t o r of t h i s , type of a r t s u b s i d i z e s the a r t i s t ' s l i f e - s t y l e r a t h e r than a "piece of goods," and makes p o s s i b l e the di s s e m i n a t i o n of c u l t u r a l l y r a d i c a l ideas.149 The r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t Green p o s i t s between the e x h i b i t i o n and " r a d i c a l i d e a s , " along w i t h her attempt t o s i n g l e out the c u l p r i t s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a l l o w i n g the ex i s t e n c e and development of t h i s avant-garde work i n New York, was 59 symptomatic of much of the c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n to the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . In v a r i o u s cases, the c r i t i c s ' e f f o r t t o f i n d people to blame f o r the presence of t h i s type of a r t i n New York bordered on c a l l i n g f o r mob r u l e . For example, Emily Genauer of the New York Post wrote that "the n o n - c o l l e c t i b l e non-art s i g n s " on view at the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , which were evidence of these a r t i s t s ' complete "disavowal of t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n s " of a r t and c u l t u r e , were the r e s u l t of an o v e r l y l i b e r a l media, government and academia: Instead of making a p i c t u r e or a s c u l p t u r e or a c o n s t r u c t i o n that somebody can buy, hang, touch, walk around, most of them dream up p r o j e c t s l i k e these...Many of them [the a r t i s t s i n the I n t e r n a t i o n a l ] , i t should be p o i n t e d out, are able to produce t h e i r nose-thumbing, unsalable works because they no longer have need t o s e l l , t h e i r widely p u b l i c i z e d ideas having won them government grants and u n i v e r s i t y teaching p o s i t i o n s . 1 5 0 However, i t was the organizers of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l on which most reviewers cast the blame f o r h e l p i n g t o promote the new avant-garde a r t . In h i s review of the show f o r the New York Times, H i l t o n Kramer informed h i s readers that what was on e x h i b i t at the Guggenheim represented "an index to the d e m o r a l i z a t i o n and bad f a i t h t h a t has overtaken so l a r g e a p a r t of the current a r t scene," and scorned the Museum's o f f i c i a l s f o r according these works e x h i b i t i o n s t a t u s : I f there i s a trend toward d i s m a n t l i n g the a r t i s t i c e n t e r p r i s e and c a s t i n g contempt on the i n t e g r i t y of the museum, no w i t h - i t museum d i r e c t o r wants to be l e f t out of the game. As Lenin observed i n another (but not unrelated) context, when i t comes time to hang the 60 bou r g e o i s i e , they w i l l b i d against each other to s e l l you the rope.151 Thus Kramer p o r t r a y s the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim as being so naive that they are incapable of seeing the seriousness of the events going on i n the a r t s as anything other than a f r i v o l o u s and t r i v i a l game. Immanent to much of the c r i t i c a l response t o the I n t e r n a t i o n a l was the idea t h a t , as Kramer put i t , "the a r t i s t i c e n t e r p r i s e and the i n t e g r i t y of the museum" were two t h i n g s that were e s s e n t i a l to maintain. For these c r i t i c s , of which Kramer provides a good example, a r t production was considered to be "a d i s i n t e r e s t e d c r e a t i v e e n t e r p r i s e " which only earned i t s museological s t a t u s "by v i r t u e e i t h e r of i t s q u a l i t y or of i t s s p e c i a l , i d e n t i f i a b l e a r t i s t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . " 1 5 2 I t was al s o d i s i n t e r e s t e d n e s s which allowed museums to maintain t h e i r i n t e g r i t y . This view was summed up by Kramer i n l a t e 1970 when he des c r i b e d the museum as "one of the few sectors of our c u l t u r e t o have remained more or l e s s f r e e of p o l i t i c a l i n t e rference."153 A s t r i k i n g overlap e x i s t s between Kramer's view of a r t and museums and those views of a r t and museums he l d by Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s . The commonality between these views i s e s t a b l i s h e d i n the mutual assumption that a r t transcends s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l concerns. However, an important d i f f e r e n c e does e x i s t between Kramer's views and those h e l d by Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s , a d i f f e r e n c e t h a t becomes most 61 r e a d i l y d i s c e r n i b l e through an a n a l y s i s of t h e i r assessments of recent events i n the New York a r t scene. For c r i t i c s l i k e Kramer, as I noted above, the New York a r t scene i n the l a t e r 1960s had seen various " i n c u r s i o n s and conversions" which sought to " p o l i t i c i z e " a r t and museums.154 What Kramer and many New York c r i t i c s found most alarming about the changing nature of the l o c a l a r t scene i n the previous couple of years was the f a c t t h a t there had been a s h i f t i n which A r t i s t s , c r i t i c s , and museum personnel who, j u s t the other day, were pleased to pretend that even the barest awareness of the s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l p u r s u i t s c o n s t i t u t e d an i n t o l e r a b l e v i o l a t i o n of the p u r i t y of t h e i r t a s k s , have suddenly come forward as...[a part of] the n o i s y chorus of r a d i c a l a f f i r m a t i o n which i s now being heard i n a l l of the most fashionable p u r l i e u s of the a r t establishment.155 For the organizers of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l the new a r t trends represented "ideas powerful enough to challenge p r e v a i l i n g [ a e s t h e t i c ] assumptions"; yet they c l e a r l y d i d not seem p o l i t i c a l l y subversive. Instead, as the tone of the r h e t o r i c used to describe the recent trends i n d i c a t e s , the Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s saw these c r i t i q u e s i n a much more romantic l i g h t as p a r t of Greenberg's n o t i o n of the h e r o i c s t r u g g l e of the avant-garde. 62 CONCLUSION I have often thought that if a rational Fascist dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose the American system. State censorship is not necessary, or even efficient, in comparison to the ideological controls exercized by systems that are more complex and decentralized. Noam Chomsky 156 Did the Guggenheim Museum achieve i t s aims wi t h the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l ? As we have seen, one of the primary aims of the Museum seems to have been to o r c h e s t r a t e t h i s e x h i b i t i o n of the l a t e s t avant-garde a r t i n a way that p a r a l l e l e d the o f f i c i a l c u l t u r a l p o l i c y of the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . Yet of the request f o r p u b l i c patronage made by the Guggenheim i n February of 1971, the f i r s t of i t s k i n d i n the t h i r t y - f o u r year h i s t o r y of the Museum, only a modest f r a c t i o n was granted.157 Although NEA funding was i n c r e a s i n g r a p i d l y , the Guggenheim was s t i l l l e f t f l o u n d e r i n g . Even the plans f o r the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l t o t r a v e l to L a t i n America which had been prepared i n d e t a i l by the Museum were scrapped, most l i k e l y as a r e s u l t of the USIS withdrawing i t s support f o l l o w i n g the New York run of the show. 158 C l e a r l y , something had b a c k f i r e d i n the Museum's s t r a t e g y s i n c e i t d i d not achieve any of i t s aims with the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l . Surveying the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s c u l t u r a l p o l i c y i n re t r o s p e c t i t becomes apparent that the r o l e which the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n envisaged f o r the a r t s was not concerned with 63 avant-garde a r t or a r t i s t s — a r t i s t s who President Kennedy described as seeking to "question power" by s a i l i n g "against the c u r r e n t s " of the time.159 Rather, Nixon's statements r e v e a l an antipathy t o any k i n d of e l i t i s t c u l t u r e a v a i l a b l e only to a "few c i t i z e n s centered i n a few c i t i e s , " i n favor of a more r e g i o n a l emphasis which sought to "broaden the base" and develop the "diverse c u l t u r e of every r e g i o n . " This was e x p l i c i t i n the speech which he gave to Congress i n December of 1969, when he requested a one-hundred percent increase i n a r t s funding. According to Nixon, a r t was a b a s i c r i g h t to which a l l Americans should have access: The a t t e n t i o n and support we give the a r t s . . . represent a v i t a l part of our commitment to enhancing the q u a l i t y of l i f e f o r a l l Americans. The f u l l r i c h n e s s of t h i s nation's c u l t u r a l l i f e need not be the province of r e l a t i v e l y few c i t i z e n s centered i n a few c i t i e s ; on the contrary, the trend toward a wider a p p r e c i a t i o n of the a r t s . . . s t r o n g l y encouraged, and the d i v e r s e c u l t u r e of every region and community should be explored... Need and opportunity combine, t h e r e f o r e , to present the Federal government with an o b l i g a t i o n to help broaden the base of our c u l t u r a l legacy — not t o make i t f i t some common denominator of o f f i c i a l s a n c t i o n , but r a t h e r to make i t s d i v e r s i t y and i n s i g h t more r e a d i l y a c c e s s i b l e to m i l l i o n s of people everywhere.160 Thus Nixon's concept of the r o l e that the a r t s would p l a y was i n f a c t s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t than t h a t h e l d by h i s predecessors. While previous A d m i n i s t r a t i o n s had l a r g e l y been i n t e r e s t e d i n the a r t s f o r how they could be used to communicate with f o r e i g n populations, Nixon' emphasized a concern with c u l t u r e w i t h i n the United States i t s e l f . With the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , then, a f e d e r a l mandate was being a t t r i b u t e d t o the a r t s which d i f f e r e d i n important ways from 64 any since the days of the Works Progress A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n the 1930s. And even i n the 1930s, the a r t s were not viewed i n terms of t h e i r " r i c h n e s s , " but rat h e r as an instrum e n t a l arm of the state.161 Despite whatever d i f f e r e n c e s i n content i t may have had from the p o l i c i e s of previous A d m i n i s t r a t i o n s , the c u l t u r a l p o l i c y of the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n the e a r l y 1970s r e t a i n e d much of the Cold War l i b e r a l r h e t o r i c . As the authors of The Arts at a New Frontier (1984) found i n t h e i r study of the NEA, Nixon's c u l t u r a l p o l i c y had a very confusing e f f e c t . Even the Chairwoman of the NEA i n the e a r l y p e r i o d of the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n was unsure of her mandate i n t h i s era when the a l l o c a t i o n of f e d e r a l funds to her agency was r i s i n g astronomically.162 The o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim Museum a l s o f e l l v i c t i m t o t h i s confusion. Consequently they f a i l e d to see tha t the huge increase i n a r t s funding by the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n was not a part of an e f f o r t to continue the c u l t u r a l s t r a t e g i e s of Cold War l i b e r a l s . Funding i n the a r t s i s a very conspicuous way f o r a government to spend money, e s p e c i a l l y i f tha t funding i s spread across the country i n s t e a d of d i r e c t e d at the e l i t e avant-garde c i r c l e s of a few c i t i e s . This method of funding provided an e f f e c t i v e smokescreen f o r the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n t o lessen the outcry over the di s m a n t l i n g of the s o c i a l welfare system th a t had been constructed by the l i b e r a l modernization of the economy i n the postwar period.163 However, i t was the 65 c o n t r a d i c t o r y message produced by the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s massive increase i n funding to the a r t s , coming c o n c u r r e n t l y with a marked decrease i n funding to most other s o c i a l programs, that l e d to the confusion with respect t o the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s c u l t u r a l p o l i c y which John O'Connor of the Wall Street Journal r e f e r s t o i n the passage quoted above. Furthermore i t was t h i s confusion that l e d the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim astr a y i n t h e i r attempt to formulate an e x h i b i t i o n program c o n s i s t e n t with the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s view of the r o l e of c u l t u r e . That so many people i n the United States during the e a r l y 1970s expressed t h e i r d i s a p p r o v a l of the avant-garde i s not s u r p r i s i n g when we recognize that l i b e r a l i s m f o r many Americans had become synonymous with a l l the s o c i a l problems that America was f a c i n g . In f a c t , t h i s was the argument of the new conservatism which swept the United States i n the e a r l y 1970s, c u t t i n g across p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l spheres. For those who responded to the r h e t o r i c of " p u b l i c i n t e l l e c t u a l s " such as H i l t o n Kramer and Daniel B e l l , the a t t a c k s on the avant-garde became a demand f o r both c u l t u r a l conservatism and p o l i t i c a l conservatism. Indeed, the sweep of conservatism was so r a p i d and so pronounced t h a t by 1972 the j o u r n a l Partisan Review organized a symposium to d i s c u s s t h i s phenomenon. T i t l e d "On the New C u l t u r a l Conservatism," the e d i t o r s began the proceedings by s t a t i n g that 66 There i s , we t h i n k , a growing conservatism i n d i s c u s s i o n s of what's happening i n the a r t s , and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n w r i t i n g and t h i n k i n g . A querulous tone i s becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y apparent i n the assessments of the tendencies and experiments of the past decade.... There i s a marked s u s p i c i o n of any d e v i a t i o n from the accepted notions of seriousness, as there i s of any departure from the orthodox v e r s i o n of the mainstream.... [The] new c u l t u r a l conservatism... c e l e b r a t e s o l d values, o l d works, o l d i n s t i t u t i o n s as though they can never be changed, or added t o , or replaced . . . . There are c o n t r a d i c t i o n s [between c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l conservatism], but u s u a l l y the people and the p u b l i c a t i o n s that f e e l threatened by r a d i c a l p o l i t i c s a l s o f e e l at home wit h more f a m i l i a r a r t , and wi t h the c u l t u r e of the past, p a r t i c u l a r l y with that p a r t of i t that serves to b o l s t e r r e c e i v e d values and i d e a l s and to favour c e r t a i n types of t r a d i t i o n a l themes and conventional structures.164 In t h i s i n c r e a s i n g l y r e a c t i o n a r y environment the idea of avant-garde a r t once again became emblematic of the forces t h r e a t e n i n g the sa f e t y of America. As we have seen, i n the process of r e a f f i r m i n g t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t u r e i n the United States the new conservatism t a r g e t e d i t s attack not only on avant-garde a r t and a r t i s t s , but a l s o , as conservatives had done i n the decade f o l l o w i n g World War I I , on the s o p h i s t i c a t e d l i b e r a l s who were promoting the idea of avant-garde c u l t u r e . In the g a l l e r y of subversives, then, i t i s har d l y s u r p r i s i n g that sympathizers f o r the avant-garde such as the o f f i c i a l s of the Guggenheim Museum, and a r t i s t s such as Dan F l a v i n who were c h a l l e n g i n g a e s t h e t i c t r a d i t i o n although they p o s i t e d t h e i r work as completely autonomous from p o l i t i c s , became as suspect as people l i k e D a n i el Buren who sought t o develop a r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e of c a p i t a l i s t c u l t u r e . Nor i s i t s u r p r i s i n g that the 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , the l a s t of i t s k i n d i n a s e r i e s which began i n 1956 with the aim of e x h i b i t i n g the best new avant-garde a r t , was such a d i s a s t e r i n so many important ways. 68 POSTSCRIPT Fo l l o w i n g the d i s a s t e r of the S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the Museum reevaluated t h e i r e x h i b i t i o n p o l i c y and made some major r e v i s i o n s . Thomas Messer immediately wrote a l e t t e r t o H i l t o n Kramer asking t o meet him f o r a d i s c u s s i o n on what the Museum was doing wrong.165 Their meeting seems t o have been f r u i t f u l , as the p o l i c y of the Museum immediately f e l l i n t o step (one might say lock step) with the new conservatism of the New York a r t w o r l d . The e x h i b i t i o n s l a t e d to f o l l o w the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , a one-man show by Hans Haacke who was then one of the l e a d i n g f i g u r e s of the A r t Workers C o a l i t i o n i n New York and producing a r t which was r a d i c a l by conservative standards, was abru p t l y c a n c e l l e d . Messer a l s o immediately f i r e d the A s s o c i a t e Curator of the Guggenheim, Edward Fry, an organizer of both the I n t e r n a t i o n a l and the i l l - f a t e d Hans Haacke e x h i b i t i o n . In the f o l l o w i n g years, the Guggenheim Museum stopped emphasizing the " l a t e s t " avant-garde trends, f o c u s i n g i n s t e a d on avant-garde a r t which had by then been e f f e c t i v e l y recuperated, such as the p a i n t i n g s of Wassily Kandinsky or of the Abs t r a c t E x p r e s s i o n i s t s . Although the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l never t r a v e l l e d to L a t i n America, i n 1973 the President of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and s e v e r a l of the Museum's Trustees were c a l l e d before the U.S.Senate Committee on Foreign R e l a t i o n s who were i n v e s t i g a t i n g U.S.-directed e f f o r t s t o d e s t a b i l i z e L a t i n American c o u n t r i e s such as Chile.166 69 The I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s was terminated i n 1971, but i n 1985 an e x h i b i t i o n c a l l e d "Transformations i n Sculpt u r e " was s u b t i t l e d the Seventh Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l . However, everyone i n v o l v e d agreed that t h i s e x h i b i t i o n had nothing to do w i t h the o r i g i n a l s e r i e s — everyone, th a t i s , except f o r Messer whose idea i t was to tag on the I n t e r n a t i o n a l t i t l e , and whose request was heeded since by that time he was the grand o l d man of the Guggenheim a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . H i l t o n Kramer himself went on to become c h i e f e d i t o r of The New Criterion, a v i g i l a n t e j o u r n a l which has taken upon i t s e l f the r o l e of being the watchdog of the American a r t world. Obviously pleased by the r i g h t wing t u r n which he saw t a k i n g place across American s o c i e t y , as w e l l as by the c u l t u r a l p o l i c y manifested by the NEA, iro n y of i r o n i e s , i n 1976 he wrote that "Everyone now agrees that the Government has an o b l i g a t i o n to s u b s i d i z e the a r t s i n t h i s country."167 Daniel Buren, l i k e many i n t e l l e c t u a l s on the l e f t i n the 1960s and e a r l y 1970s, has gone on to e x p l o i t h i s r a d i c a l past t o advance h i s career. P a t r o n i z e d by the l i b e r a l regime i n France and c o l l e c t e d by, among others, the King and Queen of Belgium, Buren i s now the token French r a d i c a l of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l a r t w o r l d . Dan F l a v i n and Donald Judd s t i l l l i v e i n New York and do what they can t o preserve the name that they made f o r themselves i n the 1960s. The s h i f t on the l e v e l of a e s t h e t i c theory and c r i t i c a l t a s t e a r t i c u l a t e d by the f l o u r i s h i n g new r i g h t has i n s i s t e d 70 on the obsolescence of the avant-garde by d e c l a r i n g the beginning of a postmodern p e r i o d . The u b i q u i t y of t h i s d i s c o urse i s apparent i n the lapse of t a l k of an avant-garde i n contemporary a r t , except of course i n p a t h e t i c or p r e f i x e d forms. L i b e r a l i s m i n the United States has a l s o s u f f e r e d a t e r m i n a l malaise. As evidenced by the recent P r e s i d e n t i a l campaign of Democrat Michael Dukakis, l i b e r a l i s m now f i n d s i t s e l f s taggering around with a queer g r i n on i t s face, every so o f t e n f a l l i n g i n t o a f i g h t i n g posture and going a few rounds of shadow boxing. The present weakness of l i b e r a l i s m i s manifested by the lengths i t s sympathizers go to a void being r e f e r r e d t o as " s o f t headed," "bleeding h e a r t s , " or, and here i s the death blow, " l i b e r a l . " D a n i e l B e l l and the neoconservatives went on to become what Peter S t e i n f e l s , the s e l f - a p p o i n t e d h i s t o r i a n of the movement, i n 1979 c a l l e d "the men who are changing America's p o l i t i c s . " 1 6 8 Today the change seems complete. 71 NOTES 1. Thomas M. Messer, l e t t e r to a r t i s t s i n v i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l , copies i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, dated October 20, 1970. 2. The a r t i s t s who accepted the i n v i t a t i o n t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n the S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n were the B r a z i l i a n Antonio Dias (resident of M i l a n , I t a l y ) , the German Hanna Darboven, the I t a l i a n Mario Merz, the B r i t i s h R ichard Long (resident of New York) and V i c t o r Burgin, the Japanese On Kawara (resident of New York) and J i r o Takamatsu, the Dutch Jan Dibbets, the French D a n i e l Buren, and the Americans C a r l Andre, Walter de Maria, Dan F l a v i n , Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, Joseph Kosuth, Sol L e w i t t , Robert M o r r i s , Bruce Nauman, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra and Lawrence Weiner. 3. By "avant-gardism," we are r e f e r r i n g t o that compendium of a e s t h e t i c tendencies i n e x t r i c a b l y bound up with that myriad of p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and otherwise h i s t o r i c a l t e nsions t h a t c o n s t i t u t e modernity. The focus here w i l l be on that facet of the avant-garde which was imported from Europe t o America during the years surrounding and immediately f o l l o w i n g World War I I . P a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n should be p a i d to the f a c t that t h i s i m p o r t a t i o n a l s o c o n s t i t u t e d a r a d i c a l t ransformation of the avant-garde from i t s o r i g i n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s . C e n t r a l t o a general c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of t h i s transformation would be the f a c t o r s of an overt d e p o l i t i c i z a t i o n , an o v e r a l l s i m p l i f i c a t i o n of a e s t h e t i c and p h i l o s o p h i c a l aims, along with a p a r t i c u l a r focus on newness as the o v e r r i d i n g c r i t e r i a . I f the h i s t o r i c a l avant-garde of the e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century claimed t h a t a e s t h e t i c i n n o v a t i o n could be i n t i m a t e l y l i n k e d to s o c i a l transformations — by harnessing mass c u l t u r e i n the s e r v i c e of a p o l i t i c a l l y p r o g r e s s i v e post-bourgeois p u b l i c (Benjamin), by p r e s e r v i n g the Utopian i d e a l s of a s o c i e t y f r e e d from the p r i n c i p l e of ownership (Adorno), by r e v o l u t i o n i z i n g s o c i e t y through an attack on the bourgeois i n s t i t u t i o n of a r t (Burger) — then the a e s t h e t i c avant-garde which developed i n postwar America as high modernism advanced the idea of autonomous a e s t h e t i c form as the meat and potatoes of e s t a b l i s h e d t a s t e . Between avant-gardism and modernism, these are not always c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e e n t i t i e s , i . e . , works may f r e q u e n t l y q u a l i f y as being at once both modernist and a v a n t - g a r d i s t . Consistent with the general s i m p l i f i c a t i o n of a b s t r a c t ideas i n post-war America, there was a r e s u l t i n g compression of d i s c r e t e h i s t o r i c a l i d e n t i t i e s . In t h i s environment, the avant-garde became commonly understood as the p r a c t i t i o n e r s of modernism. For more on the t e r m i n o l o g i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n s between the avant-garde and modernism, see Matei C a l i n e s c u , Faces of 72 Modernity (Bloomington: U n i v e r s i t y of Indiana Press, 1977); and Peter Burger, "The Decline of the Modern Age," Telos, 62 (Winter 1984-85), pp.117-31. 4. I am r e f e r r i n g here to the b i t t e r a t t a c k s on a r t and a r t i s t s during the anti-Communist f e r v o r of the McCarthy era. Nowhere i s t h i s polemic more f r a n t i c than i n the d i a t r i b e s of Senator George Dondero, a Michigan Republican who mounted a campaign to purge American a r t of what seemed to him t o be communist elements. In a speech t o Congress on August 16, 1949, Dondero explained t o h i s colleagues t h a t the United States had been "invaded by a horde of f o r e i g n a r t manglers, who were... s e l l i n g to our young men and women a subversive d o c t r i n e of 'isms,' Communist i n s p i r e d and Communist connected." (Congeressional Record, 81st Congress, 1st Session (1949), 11584). Dondero l a t e r summed up h i s m i s t r u s t of modern a r t i n an i n t e r v i e w with Emily Genauer, " S t i l l L i f e With H e r r i n g , " Harper's Magazine, 199 (1949), p.89: Modern a r t i s Communistic because i t i s d i s t o r t e d and ugly, because i t does not g l o r i f y our b e a u t i f u l country, our c h e e r f u l and s m i l i n g people, and our m a t e r i a l progress. A r t which does not g l o r i f y our . b e a u t i f u l country i n p l a i n , simple terms that everyone can understand breeds d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . I t i s t h e r e f o r e opposed t o our government, and those who create and promote i t are our enemies. For more on t h i s i s s u e see W i l l i a m Hauptman, "The Suppression of A r t i n the McCarthy Decade," Art forum, 12 (October 1973), pp.48-52; Jane de Hart Mathews, "Art and P o l i t i c s i n Cold War America," American Historical Review, 81 (October 1976), pp.762-787; and Annete Cox, "Abstract Expressionism and Depression Radicalism," i n her A r t - a s -P o l i t i c s : The Abstract Expressionist Avat-Garde and Society (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1982, pp.17-38. 5. As Jane de Hart Mathews found i n her study "Art and P o l i t i c s i n Cold War America," American Historical Review, 81 (October 1976), p.784, throughout the 1940s and 1950s avant-garde a r t "was anathema t o f r u s t r a t e d viewers whose very bafflement reminded them that e s t h e t i c a l l y they had not yet a r r i v e d a f t e r a l l -- and, indeed, might never make i t . " 6. Broadly speaking, the l a t e 1950s and 1960s were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by what Godfrey Hodgson, i n America In Our Time (New York: Doubleday, 1976), has described as the " l i b e r a l consensus" — c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a f e a r of communism abroad, the assumption that counting the costs of improving l i f e was made unnecessary by progress, and the b e l i e f t h a t the American p o l i t i c a l system was above ideology because i t fun c t i o n e d i n terms of concrete i n t e r e s t s formulated i n a 73 business l i k e way. Hodgson defines the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "consensus" as f o l l o w s : Confident to the verge of complacency about the p e r f e c t i b i l i t y of American s o c i e t y , anxious t o the p o i n t of paranoia about the t h r e a t of communism — those were the two faces of the consensus mood. Each grew from one aspect of the experience of the 1940s: confidence from economic success, anxiety from the fe a r of S t a l i n and the f r u s t r a t i o n s of power.(p.75) 7. Daniel B e l l , The End of Ideology: On the Exhaustion of P o l i t i c a l Ideas in the Fifties (Glencoe, I l l i n o i s : Free Press, 1960), p.297; as c i t e d i n Godfrey Hodgson, "The Ideology of L i b e r a l Consensus," America In Our Time (New York: Doubleday, 1976), p.75. 8. The h i s t o r i c a l t e x t s d e a l i n g with l i b e r a l i s m i n postwar America which I found most u s e f u l were W i l l i a m H. Chafe, The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War II (New York & Oxford: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1986); James G i l b e r t , Another Chance: Postwar America, 1945-1968 ( P h i l a d e l p h i a : Temple U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1981); and Godfrey Hodgson, America In Our Time. For a good a n a l y s i s of the emergence of l i b e r a l i s m i n the United States during the interwar p e r i o d , see R. A l l a n Lawson's The F a i l u r e of Independent Liberalism, 1930-1941 (New York: G.P. Putnam's Son's, 1971). For a c r i t i q u e of American l i b e r a l i s m which i s l e s s sympathetic than the sources c i t e d above, see Theodore J . Lowi, The End of Liberalism: The. Second Republic of the United States (New York & London: W.W. Norton, 1979). For a d i s c u s s i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between e a r l y nineteenth century u t i l i t a r i a n l i b e r a l i s m c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s l a i s s e z - f a i r e form (as a r t i c u l a t e d by Jeremy Bentham, and l a t e r by John Stuart M i l l , f o l l o w i n g John Locke), and the American l i b e r a l i s m to which I r e f e r i n t h i s paper (which had i t s o r i g i n s i n F r a n k l i n D. Roosevelt's New Deal, through t o Truman's F a i r Deal, Kennedy's New F r o n t i e r and Johnson's Great S o c i e t y ) , see Robert Paul Wolff, The Poverty of Liberalism (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968). 9. Jane de Hart Mathews, "Art and P o l i t i c s i n Cold War America," American Historical Review, p.780. 10. One need not elaborate on the s p e c i f i c s of those p o l i t i c s being espoused by those a c t i v e i n and around European avant-gardist c i r c l e s . I t i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r our purposes here t o recognize that a general Utopian hence r e v o l u t i o n a r y p o l i t i c a l t e l e o l o g y permeates European i d e o l o g i e s of avant-gardism. These Utopian i d e o l o g i e s must be dispensed w i t h when an ideology of avant-gardism i s formulated i n America because they are anathema to e x i s t i n g American ideology: America already esteems i t s e l f as a 74 U t o p i a . See Harold Rosenberg, " T w i l i g h t of the I n t e l l e c t u a l s , " Dissent, 5 (Summer 1958), pp.221-228. 11. P a r t s of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n of the acceptance of avant-gardism as the o f f i c i a l c u l t u r a l ideology by Western nations i n the postwar p e r i o d are indebted to Nicos H a d j i n i c o l a o u , "On the Ideology of Avant-Gardism" (1978) i n Praxis, 6 (1982), pp.39-70/ and Thomas Crow, "Modernism and Mass C u l t u r e i n the V i s u a l A r t s , " i n Modernism and Modernity: The Vancouver Conference Papers, ed. Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Serge Guilbaut and David S o l k i n ( H a l i f a x : Press of the Nova S c o t i a College of A r t and Design, 1983) , pp.215-64. In h i s a r t i c l e , Crow e x p l a i n s how the i n n o v a t i o n of the a r t i s t i c avant-garde p a r a s i t i c a l l y depends on the r e c u p e r a t i o n of m a t e r i a l s from r e s i s t a n t subcultures which e x i s t on the f r i n g e s of mass c u l t u r e : In i t s s e l e c t i v e a p p r o p r i a t i o n from f r i n g e mass c u l t u r e , the avant-garde searches out areas of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e which r e t a i n some v i v i d l i f e i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y administered and r a t i o n a l i z e d s o c i e t y . These i t r e f i n e s and packages, d i r e c t i n g them to an e l i t e , s e l f - c o n s c i o u s audience.... F u n c t i o n a l l y then, the avant-garde serves as a k i n d of research and development arm of the c u l t u r e i n d u s t r y : i t searches out areas of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e not yet completely a v a i l a b l e to e f f i c i e n t manipulation and makes them d i s c r e e t and v i s i b l e . . . . This brokerage between high and low, between l e g i t i m a t e and i l l e g i t i m a t e , thus makes the avant-garde an important mechanism i n a manipulative c u l t u r a l economy, (pp.253-4) Crow's argument here, s i m i l a r to H a d j i n i c o l a o u ' s contention i n "On the Ideology of Avant-Gardism" t h a t the avant-garde i s a v i t a l part of the c a p i t a l i s t market, f i n d s support i n comments made by John Murphy, Pr e s i d e n t of P h i l l i p M o r r i s Europe, i n the catalogue f o r the "Live i n Your Head: When A t t i t u d e s Become Form" e x h i b i t i o n which took place at the K u n s t h a l l e , Bern, 22 March- 27 A p r i l 1969. Int r o d u c i n g the e x h i b i t i o n which h i s company sponsored, Murphy a s s e r t s that the in n o v a t i v e q u a l i t i e s of the a r t i s t i c avant-garde p a r a l l e l the e n t e r p r i s e of business The works assembled f o r t h i s have been grouped by many of the observers of the a r t scene under the heading "new a r t . " We at P h i l l i p M o r r i s f e e l t h a t i t i s appropriate t h a t we p a r t i c i p a t e i n b r i n g i n g these works to the a t t e n t i o n of the p u b l i c , f o r there i s a key element i n t h i s "new" a r t which has i t s counterpart i n the business world. That element i s i n n o v a t i o n without which i t would be impossible f o r progress to be made i n any segment of s o c i e t y . 75 Just as the a r t i s t endeavors t o improve h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and conceptions through i n n o v a t i o n , the commercial e n t i t y s t r i v e s to improve i t s end product of s e r v i c e through experimentation w i t h new methods and m a t e r i a l s . Our constant search f o r a new and b e t t e r way i n which to perform and produce i s a k i n t o the questionings of the a r t i s t s whose works are represented here. What Crow and H a d j i n i c o l a o u i n the a r t i c l e s c i t e d above are most o v e r t l y concerned t o do, i s t o d e s c r i b e the mechanisms of the avant-garde. In h i s w r i t i n g s of the l a t e 1960s and e a r l y 1970s, the French s o c i o l o g i s t Jean B a u d r i l l a r d adds another l e v e l of a n a l y s i s onto t h i s model of c u l t u r e . The e x t r a dimension t h a t B a u d r i l l a r d adds i s a d i s c u s s i o n of the a c t u a l s ocial-psychology of consumption as i t p e r t a i n s t o the mechanisms of d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t the avant-garde sets i n motion. In short, according t o B a u d r i l l a r d avant-garde objects f u n c t i o n s o c i a l l y as d i s t i n c t i v e s i g n s , i . e . , as objects that d i s t i n g u i s h those who d i s t i n g u i s h them. Hence, the r i t u a l i z e d a p p r e c i a t i o n of "avant-garde a r t " serves as an ostensive gesture t o communicate a s p e c i f i c type of s o c i a l s t a t u s . See Jean B a u d r i l l a r d , "Sign Function and Class Logic" (1969), i n For a Critique of the P o l i t i c a l Economy of the Sign, t r a n s . Charles L e v i n (St. L o u i s : Telos Press, 1981), p.48. 12. For Nixon's 1968 e l e c t i o n campaign claims t o be a "pragmatic c e n t r i s t " who could " b r i n g Americans together again," see Wittner, Cold War America, pp.334, 343. For Nixon's 1968 campaign pledge to immediately end the war i n Vietnam, and f o s t e r a "generation of peace," see Chafe, The Unfinished Journey, p.381. Nixon's 1968 campaign speech where he o u t l i n e d t h a t h i s A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s p o l i c y would be to "seek t o encourage and develop...new concepts i n a r t " i s r e p r i n t e d i n "Richard Nixon," A r t s , 43 (November 1968), pp.5-6. 13. Herbert Marcuse, Counterrevolution and Revolt (Boston: Beacon Press, 1972), p.24. 14. On the i n c r e a s i n g power of the Right i n America during the 1960s, see Joshua B. Freeman, " P u t t i n g Conservatism Back Into the 1960s," Radical History Review, 44 (Spring 1989), pp. 94-99. 15. Tough new crime l e g i s l a t i o n was rushed through the courts as p o l i c e forces a l l over the country were beefed up w i t h l a r g e new expenditures. See G i l b e r t , Another Chance, p.283. On the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s theme of "law and order," see Wittner, Cold War America, pp.348, 590; and Chafe, The Unfinished Journey, p.381. 76 16. See S c h e l l , The Time of Illusion, pp. 39-44; and Wittner, Cold War America, p.335. Wittner w r i t e s that Nixon's attack on c i v i l r i g h t s was p a r t of h i s e f f o r t to appease s e v e r a l southern Republican leaders whose continued support the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n wanted to g a r n i s h . 17. As was subsequently revealed during the 1973 Watergate i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the President himself a u t h o r i z e d a campaign of p o l i t i c a l espionage, i n c l u d i n g b r e a k - i n s , w i r e -tappings, eavesdropping, and opening the m a i l of those Americans the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n deemed as p o s s i b l e t h r e a t s to " i n t e r n a l s e c u r i t y . " A war was a l s o d e c l a r e d on the Black Panther P a r t y which saw the p o l i t i c a l a s s a s s i n a t i o n of many Panthers by the FBI and l o c a l p o l i c e , as w e l l as the entrapment and imprisonment of many others. See Wittner, Cold War America, pp.338-9; and Todd G i t l i n , The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (New York: Bantam, 1987), pp.413-14. The peace movement was a l s o t a r g e t e d by the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . Nixon e s t a b l i s h e d a " s p e c i a l i n v e s t i g a t i v e u n i t , " l e d by h i s P r e s i d e n t i a l a s s i s t a n t John Ehrlichman, to perform covert a c t i v i t i e s f o r the White House. Among the v a r i o u s i l l e g a l a c t i v i t i e s performed by t h i s u n i t was the o r g a n i z i n g of gangs to attack antiwar demonstrators. See Chafe, The Unfinished Journey, pp.412-13; Wittner, Cold War America, p.339. 18. G i t l i n , The Sixties, p.410: " A l l i n a l l , i t was by f a r the l a r g e s t number of students ever to demonstrate i n a s i n g l e spasm." 19. G i t l i n , p.410, w r i t e s that N a t i o n a l Guard u n i t s were m o b i l i z e d on twenty-three campuses i n s i x t e e n s t a t e s . 20. Ronald Reagan, i n "^Bloodbath' Remark by Gov. Reagan," The San Francisco Chronicle, A p r i l 8, 1970, p . l ; as c i t e d i n G i t l i n , The Sixties, p.414-5. 21. John M i t c h e l l , as c i t e d by S c h e l l , The Time of Illusion, p.124. 22. As c i t e d i n Lawrence S. Wittner, Cold War America, p.353. Just before the congressional e l e c t i o n of 1970, Nixon hi m s e l f went on the campaign t r a i l t o a s s a i l American l i b e r a l i s m f o r having allowed a "creeping permissiveness — i n our l e g i s l a t u r e s , i n our courts, i n our f a m i l y l i f e , i n our u n i v e r s i t i e s . " [See S c h e l l , The Time of Illusion, p. 131.] In h i s campaign speeches, Nixon e x p l i c i t l y blamed the l e n i e n c y of the l i b e r a l Democrats f o r having allowed "the t e r r o r i s t s of the f a r l e f t " t o "erode...the strength of freedom i n our s o c i e t y , " and d i s r u p t the smooth running of the s t a t e and i t s i n s t i t u t i o n s . [Ibid.] 77 23. W i l l i a m S h i r e r , Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1970; as c i t e d i n Marcuse, Counterrevolution and Revolt, p.25. 24. Richard Scammon and Benjamin Wattenberg, The Real Majority (New York: Coward-McCann, 1970). Scammon and Wattenberg concluded that whereas the American e l e c t o r a t e had p r e v i o u s l y been concerned with economic and m i l i t a r y issues when going t o the p o l l s , there had r e c e n t l y been a major s h i f t i n the e l e c t o r a t e toward what the authors c a l l e d the " S o c i a l Issue." This broad " i s s u e " was comprised of increased concern w i t h s o c i a l problems -- such as p r o t e s t , crime, drugs, pornography, p r o m i s c u i t y — which were perceived t o be uprooting the underpinnings of t r a d i t i o n a l values. As Scammon and Wattenberg s t a t e d While the economic issues of the past w i l l continue t o shape much of our p o l i t i c s i n whatever form they may appear, the S o c i a l Issue i s a new f a c t o r i n the p o l i t i c a l equation — or at l e a s t i t i s new i n terms of i t s present massive impact. While we know l e s s about i t than we do of i t s economic counterpart, i t seems c l e a r that i t w i l l have great p o l i t i c a l e f f e c t i n the years to come. When voters are a f r a i d , they w i l l vote t h e i r f e a r s , (p.44) 25. Thomas M. Messer, "Preface," Guggenheim International Exhibition 1967: Sculpture From Twenty Nations, 20 October 1967- 4 February 1968 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1967), p.10. 26. Harry F. Guggenheim, l e t t e r to H.H. Arnason and Thomas M. Messer, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Arc h i v e s , dated February 7, 1964. Guggenheim continues And again I had the hope that somewhere i n the whole world one p a i n t i n g or s c u l p t u r e of greatness, r e g a r d l e s s of a r t form, would be found every two or three years that could be accepted and acclaimed by knowledgeable c r i t i c s throughout the a r t world. 27. F o l l o w i n g the 1964 I n t e r n a t i o n a l , the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the Guggenheim Museum decided to convert the award concept from that of an o u t r i g h t grant t o a purchase p r i z e . In t h i s way what were s e l e c t e d as the best works from the e x h i b i t i o n would be added to the Museum's permanent c o l l e c t i o n . 28. Harry F. Guggenheim, as quoted i n the press r e l e a s e , "The Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l Awards," March 9, 1956. The f u l l quote reads: "We at the Foundation hope that the award w i l l not only be s i g n i f i c a n t i n the f i e l d of a r t but w i l l a l s o be an important m a n i f e s t a t i o n of i n t e r n a t i o n a l g o o d w i l l . " 78 "International goodwill" was a recurring theme throughout the International s e r i e s . For example, i n the press release "Guggenheim International Exhibition 1967: Sculpture From Twenty Nations," September 10, 1967, Museum President Harry Guggenheim states: The hopes for the Exhibitions have been from the outset that they would be s i g n i f i c a n t in the f i e l d of art and also would be an important manifestation of international goodwill. The methods and rules for the Guggenheim Internationals have been modified over the years as we have sought constantly to f i n d a formula that would achieve these objectives as nearly as possible. Harry Guggenheim had hoped from the outset that the International series would become the c u l t u r a l equivalent to the Nobel Prize. See Harry F. Guggenheim, Letter to H.H. Arnason and Thomas M. Messer, dated February 7, 1964, in Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives. 29. Press Release, "Memorandum: The Guggenheim International Awards," released for p u b l i c a t i o n i n newspapers of March 16, 1956, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives. In the catalogue for the Sixth International, Messer stated retrospectively that one of the primary suppositions which brought t h i s series into being was the "then current and, i n retrospect, perhaps naive assumption that an obje c t i v e l y functioning machinery could be set up to comb the world for the purpose of locating and rewarding the highest l e v e l of contemporary a r t i s t i c achievement." (p.9) 30. The National Section Award Juries, of which there were twenty-four i n 1956, each consisted of three jurors. The jurors were appointed by the l o c a l branch of the three i n t e r n a t i o n a l organizations involved in the "objectively functioning machinery." Each organization had the power to appoint one of the National Section jurors. It was s t i p u l a t e d that the jurors were to be c i t i z e n s of the nation they represented. Their role was to award $1, 000 to what they concluded was the best work produced i n t h e i r country i n the past few years. The prize winning work, along with four additional works selected by each the the National Section Juries, were then submitted to the International Award Jury. The members of the International Award Jury were to be duly elected by the representatives of the National Section J u r i e s . It was the International Award Jury's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to select the winner of the Guggenheim International Award prize of $10,000, and four subsidiary prizes of $2,500. In t o t a l , there was an extraordinary amount of money being doled out. In 1956, for example, the F i r s t Guggenheim International d i s t r i b u t e d approximately $50,000 in award money. 79 F o r a more d e t a i l e d breakdown of t h e r o l e of t h e v a r i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n s which t o g e t h e r combined t o make up " o b j e c t i v e l y f u n c t i o n i n g machinery" of t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Awards, see P r e s s R e l e a s e , "Memorandum: The Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l Awards," d a t e d March 16, 1956, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum A r c h i v e s . 31. On Eisenhower's acceptance of l i b e r a l i s m i n t h e l a t e 1950s, see James G i l b e r t , Another Chance: Postwar America, 1945-1968, p.235; and Godfrey Hodgson, America In Our Time, p.12. 32. H a r r y F. Guggenheim, P r e s s R e l e a s e , d a t e d March 9, 1956, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum A r c h i v e s : The P r e s i d e n t ' s i n t e r e s t i n a r t , m a n i f e s t e d i n h i s r e p o r t t o Congress, which has been a g r e a t i n s p i r a t i o n f o r a r t i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , l e d me t o hope t h a t he would l o o k w i t h f a v o r on e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f t h i s I n t e r n a t i o n a l Award, which he has done. • The f i r s t two - r e c i p i e n t s o f t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Award, t h e E n glishman Ben N i c h o l s o n i n 1956 f o r h i s August, 1956 (Val D'Orcia), and t h e S p a n i a r d Joan M i r o i n 1958 f o r h i s Night and Day, were p r e s e n t e d t h e i r awards by P r e s i d e n t Eisenhower at t h e White House, Washington, D.C.. ( f i g s . 1 - 2 ) 33. G i v e n t h a t such an i n c r e d i b y p a r a n o i d a t t i t u d e towards c u l t u r e as was m a n i f e s t under McCarthyism c o u l d c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e Eisenhower A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , i t s t a n d s t o r e a s o n t h a t such an A d m i n i s t r a t i o n would be a t t h e v e r y l e a s t t r e p i d a c i o u s r e g a r d i n g t h o s e c u l t u r a l e x p r e s s i o n s t h a t i t chose t o s a n c t i o n . S h o u l d one doubt t h e v e r a c i t y o f c l a i m s c i t i n g a c o n t i g u i t y between t h e p o l i t i c s o f t h e E isenhower A d m i n i s t r a t i o n and t h e p o l i t i c s of t h e American a v a n t - g a r d e , i t i s w e l l worth a s k i n g what i s t h e l i k e l i h o o d o f t h e Eisenhower A d m i n i s t r a t i o n s p o n s o r i n g a c u l t u r e t h a t was i n any way a n t i t h e t i c a l t o i t s own p o l i t i c a l a m b i t i o n s ? 34. H a r r y F. Guggenheim, l e t t e r t o S i r P h i l i p Hendy, P r e s i d e n t o f t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l o f Museums, Oct, 1961, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum A r c h i v e s . 35. L i k e t h e p r o m o t i o n o f " i n t e r n a t i o n a l g o o d w i l l , " emphasis on "the b e s t " was a l s o a r e c u r r i n g theme i n t h i s I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s . See f o r example Thomas M. Messer i n t h e " P r e f a c e " t o t h e e x h i b i t i o n c a t a l o g u e f o r t h e Guggenheim International Exhibition 1967: Sculpture From Twenty Nations, p.10. 36. The i n f l u e n c e o f Clement Greenberg on t h e o f f i c i a l s o f t h e Guggenheim was conveyed t o me by Edward F r y i n a t e l e p h o n e i n t e r v i e w , F e b r u a r y 22, 1989. 80 Greenberg's c e n t r a l t h e s i s i s that a r t can be o b j e c t i v e l y evaluated regardless of where i t i s from. This argument i s fundamental i n a l l of h i s w r i t i n g s . See i n p a r t i c u l a r "Avant-Garde and K i t s c h , " Partisan Review, 6 ( F a l l 1939), pp.34-49, and h i s comments i n the "Discussion A f t e r T.J. C l a r k , " Modernism and Modernity: The Vancouver Conference Papers, ed. Benjamin Buchloh, et a l . , pp.188-193. 37. Thomas M. Messer, e x h i b i t i o n catalogue f o r the Guggenheim International Exhibition 1967: Sculpture From Twenty Nations, 20 October 1967- February 4 1968 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1971), p.11. 38. Perhaps no other s i n g l e i n c i d e n t i n the h i s t o r y of modern a r t has obviated the d e f i c i e n c i e s of t h i s e v a l u a t i v e means than the acceptance of Daniel Buren's work f o r the S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l . As we w i l l see, Buren's work e a s i l y s a t i s f i e s a l l of the e s s e n t i a l c r i t e r i a of t h i s e v a l u a t i v e means. However, while i t meets these c r i t e r i a q u i t e adequately, i t a l s o stands i n s t a r k d i a l e c t i c a l o p p o s i t i o n to them. 39. As Greenberg wrote i n 1948 i n a " L e t t e r t o the E d i t o r of The Nation on January 31, 1948, "As f a r as I know, I do not p r e s c r i b e to a r t , and I am w i l l i n g to l i k e anything, provided I enjoy i t enough. That i s my only c r i t e r i o n , u l t i m a t e l y . " As c i t e d by John 0'Brian i n h i s " I n t r o d u c t i o n " to Clement Greenberg Collected Essays and Criticism, Vol. 2: Arrogant Purpose 1945-1949 (Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1986), p . x x i i i . 40. According t o Lawrence Alloway, "''Reality': Ideology at D5," Art forum, 10 (October 1972), p.30, the organizers of the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l turned to a small but powerful c o a l i t i o n of dealers of avant-garde a r t f o r a s s i s t a n c e i n f a c i l i t a t i n g cooperation with a r t i s t s . This c o a l i t i o n was comprised of Leo C a s t e l l i and V i r g i n i a Dwan i n New York, Heiner F r i e d r i c h and Konrad F i s c h e r i n West Germany, and Gian Enzo Sperone who had a g a l l e r y i n New York and many connections i n the I t a l i a n a r t world. Alloway e x p l a i n s t h a t by the e a r l y 1970s i t was a common p r a c t i c e f o r museums to c o l l a b o r a t e with a r t dealers i n shows of contemporary a r t , and was " w e l l w i t h i n the t o l e r a n c e s of mid-century r o l e -t a k i n g i n the a r t world." The f a c t that nine of the twenty-one a r t i s t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n were represented by C a s t e l l i , i n d i c a t e s the immense i n f l u e n c e which t h i s p a r t i c u l a r New York a r t dealer had over the s e l e c t i o n of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . [These were the Americans Dan F l a v i n , Donald Judd, Joseph Kosuth, Robert M o r r i s , Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Lawrence Weiner, the German Hanna Darboven, and the Dutch Jan Dibbets. See Laura de Coppet & Alan Jones, The Art Dealers: The Powers Behind 81 the Scene Talk About the Business of Art (New York: P o t t e r , 1984), pp.100-106. 41. Thomas M. Messer, "Preface" t o the e x h i b i t i o n catalogue f o r the Guggenheim International E x h i b i t i o n : 1971, 11 February- 11 A p r i l , 1971 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1971), p.11. 42. Ibid., p.10. 43. Ibid., p.11. 44. In "New Dimensions/ Time-Space: Western Europe and the United S t a t e s , " a catalogue essay i n c l u d e d i n Guggenheim International E x h i b i t i o n : 1971, pp.15-24, Diane Waldman r e f e r s to the M i n i m a l i s t s when she w r i t e s t h a t , The S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l thus takes i t s p o i n t of departure from the premises e s t a b l i s h e d by these s c u l p t o r s during the middle s i x t i e s , (p.15) The o f f i c i a l press r e l e a s e f o r the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l a l s o i d e n t i f i e s the important r o l e which Minimal a r t played on the "current trends" i n a r t represented i n t h i s e x h i b i t . See " S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n Opens February 12," January 29, 1971, p.2, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum A r c h i v e s . 45. Thomas M. Messer, "'Which i s i n f a c t what happened': Thomas M. Messer i n an i n t e r v i e w w i t h Barbara Reise 25 A p r i l , 1971," Studio International, 182 (July/August 1971), p.37: " f o r a l l the a r t i s t s who showed i n the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , the b u i l d i n g served as a p o i n t of departure." Diane Waldman, "Statement by Diane Waldman," Studio International, 181 (May/June 1971), p.247: "The framework of the e x h i b i t i o n was t h e r e f o r e a v i t a l f a c t o r from the onset, as was the museum space i t s e l f . . . t h e a r t i s t s created work s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r the s i t u a t i o n . " 46. For instance, with h i s piece t i t l e d Brooklyn Clay ( f i g . 3 ) , Richard Long c e l e b r a t e d Wright's a r c h i t e c t u r e by i m p r i n t i n g e i g h t t r a c k s of mud on the f l o o r p l a n of the Guggenheim. The mud t r a c k s r a d i a t e d from the very top ramp of the Museum and widened apart as one f o l l o w e d them down, echoing the s p i r a l a r c h i t e c t u r e of the Museum while conforming to the curve of the viewing ramp. Each path of the p i n k i s h brown surface ended at a p o i n t i n the deep r i g h t hand corner of each of the e i g h t e x h i b i t i o n niches which Long was a l l o t t e d . Indeed, most of the works produced f o r the I n t e r n a t i o n a l were q u i t e novel. For h i s s i t u a t i o n - s p e c i f i c p i e c e , the Dutch Conceptual a r t i s t Jan Dibbets had the museum s t a f f photograph the whole of the ground-floor window 82 of the Guggenheim at one hour i n t e r v a l s from s u n r i s e t o sunset on December 21, 1970 — the shortest day of the year. A p p r o p r i a t e l y t i t l e d The Shortest Day of 1970 Photographed front Sunrise to Sunset, The Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York, the p r i n t s which c o n s t i t u t e d the work were then e x h i b i t e d during the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . The American Process a r t i s t Bruce Nauman's s o l u t i o n i n terms of s i t e was to produce a type of phenomenological i n v e s t i g a t i o n of one of the niches of the Guggenheim which manipulated the l i g h t i n g , w a l l s , and s l a n t e d f l o o r of the Museum. Nauman's i n s t a l l a t i o n , t i t l e d Bar Piece ( f i g . 4 ) , c o n s i s t e d of simply one two-inch by f o u r - i n c h bar of wood, pla c e d at e y e - l e v e l and spanning the e x h i b i t i o n niche. Since the bar of wood p a r a l l e l e d the earth, while the f l o o r of the Museum s l a n t s at a three-degree plane, the l e f t s i d e of the bar was higher than the r i g h t . The l i g h t i n g of the niche was arranged i n such a way that i t darkened the center of the bar, while rendering the r i g h t and l e f t ends which butted i n t o the w a l l s almost white. In order to engage with the s p e c i f i c a r c h i t e c t u r e of the Guggenheim Museum the I t a l i a n avant-garde a r t i s t Mario Merz placed a s e r i e s of f i f t e e n blue neon l i g h t s on the outer face of the r i s i n g s p i r a l w a l l s of the Museum. T i t l e d Fibonacci's Progression ( f i g . 5 ) , the neon l i g h t s i n Merz's i n s t a l l a t i o n denoted numerical f i g u r e s . The d i g i t s enacted a s p i r a l i n g mathematical progression based on the theory of Leonardo F i b o n a c c i i n which numbers develop i n p r o g r e s s i v e s e r i e s toward i n f i n i t y , s t a r t i n g from number one, w i t h each successive number adding onto the one f o l l o w i n g i t . As Merz explained, "This compounding of each number i n the one that f o l l o w s i s the b a s i c , rhythmic law of numbers i n which F i b o n a c c i develops the mathematics of organic growth i n nature." Further extremes i n the use of s i t e were taken by the Americans Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner, the B r a z i l i a n Antonio Dias, and the Japanese J i r o Takamatsu, a l l of whom went a step f a r t h e r along i n adapting t h e i r works to the Guggenheim space. Each of t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h i s show i n v o l v e d the d i r e c t communication of ideas depending h e a v i l y upon the w r i t t e n word. For example, f o r h i s piece e n t i t l e d The Eighth Investigation: Proposition One, Kosuth arranged t a b l e s and c h a i r s f o r viewers to s i t and read m a t e r i a l on time and l i n g u i s t i c s . On the w a l l of the f a c i n g niche, Kosuth set up a bank of i n t e r n a t i o n a l c l o c k s which would t i c k away as people read. Weiner used the w r i t t e n word to negate every v i s u a l p o s s i b i l i t y by l e a v i n g a niche empty, and i s s u i n g two banal statements i n the catalogue: one which read "Flanked Beside" and the other "Done Without." 47. Press r e l e a s e , " S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n Opens February 12," dated January 29, 1971, p.2, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ar c h i v e s . 83 48. As c i t e d i n the memo "Guests f o r T M M p a r t y , " i n the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ar c h i v e s . 49. As c i t e d i n the memo " P r i o r to the opening of the Eleventh (11th) Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n at the Guggenheim Museum Feb 11th 1971," i n the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ar c h i v e s . 50. As c i t e d i n the memo "Guest of VIP f o r GIE Opening 2 / i i / 7 i , " i n the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum A r c h i v e s . 51. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives have a s i x t e e n m i l l i m e t e r , four minute f i l m of the 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , which was made by the United States Information Service (USIS) . The contents of t h i s f i l m c o n s i s t of D i r e c t o r Messer t a k i n g the camera on a guided tour of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n . When on February 17, 1989, I asked Ward Jackson, the Chief A r c h i v i s t of the Guggenheim •Museum, what f u n c t i o n the f i l m served, I was informed that i t was d i s t r i b u t e d abroad, "behind the Iron C u r t a i n and places l i k e t h a t . " According t o International Information, Education and Cultural Relations: Recommendations for the Future, Center f o r S t r a t e g i c and I n t e r n a t i o n a l Studies, 1975, p.28, the USIS i s a f o r e i g n i n t e l l i g e n c e agency whose r o l e i n c l u d e s the f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n of f o r e i g n audiences with American l i f e and i n s t i t u t i o n s through seminars, a r t i c l e s , l e c t u r e s , f i l m s , and radio/TV programs. 52. Henry K i s s i n g e r , Years of Upheaval (Boston: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1982), p.376. When President Nixon sent New York Governor R o c k e f e l l e r and an entourage on a f a c t - f i n d i n g tour of L a t i n America i n 1969, they reported back to the President t h a t "forces of anarchy, t e r r o r , and subversion are loose i n the Americas," and c a l l e d f o r major new counter-insurgency i n the regio n . But i t was the coming to power of l e f t - w i n g governments i n se v e r a l of these c o u n t r i e s , and t h e i r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of U.S. based i n d u s t r i e s , which worried the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n the most. Fearing the spread of Communism and subsequent t h r e a t s t o U.S. i n t e r e s t s i n L a t i n America, the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n t e n s i f i e d i t s propaganda campaigns i n that r e g i o n . The L a t i n American nations were, as R o c k e f e l l e r s u c c i n c t l y put i t , extremely important t o U.S. i n t e r e s t s and should be kept under the American sphere of i n f l u e n c e because "the United States depends on them t o provide a vast market f o r our manufactured goods" and "looks t o them f o r raw m a t e r i a l s f o r our i n d u s t r i e s . " [See Lawrence S. Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima to Watergate, p.360.] The t r u s t e e s of the Guggenheim Museum a l s o had personal reasons f o r wanting to i n f l u e n c e the perception of American c u l t u r e i n L a t i n America. Soon a f t e r the e l e c t i o n of 84 Salvador Allende i n C h i l e i n 1970, a giant s u b s i d i a r y of the Kennecott Copper Corporation operating i n that country was n a t i o n a l i z e d . The President of the Guggenheim, Peter 0. Lawson-Johnston, was a member of the Board of D i r e c t o r s of the Kennecott Copper Corporation at the time of the n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , and one of the t r u s t e e s of the Guggenheim, Frank R. M i l l i k e n , was the President of t h i s c o r p o r a t i o n . As Hans Haacke found i n h i s research on "Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Board of Trustees" (1974) reproduced i n Hans Haacke: Unfinished Business, ed. B r i a n W a l l i s (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T Press, 1986), pp.110-17, r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the Kennecott Copper Corporation were i n 1973 c a l l e d before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign R e l a t i o n s who were i n v e s t i g a t i n g U.S.-directed e f f o r t s t o d e s t a b i l i z e C h i l e . 53. Grace Glueck, "Nay-Sayers," New York Times, March 21, 1971, IV, p.22. 54. Edward Said, "Secular C r i t i c i s m , " The World, the Text, and the Critic (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1983), p. 9. 55. B r i a n O'Doherty, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " (1971), i n Museums in Crisis (New York: B r a z i l l e r , 1972), p.3. In the e a r l y 1970s, O'Doherty was the Program D i r e c t o r of the NEA's V i s u a l A r t s program. For a d i s c u s s i o n of the r i s i n g d e f i c i t s of New York museums i n the l a t e 1960s and e a r l y 1970s, see K a r l E. Meyer, The Art Museum: Power, Money, Ethics (New York: W i l l i a m Morrow, 1979), p.15, p.59-60, passim; and B r i a n O'Doherty, ed., Museums in Crisis, passim. 56. Thomas M. Messer, from "P r o j e c t Grant A p p l i c a t i o n , " N a t i o n a l Foundation f o r the A r t s , dated February 23, 1971, i n N a t i o n a l Foundation f o r the A r t s and Humanities A r c h i v e s , Washington, D.C. Thomas M. Messer, i n a personal i n t e r v i e w which I conducted with him i n the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on February 16, 1989, informed me of the seriousness of the budget c r i s i s which the Museum faced i n the e a r l y 1970s, and of how the impending c r i s i s might a f f e c t the Museum's standards. K a r l Meyer, i n The Art Museum: Power, Money, Ethics, p. 143, w r i t e s that the f i s c a l problem of the Guggenheim Museum was due t o decreased revenue from admissions, combined with operating c o s t s : "Since the Wright b u i l d i n g was not e n e r g y - e f f i c i e n t , i t became i n c r e a s i n g l y c o s t l y t o heat and t o a i r - c o n d i t i o n i t s 1,265,000 cubic f e e t . " Thus by the e a r l y 1970s, the annual d e f i c i t was i n the v i c i n i t y of a quarter of a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . In order t o meet i t s operating d e f i c i t s , beginning i n the e a r l y 1970s the Guggenheim Museum was forced to deplete i t s endowment. This was "an i n a u s p i c i o u s route," as Messer l a t e r e x p l a i n e d i n an i n t e r v i e w with Barbaralee 85 Diamondstein: " I f i t [the money to cover the d e f i c i t ] comes out of the endowment long enough and b i g enough, there won't be any endowment." [Barbaralee Diamondstein, "Interview with Thomas M. Messer," Inside New York's Art World (New York: R i z z o l i , 1979), p.237.] 57. Personal correspondence from Edward Fry, dated March 5, 1989. Fry w r i t e s : The f i n a n c i a l c r i s i s preceded the Buren i n c i d e n t . . . . I do remember a meeting of the e n t i r e c u r a t o r i a l s t a f f at Messer's house i n l a t e 1970 or e a r l y 1971 t o d i s c u s s the budget c r i s i s , and a l s o d i s c u s s i n g w i t h Messer at another time that winter whether to seek p u b l i c or p r i v a t e funding. 58. Messer was q u i t e open about the Guggenheim's s t r a t e g y : "Our p l a n i s t o . . . e n l i s t support of a growing membership; play as hard for the government dollar as we can, and seek c o r p o r a t i o n support." [Thomas M. Messer int e r v i e w e d by Barbaralee Diamondstein, i n Inside New York's Artworld, p.238. I t a l i c s mine.] In a personal i n t e r v i e w with Thomas M. Messer, February 16, 1989, he informed me that a u t h o r i t y i n Guggenheim Museum i s d i s t r i b u t e d h i e r a r c h i c a l l y from the Trustees, down to the D i r e c t o r , and then to the l e s s e r o f f i c i a l s l i k e Curators. Thus f o r example i n times of f i n a n c i a l c r i s i s the Trustees request that the D i r e c t o r propose a s o l u t i o n to the problem, and the D i r e c t o r ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n t u r n i s t o t r y to work out a s o l u t i o n with the l e s s e r Museum o f f i c i a l s . What i s important to keep i n mind, however, i s that the D i r e c t o r ' s d e c i s i o n s are always accountable to the Trustees. 59. Senator Jacob J a v i t s , as c i t e d i n Sharon Zukin, Loft Living, p. 103. 60. President Lyndon B. Johnson, N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s , "The N a t i o n a l Council f o r the A r t s and the N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s during the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n of P r e s i d e n t Lyndon B.Johnson: The H i s t o r y , " V o l . 1, (unpublished document a v a i l a b l e from the Lyndon B. Johnson L i b r a r y , A u s t i n , Texas, 1968), p.9; as c i t e d i n Fannie Taylor and Anthony L. B a r r e s i , The Arts at a New Frontier (New York & London: Plenum, 1984), p.37. Some of the most prominent p o l i t i c i a n s to lobby the f e d e r a l government f o r an a r t s program were Governor ( l a t e r V i c e - P r e s i d e n t ) Nelson R o c k e f e l l e r , Senator Jacob J a v i t s , and Congressman ( l a t e r New York Mayor) John Lindsay. A l l three of the p o l i t i c i a n s c i t e d above were Republicans i n a c o n s t i t u e n c y w i t h a l a r g e c l u s t e r of l i b e r a l v o t e r s , t h e r e f o r e t h e i r receptiveness t o an " a r t ' s c o n s t i t u e n c y " was pragmatic i n more ways than one. Moreover, since the Second World War, New York C i t y ' s a r t market had become i n c r e a s i n g l y dominant both n a t i o n a l l y and i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y . 86 Therefore i t i s hardly s u r p r i s i n g that p o l i t i c i a n s from t h i s part of the country should take an a c t i v e r o l e i n mustering up government support to the a r t s . See Sharon Zukin, Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Press, 1982), p.100-10, f o r a good d i s c u s s i o n on New York p o l i t i c i a n s and t h e i r " i n t e r e s t " i n the a r t s ; and Dick Netzer, The Subsidized Muse: Public Support for the Arts in the United States (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1978), p.61-2, f o r a d i s c u s s i o n of the " p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y " of the NEA. 61. Fannie Taylor and Anthony L. B a r r e s i , The Arts at a New Frontier: The National Endowment for the Arts, p.169. In t h e i r "Appendix A: N a t i o n a l Foundation on the A r t s and the Humanities," p.244, Taylor and B a r r e s i c i t e a u t h o r i z a t i o n of funds to the NEA as $8,250,000 i n F i s c a l 1970, and $72,500,000 i n F i s c a l 1974. According to the NEA's o f f i c i a l records, the s h i f t i n g governmental a t t i t u d e towards the a r t s was e s p e c i a l l y sharp between 1970-1972, rendering these years as ones which " w i l l undoubtedly be judged i n the fu t u r e reckoning of the a r t s i n America as among the most s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h e i r h i s t o r y . " [NEA, New Dimensions for the Arts 1971-1972, Washington, 1972, p.5; as c i t e d i n Taylor and B a r r e s i , p. 143.] 62. The i r o n y t h a t the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n should increase the allotment of f e d e r a l funds t o the a r t s was heightened by the nation's d e t e r i o r a t i n g economic s i t u a t i o n . For example, Lawrence Wittner w r i t e s i n Cold War America, p.354, th a t During the f i r s t eighteen months of the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , unemployment climbed to over 5 per cent, r e a l weekly earnings d e c l i n e d , and the n a t i o n entered i t s worst r e c e s s i o n i n a decade. On the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s " h i g h l y organized d r i v e to cutback even the e x i s t i n g programs," see Jonathan S c h e l l , The Time of Illusion (New York: Knopf, 1976), p.340. For a d i s c u s s i o n of how "Nixon worked to cut back s o c i a l programs," see Lawrence S. Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima to Watergate (New York & Washington: Praeger, 1974), pp.340, 356-7. For a sympathetic a n a l y s i s of "Nixon's e x p l i c i t war against the War on Poverty," see Theodore J . Lowi, The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States (New York & London: W.W. Norton, 1979), pp.226-28. The Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s support f o r the NEA took many people by s u r p r i s e . Upon Nixon's e l e c t i o n t o the White House, many had p r e d i c t e d that the new A d m i n i s t r a t i o n would be d i s a s t r o u s f o r a r t s funding. This b e l i e f was underscored by an " E d i t o r i a l " i n A r t s , 43 (March 1969), p.5, p u b l i s h e d two months i n t o the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s f i r s t term: 87 President Nixon and his advisors must sta r t with an invidious fa c t : t h e i r predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson, did more for the arts i n America than any previous President even though i t was p i t i f u l l y l i t t l e . . . . Due to his deep commitment to the role of corporate enterprise in our national l i f e , the President might transfer the government's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the funding for the arts to Big Business, completely and un q u a l i f i e d l y . 63. John J. O'Connor, "Mr. Nixon on 'The Quality of L i f e ' , " Wall Street Journal, January 2 , 1970, p.6. During i t s early years, the Nixon Administration's c u l t u r a l p o l i c y was comprised of vague, ambiguous and often confusing statements. On the surface, i t appeared to endorse a continuation of the United States government's practice of using American avant-garde art as proof of American's l i b e r a l attitudes. In the 1950s and 1960s avant-garde art was invoked to support the claims of American freedom and democracy i n the context of the Cold War. The " r e v i s i o n i s t " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the period following the Second World War, such as expressed by Max Kozloff, Eva Cockroft, Serge Guilbaut, and others, shows that United States government agencies, with the help of important New York museums, began to promote avant-garde art abroad. In the United States, c e r t a i n c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l e l i t e s r e a l i z e d that an argument could be made to the e f f e c t that the ideology of the American avant-garde art group which came to be c a l l e d the Abstract Expressionists, and the form taken by t h e i r paintings, p a r a l l e l e d the ideology of "new l i b e r a l i s m " and Cold War aggression which had swept post-war America. This p o l i t i c a l ideology saw the image of dissidence within the country's c u l t u r a l sphere as an opportunity to promote the myth abroad of the freedom that existed i n America. Furthermore, t h i s image could be used to enhance American claims that the Cold War was the f a u l t of the communist countries' i n a b i l i t y to tolerate dissidence. Intolerance at the domestic l e v e l was used as proof that aggression and i n t r a c t a b i l i t y were fundamental to the communist nature. The suppression of avant-garde works of art as well as of the ideology of modernism by Nazi Germany and Stalinism, further supported the argument that those nation-states which accepted the avant-garde were in fact the defenders of a r t i s t i c freedom, and, by extension, of freedom i n general. Of course, i t does not follow that since one group who suppresses the avant-garde i s generally repressive, that another group i s generally progressive i f i t does not suppress i t . Nevertheless, Cold War b a t t l e s were often fueled on such specious and underdeveloped arguments. The success with which the New York School of painters was launched and endorsed i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y led to subsequent claims of the supremacy of American avant-garde art, referred to as the "triumph of American painting." The strong international p r o f i l e gave credence to the promotion 88 of New York as the center of the avant-garde. Propagation of the image of New York C i t y as the c u l t u r a l center of the world would g r e a t l y b e n e f i t the United S t a t e s . As a n a t i o n which a s p i r e s to be a world leader i m i t a t e d by others, American i m p e r i a l i s t ambitions would be f o r t i f i e d by the establishment of New York as the world a r t center. Once the country's c e n t r a l i t y and primacy had been e s t a b l i s h e d , by v i r t u e of t h i s f a c t alone, other nations would be a t t r a c t e d t o and s t r i v e to i m i t a t e the United States. See Edward Said, "Secular C r i t i c i s m , " The World, the Text, and the Critic, pp. 1 - 3 0 . 6 4 . The use of c u l t u r e by American Federal A d m i n i s t r a t i o n s i n the p a r t i c u l a r twenty year p e r i o d that I am d i s c u s s i n g has not yet been analyzed i n s u f f i c i e n t depth. However, what i s important f o r my study i s t h a t there was an apparent overlap i n the r h e t o r i c with which these A d m i n i s t r a t i o n s addressed c u l t u r e . For example, compare President Kennedy's statement during the d e d i c a t i o n of the Robert Frost L i b r a r y on October 2 6 , 1 9 6 3 : "Art e s t a b l i s h e s the b a s i c t r u t h s which must serve as the touchstones of our judgement," and President Johnson's remark at the s i g n i n g ceremony f o r the N E A on September 2 9 , 1 9 6 5 : A r t i s a nation's most precious h e r i t a g e , f o r i t i s i n our works of a r t that we r e v e a l to ourselves, and t o others, the inner v i s i o n which guides us as a n a t i o n with Nixon's remarks when campaigning f o r President i n 1 9 6 8 : A r t i s the most profound and u l t i m a t e l y the most sacred form of freedom of expression that we have. Within i t s depths and i t s mysteries i s the source of new ways of l o o k i n g at the world and ourselves. Underlying each of the three P r e s i d e n t s ' comments on a r t , there i s an i n v o c a t i o n of u n i v e r s a l i t y . [See John F. Kennedy, "The A r t i s t i n America," New York Times, October 2 7 , 1 9 6 3 , p.8 3 ; Lyndon B. Johnson, N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s , "The H i s t o r y , " p.22 , as quoted by Taylor and B a r r e s i , The Arts at a New Frontier, p.4 9 ; Richard M. Nixon, as c i t e d i n "Richard Nixon," Arts, 43 (November 1 9 6 8 ) , p. 6 . ] 6 5 . "Freedom," as Serge Guilbaut w r i t e s i n How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art, t r a n s . Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago & London: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1 9 8 3 ) , "was the symbol most a c t i v e l y and v i g o r o u s l y promoted" during the e a r l y years of the Cold War. (p.201) 6 6 . Excerpts from t h i s t e x t of the P r e s i d e n t ' s remarks to the A s s o c i a t e d Councils of the A r t s , Mayflower H o t e l , Washington, D.C., May 2 6 , 1 9 7 1 , appear i n Taylor and B a r r e s i , The Arts at a New Frontier, pp. 1 4 7 - 1 4 8 . 89 The n o t i o n of freedom to which Nixon appeals appears t o be c l o s e l y connected with the Cold War r h e t o r i c one f i n d s , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n President Truman's famous "Truman Do c t r i n e " speech t o Congress i n March of 1947, i n which he constructed a d i a m e t r i c a l o p p o s i t i o n between American freedom and communist oppression. Truman maintained that the p r i n c i p a l d i f f e r e n c e between the two forms of p o l i t i c a l l i f e l i e s i n the degree of s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n permitted the i n d i v i d u a l : One way i s based upon the w i l l of the m a j o r i t y , and i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d by fre e i n s t i t u t i o n s , r e p r e s e n t a t i v e government, f r e e e l e c t i o n s , guarantees of i n d i v i d u a l l i b e r t y , freedom of speech and r e l i g i o n and freedom from p o l i t i c a l r e p r e s s i o n . The second way of l i f e i s based upon the w i l l of a m i n o r i t y f o r c i b l y imposed upon the m a j o r i t y . I t r e l i e s upon t e r r o r and oppression and c o n t r o l l e d press and ra d i o , f i x e d e l e c t i o n s , and the suppression of personal freedoms. Given the h i s t o r i c a l sequence of events, one can see how connections may have been drawn between ideas of p o l i t i c a l s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n , American p o l i t i c a l dominance, and American c u l t u r a l dominance. [See Harry S. Truman, "Truman D o c t r i n e " speech d e l i v e r e d to Congress on March 12, 1947; as quoted i n David Horowitz, From Yalta to Vietnam: American Foreign P o l i c y in the Cold War (Middlesex: Penguin, 1967), p.68.] The s i m i l a r i t i e s between the Nixon's n o t i o n of "freedom" and that of Cold War r h e t o r i c were f u r t h e r accentuated by Nixon's statements on n a t i o n a l t e l e v i s i o n on A p r i l 30, 1970, when he o f f i c i a l l y informed the n a t i o n that he had ordered American combat troops and bombers i n t o Cambodia t o "clean out" Communists i n the name of "freedom": We w i l l not be h u m i l i a t e d . We w i l l not be defeated. I f the U.S. acts l i k e a p i t i f u l h e l p l e s s g i a n t , the forces of t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m and anarchy w i l l t hreaten f r e e nations and fre e i n s t i t u t i o n s throughout the world. Richard Nixon, as quoted by Wittner, Cold War America, p.350 67. Richard Nixon, S p e c i a l Message t o Congress, December 10, 1969, r e p r i n t e d as "Mr. Nixon on ""The Q u a l i t y of L i f e ' , " i n Wall Street Journal, January 2, 1970, p.6. 68. When I interviewed Thomas M. Messer, February 16, 1989, he informed me that the I n t e r n a t i o n a l s e r i e s was the Guggenheim's most p r e s t i g i o u s event. 69. These languages i n c l u d e d German, French, Japanese, P o l i s h , Yugoslavian, Greek and Spanish. These e x h i b i t i o n s were a l s o recorded on f i l m by the USIA's motion p i c t u r e s e r v i c e , NEWS OF THE DAY, t o be d i s t r i b u t e d to l i b r a r i e s and news s e r v i c e s abroad. See the "Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l 90 Award 1960 Press Preview Data: Background Based on GIA 1958," and "Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l Awards: Press Review" (1960) f o r more d e t a i l s , i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ar c h i v e s . 70. In a l e t t e r t o S i r P h i l i p Hendy, President of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o u n c i l of Museums, Oct, 1961, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, Harry Guggenheim s t a t e s t h a t Our Trustees now f e e l that we have gained enough experience i n these l a s t three Awards so th a t we should restudy t h e i r s t r u c t u r e and determine whether there are means by which t h i s can be made more e f f i c i e n t and e f f e c t i v e . 71. L a u r i e Monahan, i n "The New F r o n t i e r Goes To Venice: Robert Rauchenberg and the XXXII Venice Biennale" (Masters t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1985), p. 6, has shown that with the coming to power of the Kennedy A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , although the aims remained e s s e n t i a l l y the same, the manner i n which the. United States government employed the c u l t u r a l dominance s t r a t e g y changed: While the aims of the U.S. government had not changed s u b s t a n t i a l l y [ i n regard to i t s e f f o r t s to advance i t s claims of freedom and democracy with respect to the Cold War] by the 1960s, the way i n which they were expressed was a l t e r e d under the Kennedy A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . In p a r t t h i s was an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l change of s t r a t e g y ; i n the f i f t i e s , p r i v a t e i n s t i t u t i o n s such as the Museum of Modern A r t created the impression that avant-garde e x h i b i t i o n s were organized f r e e l y and independently, while i n f a c t they represented government i n t e r e s t s . By the s i x t i e s the government cast o f f t h i s facade of non-i n t e r f e r e n c e , a move made p o s s i b l e by the l i b e r a l image which Kennedy p r o j e c t e d and enhanced by the tone of h i s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . 72. Grace Glueck, "At the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , They Know What They Don't L i k e , " New York Times, January 26, 1964, I I , p.22. As i s w e l l known, one of the top p r i o r i t i e s of the United States government i n the 1960s was t o topple the communist regime of F i d e l Castro i n Cuba. When economic sa n c t i o n s , p o l i t i c a l pressure, and U.S. backed bombing r a i d s and l a n d i n g attempts f a i l e d to a f f e c t the s t a b i l i t y of the Cuban government, the U.S. r e s o r t e d to more covert methods. See Chafe, The Unfinished Journey, pp.197-205. The honouring of a Cuban p a i n t e r by a major New York Museum l i k e the Guggenheim, can thus be seen as part of an attempt t o advance the claims of American freedom and democracy as opposed to Cuban i n t r a n s i g e n c e . The Guggenheim's co-operation with the Voice of America, a p i r a t e r a d i o s t a t i o n operated by the USIA, would ensure that the message was communicated over Cuban airwaves. 91 73. Although Minimalism had been featured i n l a r g e 1966 shows such as the Jewish Museum's "Primary S t r u c t u r e s : Younger American and B r i t i s h S c u l p t o r s " (1966), and the Guggenheim's "Systematic P a i n t i n g " (1966), i t was only a f t e r 1967, i n major e x h i b i t i o n s l i k e the Museum of Modern A r t ' s "Art of the Real" (1968), and the "Documenta IV" (1968), th a t i t began to be promoted as the most important avant-garde movement of the l a t e 1960s. The 1967 I n t e r n a t i o n a l , curated by Museum D i r e c t o r Thomas M. Messer and Edward Fry, was comprised of over 100 works of s c u l p t u r e produced i n the 1960s. This e x h i b i t i o n f e a t u r e d e i g h t y a r t i s t s from twenty nations and t r a v e l l e d to three major c i t i e s i n Canada: Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. A r t i s t s from a wide range of c o u n t r i e s were s e l e c t e d , i n c l u d i n g A u s t r a l i a , Japan, I s r a e l , Colombia, and most of the c o u n t r i e s of Western Europe. The F i f t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l a l s o marked the i n c l u s i o n of the l a r g e s t amount of a r t i s t s ever from Eastern b l o c c o u n t r i e s , with a t o t a l of s i x a r t i s t s s e l e c t e d from Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n t o the 1967 show by the l o c a l and n a t i o n a l press was g e n e r a l l y p o s i t i v e . For instance, H i l t o n Kramer, "Sculpture: No S u r p r i s e s , " New York Times, October 20, 1967, p.52, p r a i s e d the show's organizers f o r having done a "commendable" job: As anthologies go, t h i s one i s not at a l l a bad one. The organizers of the e x h i b i t i o n . . . d i s p l a y a commendable i n t e l l i g e n c e and c a u t i o n . . . . The f i r s t t h i n g to be s a i d about the i n s t a l l a t i o n i s that Frank L l o y d Wright remains pre-eminent i n t h i s e x h i b i t i o n ; there i s no work i n the show that can compete with the grandeur of h i s forms and the sheer imperiousness of the space he has created i n t h i s b u i l d i n g . But the second t h i n g to be s a i d i s that the d i r e c t o r s of the e x h i b i t i o n have done exceedingly w e l l i n s t r u g g l i n g w i t h a d i f f i c u l t problem. 74. The Guggenheim Museum's f i r s t formal request f o r f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e from the N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s i s dated February 23, 1971. See " P r o j e c t Grant A p p l i c a t i o n " (#A11296 71) i n the archives of the N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s , Washington, D.C. 75. K a r l Beveridge and Ian Burn, "Don Judd," The Fox, 2 (1975), p.138. 76. Ibid.. Judd l i s t e d these n e u t r a l s c u l p t u r a l m a t e r i a l s as "formica, aluminum, c o l d - r o l l e d s t e e l , p l e x i g l a s s , red and common brass and so f o r t h . " See Donald Judd, " S p e c i f i c Objects" (1965), r e p r i n t e d i n Complete Writings (New York & H a l i f a x : NASCAD Press, 1975), p.123. 77. ibid. 92 78. Beveridge and Burn, "Don Judd," The Fox, p.138. This aspect of Beveridge and Burn's argument i s complemented by Ernest Mandel, who i n Late Capitalism, t r a n s . J o r i s De Bres (London: NLB, 1975), p.509, w r i t e s that "The r e a l i d o l of l a t e c a p i t a l i s m i s . . . t h e ' s p e c i a l i s t ' . " 79. Messer, Guggenheim International E x h i b i t i o n : 1971, p. 9. According t o Messer, museums, "which, a f t e r a l l , were made f o r o b j e c t s , " had found themselves i n a s e r i o u s predicament i n the l a t e 1960s as the object was r a p i d l y receding from view. (p.9) 80. In Thomas M. Messer, "Impossible A r t — Why I t I s ? " Art in America, 57 (May/June 1969), p.31, the D i r e c t o r of the Guggenheim complained that the new a r t trends seemed to deny the "machinery c o n s i s t i n g of d e a l e r s , c r i t i c s and museums." Messer went on to express h i s concern t h a t the new a r t , because i t was r e s i s t a n t to i t s commodification, engendered an unease upon that other a r t -- the a r t of the b e a u t i f u l object, which i n p r i v a t e c o l l e c t i o n s , i n a r t g a l l e r i e s and on museum w a l l s and pedestals continues to play i t s p a r t . (p.31) 81. Waldman, "New Dimensions/ Time-Space," i n Guggenheim International E x h i b i t i o n : 1971, p.15. 82. Ibid., p. 16. Even i f we leave aside the dubious c l a i m t h a t the M i n i m a l i s t s were "de-emphasizing the importance of the end-state," Waldman's statements are s t i l l h i g h l y problematic. The i s s u e of de-emphasizing the importance of the end-state has been fundamental to modern a r t . For example, the negation of t o n a l i t y i n the p a i n t i n g s of Edward Manet, the broken brushwork and r a d i c a l cropping of I m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t i n g , Pablo Picasso's use of newsprint i n Cubist c o l l a g e , Andre Masson's automatic p a i n t i n g s (!), and so f o r t h , a l l downplayed a concern with the end-state. C l e a r l y , i n the catalogue f o r the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l Waldman was di s s e m i n a t i n g her ignorance on a broad c u l t u r a l p l a t f o r m . De-emphasizing the end-state i s one of the " p r a c t i c e s of negation" which s o c i a l a r t h i s t o r i a n T.J. C l a r k , i n "Clement Greenberg's Theory of A r t " (1982), Pollock and After, ed. F r a n c i s F r a s c i n a , p.55, argues have c h a r a c t e r i z e d avant-garde p r a c t i c e . C l a r k defines " p r a c t i c e s of negation" as some form of d e c i s i v e innovation, i n method or m a t e r i a l s or imagery, whereby a p r e v i o u s l y e s t a b l i s h e d set of s k i l l s or frame of reference — s k i l l s and references which up t i l l then had been taken as e s s e n t i a l to art-making of any seriousness — are 93 d e l i b e r a t e l y avoided or travestied, i n such a way as to imply that only by such incompetence or obscurity w i l l genuine p i c t u r i n g get done. For an i n t e r e s t i n g discussion of how the end-state was anything but "de-emphasized" i n Donald Judd's " s p e c i f i c objects," see Charles Reeve, "Squarehead" (Masters thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1989). 83. Richard Nixon, Special Message to Congress, December 10, 1969, reprinted as "Mr. Nixon on 'The Quality of L i f e ' , " in Wall Street Journal, p.6. 84. This would be a case of what Edward Said i n "Secular C r i t i c i s m " The World, the Text, and the C r i t i c , c a l l s the "power of culture." According to Said, a culture "by v i r t u e of i t s elevated or superior p o s i t i o n to authorize, to dominate, to legitimate, demote, i n t e r d i c t , and v a l i d a t e " i s empowered to dictate standards of appropriateness and a c c e p t a b i l i t y . In t h i s way, i t functions as "an agent of, and perhaps the main agency for, powerful d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n within i t s domain and beyond i t too."(p.9) Assumption of the ideology of o b j e c t i v i t y i n values i s an e s s e n t i a l part of the c u l t u r a l dominance strategy. The strategy involves a straightforward claim with respect to c u l t u r a l superiority, a s e l f - v a l i d a t i n g argument backed by the problematic but unquestioned assumption of o b j e c t i v i t y . The strategy also d i s c r e d i t s by implication any claims to the contrary, which other cultures might make with respect to t h e i r own s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . As Said argues, i n our highly technologized age modern methods of communication enable those who are i n control of communication networks to render messages of c u l t u r a l superiority i n a seemingly objective way. That i s to say, the standards of one culture are presented i n such a way as to encourage the impression that they are universal standards. In other words, i f the United States assumes a p o s i t i o n of c u l t u r a l superiority, i t follows by d e f i n i t i o n that art p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n the United States are, as a group, advanced beyond a r t i s t s i n other countries. Furthermore, i f we consider the avant-garde from within each country, then the avant-garde i n the United States would be the most advanced. Any controversy over what counts as t r u l y avant-garde would be s e t t l e d simply by consulting practice i n America, or more s p e c i f i c a l l y , practice i n New York Ci t y . Due to the dynamic of c u l t u r a l power, there i s a great deal at stake p o l i t i c a l l y and economically i n the contest between countries for c u l t u r a l primacy. 85. The organizers of the 1971 International were aware of the international character of these new developments of the avant-garde. For instance, curator Diane Waldman wrote in the International's catalogue that 94 U n l i k e New York based Pop a r t and c o l o r a b s t r a c t i o n , both of which have t h e i r sympathetic counterparts i n Europe, but whose supremacy has nonetheless been conceded, the work of the l a s t f i v e years i s more t r u l y i n t e r n a t i o n a l i n scope, (p.15) The famous show, "The New York School, 1940-1970," which Henry G e l d z a l e r organized i n 1970 at the M e t r o p o l i t a n Museum t o attempt to prove the supremacy of New York's a r t establishment, symbolized f o r many the end of the era when New York had any r i g h t t o make such c l a i m s . See Harold Rosenberg, "Ecole de New York," New Yorker, 45 (December 6, 1969), pp.171-84; and P i e r r e Restany, "1972: The American C r i s i s and the Great Game of the Establishment," Domus, 507 (February 1972), p.51. 86. For example, between 1967 and 1970, the f o l l o w i n g major i n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n s were organized i n Europe: "Art Povera" i n Genoa (1967-68) ; "Live i n Your Head: When A t t i t u d e s Become Form," which began at the Bern K u n s t h a l l e (1969) , and t r a v e l l e d to Amsterdam and London; "Op Losse Schroven" at the S t e d e l i j k Museum, Amsterdam (1969) ; "Prospect "'69" at the Ku n s t h a l l e , Dusseldorf (1969); the "Konzeption/Conception" at the Stadtische Museum, Leverkusen (1969) ; "Happenings and Fluxus" at the Kunstverein, Cologne (1970) ; as w e l l as Seth Seigelaub's p r o j e c t whereby he r e s t r u c t u r e d the magazine format i n t o an e x h i b i t i o n by i n v i t i n g guest c u r a t o r s / e d i t o r s t o s e l e c t a r t i s t s who would then produce s i t e s p e c i f i c pieces f o r the July/August 1969 is s u e of Studio International. 87. "Information," The Museum of Modern A r t , 2 J u l y - 20 September 1970, organized by Kynaston McShine; New York C u l t u r a l Center's "Conceptual A r t and Conceptual Aspects," New York C u l t u r a l Center, 10 A p r i l - 2.5 August 1970, organized by Donald Karshan; "Software," the Jewish Museum, 16 September- 8 November 1970, organized by Jack Burnham. 88. Kynaston L. McShine, " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " Information (New York: The Museum of Modern A r t , 1970), p.209. 89. For a c r i t i c a l a n a l y s i s of t h i s understanding of the avant-garde, see H a d j i n i c o l a o u , "The Ideology of Avant-Gardism," Praxis, and Perry Anderson, "Modernity and Re v o l u t i o n , " New Left Review, 144 (March-April 1984), pp.96-113. 90. Harold Rosenberg himself argued t h a t the avant-garde's strenuous requirement that i t c a l l a t t e n t i o n t o i t s e l f i n e v i t a b l y s c u t t l e d whatever c r i t i c a l value an avant-garde work might have had. As he noted i n "The Avant-Garde," Quality: Its Image in the Arts, ed. Louis Kronenberger (New York: Atheneum, 1969), 95 The t i e between the vanguard and the middle c l a s s becomes v i s i b l e i n the processes by which the movements expand and develop t h e i r s i n g u l a r idioms and costumes. A t t r a c t i n g the a t t e n t i o n of the bourgeoisie and i t s patronage becomes, i n c r e a s i n g l y , the major concern. The r e s u l t i n every case i s a d i l u t i o n of the movement and a d u l l i n g of i t s edge. In the l a s t a n a l y s i s , a l l modern a r t movements are movements toward m e d i o c r i t y , (p.430) 91. H i l t o n Kramer, "Art and P o l i t i c s : Incursions and Conversions" (1970), r e p r i n t e d i n Age of the Avant-Garde: An Art Chronicle of 1956-1972 (New York: F a r r a r , Straus and Giroux, 1973), p.528. 9 2 . Ibid. 93. H i l t o n Kramer, "Do You B e l i e v e i n the P r i n c i p l e of Museums?" New York Times, January 18, 197 0, I I , p.25. 94. See Peter S t e i n f e l s , i n The Neoconservatives: The Men Who Are Changing America's Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979) . C i t i n g an a r t i c l e from Newsweek,' November 7, 1977, S t e i n f e l s begins h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the neoconservatives as f o l l o w s : In i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s , the s o c i a l t h i n k e r s who were the d r i v i n g f o r c e of Democratic l i b e r a l i s m -- men l i k e A r t hur Schlesinger J r . and John Kenneth G a l b r a i t h --have been upstaged by a group of "neoconservative" academics, many of them refugees from the l i b e r a l l e f t , i n c l u d i n g D a n i el B e l l , Nathan Glazer, I r v i n g K r i s t o l , James Q. Wilson, Edward B a n f i e l d , Seymour M a r t i n L i p s e t and Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan of New York. (p.4) S t e i n f e l s then goes on to l i s t many more members of t h i s group such as Samuel P. Huntington, L i o n e l T r i l l i n g , Norman Podheretz, Roger S t a r r , and others. Alexander Bloom, i n h i s review of S t e i n f e l s book [Telos, 42 (Winter 1979-80), pp. 181-188], takes issue with the l a t t e r ' s c l a i m that neoconservatism i s a new phenomenon, and argues i n s t e a d that although there was a s h i f t i n the way t h a t these i n t e l l e c t u a l s manifested themselves, what they were saying i n the 1950s and 1960s was c o n s i s t e n t with t h e i r p o i n t of view i n the 1970s. Nonetheless, Bloom agrees w i t h much of S t e i n f e l s argument and discusses the e a r l y 1970s p o l i t i c a l landscape i n s i m i l a r terms. Bloom adds that the neoconservatives went on to become some of "the i n t e l l e c t u a l s most favored i n the Republican White House from 1969 to 1977." (p.182) 95. Daniel B e l l , "The C u l t u r a l C o n t r a d i c t i o n s of C a p i t a l i s m , " The Public Interest, 21 ( F a l l 1970), p.18. 96. I b i d . 96 97. Ibid. 98. Ibid. B e l l ' s abrupt t u r n from h i s previous proclamations that the i d e o l o g i c a l age had ended i s s t r i k i n g ; yet i t provided him with a b a s i s from which t o disavow l i b e r a l i s m and the avant-garde. 99. Waldman, "New Dimensions/ Time-Space," i n Guggenheim International Exhibition: 1971, p.15. 100. Messer, "Impossible A r t — Why I t I s ? " Art in America, p.31. 101. What I am r e f e r r i n g to here i s the community of i n t e r e s t -- the group of major New York c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n c l u d i n g The Museum of Modern A r t , the Jewish Museum, Peggy Guggenheim's A r t Of This Century, the Whitney Museum -- which can crudely be summed as concentrated around Clement Greenberg, as w e l l as around a c e r t a i n group of commercial g a l l e r i e s which had very marked i d e n t i t i e s and connections with that group of p u b l i c museums -- e.g., Betty Parsons, Sidney J a n i s , P i e r r e Matisse, Charley Egan, and others. • For a d i s c u s s i o n on the formation of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between these museums/galleries and Greenberg, see Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art, passim; and Cox, A r t - a s - P o l i t i c s : The Abstract Expressionist Avant-Garde and Society, passim. Also see Sidney J a n i s ' r e c o l l e c t i o n s i n Laura de Coppet & Alan Jones, The Art Dealers: The Powers Behind the Scene Talk About the Business of Art, pp.32-41, f o r a d i s c u s s i o n of how Greenberg's a r t c r i t i c i s m continued to a f f e c t the agendas of New York g a l l e r i e s i n the 1950s and i n t o the 1960s. 102. Clement Greenberg, "Where i s the Avant-Garde?" Vogue, June 1967, p.112. 103. And of t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t u r e at t h a t . This i s why Greenberg, as e a r l y as 1939, saw that the avant-garde was completely dependent on the b o u r g e o i s i e . "No c u l t u r e can develop without a s o c i a l base," he wrote i n "Avant-Garde and K i t s c h , " Partisan Review, 6 ( F a l l 1939), without some source of s t a b l e income. And i n the case of the avant-garde t h i s was provided by an e l i t e among the r u l i n g c l a s s of that s o c i e t y from which i t assumed i t s e l f to be cut o f f , but t o which i t has always remained attached by an u m b i l i c a l cord of gold. (p.37) 104. D a n i e l Buren, i n "Round And About A Detour," Studio International, 181 (May/June 1971), p.246, claims t h a t h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n was "a piece of work which had been known as a p r o j e c t f o r a considerable time (since October 97 1970) and accepted i n w r i t i n g by the Museum (6 January 1971) ." In "The Guggenheim A f f a i r : Reply to Diane Waldman," Studio International, 182 (July/August 1971), p.5, Buren maintains t h a t he had been i n correspondence with the show's cu r a t o r s and had described the work th a t he a n t i c i p a t e d i n s t a l l i n g i n the Guggenheim " i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l t o o b t a i n the exact measurements of the i n t e r i o r of the museum.... Mrs. Waldman even t o l d me the maximum s i z e of canvas I could use (35 f e e t ) . A s i z e I adhered t o . " When I researched the Guggenheim Museum's archives on the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l , t h i s correspondence was missing from the f i l e s , and I was t o l d that Diane Waldman had them i n her o f f i c e because they were c o n f i d e n t i a l . Edward Fry, another of the curators of t h i s e x h i b i t i o n , informed me i n a telephone i n t e r v i e w (February 21, 1989) t h a t the Museum had been* f u l l y aware ahead of time of what Buren's work would c o n s i s t of. Fry explained t o me that the d e c i s i o n to remove Buren's work came from Museum D i r e c t o r Thomas M. Messer who "was very upset" at the time. 105. Diane Waldman, "Statement by Diane Waldman," Studio International, 181 (May/June 1971), p.248. Waldman continues: "This i s s u e was one of i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y : there was simply no way of r e c o n c i l i n g Buren's p r o j e c t w i t h the other work i n the e x h i b i t i o n . " (p.248) 106. "'Which i s i n f a c t what happened': Thomas M. Messer i n an i n t e r v i e w with Barbara Reise 25 A p r i l , 1971," Studio International, p.37. 107. For a d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s p e t i t i o n , which was d r a f t e d by Buren, see Daniel Buren, "Round And About A Detour," Studio International, p.246; Diane Waldman, "Statement by Diane Waldman," Studio International, p.248; and Daniel Buren, "The Guggenheim A f f a i r : Reply to Diane Waldman," Studio International, p.5. F o l l o w i n g the censorship of Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n , American a r t i s t C a r l Andre withdrew h i s own work from the I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n s o l i d a r i t y with Buren. In "Statement by Diane Waldman," Studio International, p.248, Waldman maintains t h a t C a r l Andre removed h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n from the show only because he was " d i s s a t i s f i e d " w i t h h i s work. These claims were l a t e r r e f u t e d by Andre, i n " L e t t e r t o the E d i t o r , " Studio International, 182 (July/August 1971), p.6, who s t a t e s t h a t D a n i e l Buren's a s s e r t i o n that I removed my work from the S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l s o l e l y i n p r o t e s t against the suppression of h i s work i s t r u e . Diane Waldman's a s s e r t i o n that I removed my work because of any d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with i t i s not t r u e . 98 1 0 8 . Douglas Crimp and Benjamin Buchloh have p r e v i o u s l y discussed t h i s p a r t i c u l a r censorship by the Guggenheim Museum i n h i s t o r i c a l a r t i c l e s . In "Daniel Buren's New York Work" ( 1 9 7 6 ) , an overview of the re c e p t i o n of the work Buren e x h i b i t e d i n New York between 1970 and 1975, published i n the e x h i b i t i o n catalogue f o r Discordance/ Coherence, ed. R.H. Fuchs, (Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum, 1976), Crimp takes the o f f i c i a l e x p lanation at face value and s t a t e s that Buren's work was removed "when i t was determined that i t i n t e r r u p t e d the viewing of s e v e r a l other works." (p.75) In "Formalism and H i s t o r i c i t y " (1977), an a n a l y s i s of the d i f f e r e n c e s between European and American a r t i n the postwar p e r i o d , p u blished i n the e x h i b i t i o n catalogue Europe in the Seventies: Aspects of Recent Art, 8 October - 27 November, 1977, (Chicago: A r t I n s t i t u t e of Chicago, 1977), Buchloh a l s o discusses the censorship of Buren's work i n terms of the Museum bowing to the "serious o b j e c t i o n s " r a i s e d by a few of the a r t i s t s i n the e x h i b i t i o n . (p.102) However, n e i t h e r of these s t u d i e s adequately address the c o m p l e x i t i e s of the matter. They e x c l u s i v e l y focus on the r e l a t i v e l y minor c o n f l i c t between the a r t i s t s , and conclude that the Guggenheim acted as an intermediary f o r the whims of a few a r t i s t s . Underlying t h i s s u p p o s i t i o n i s the assumption that a r t i s t s p lay a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of museums. In f a c t , the reverse i s t r u e . Museums are not reg u l a t e d b y a r t i s t s ' opinions. I t i s a r t i s t s who f o l l o w museum's opinions -- that i s , i f they want to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the i n s t i t u t i o n a l game. On t h i s issue I agree with the French philosopher Louis A l t h u s s e r who i n h i s essay "Ideology and I d e o l o g i c a l State Apparatuses" (1970) e x p l a i n s t h a t i t i s the i d e o l o g i c a l apparatuses, of which the c u l t u r a l apparatus i s a pa r t , that f u n c t i o n to p o s i t i o n the sub j e c t / a r t i s t i n ideology, and not the reverse. And although i d e o l o g i c a l p r a c t i c e as manifested through the apparatuses has i t s own " r e l a t i v e autonomy" from economic and p o l i t i c a l p r a c t i c e , the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the apparatus s t i l l f u n c t i o n s i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l manner with the apparatus u l t i m a t e l y i n c o n t r o l of p o s i t i o n i n g s u b j e c t s / a r t i s t s w i t h i n the dominant ideology. See Louis A l t h u s s e r , "Ideology and I d e o l o g i c a l State Apparatuses. (Notes towards an i n v e s t i g a t i o n ) " (1969) i n Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays (New York & London: Monthly Review, 1971), pp.127-86. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , r e f e r r i n g t o the f u n c t i o n of New York museums i n the l a t e 1960s, Theresa Schwartz, i n "The P o l i t i c a l i z a t i o n of the Avant-Garde," A r t in America, 59 (November 1971), p.100, w r i t e s : In New York e s p e c i a l l y , [during the l a t e 1960s] the contemporary museums (the Museum of Modern A r t , the Whitney, the Guggenheim) had a t t a i n e d enormous tastemaking power, e x e r c i s i n g a profound i n t e r e s t on g a l l e r i e s and c o l l e c t o r s , e l e v a t i n g some a r t s t y l e s and making others obsolete. With t h e i r a b i l i t y to make 99 " s t a r s , " they were the most important s i n g l e i n f l u e n c e on an ambitious a r t i s t ' s l i f e . 109. Thomas M. Messer, "'Which i s i n f a c t what happened'," Studio International, p. 37. 110. I n s o f a r as both of Buren's p a i n t i n g s were i d e n t i c a l and formed an ensemble, a d i a l e c t i c was created not only between the p a i n t i n g i n s i d e and i t s Museum context, but a l s o between the p a i n t i n g outside and i t s s t r e e t context, between the p a i n t i n g outside and the p a i n t i n g i n s i d e , and between the two contexts of s t r e e t and Museum. Consequently, a r h e t o r i c of p r i v a t e and p u b l i c space emerged, not by a l t e r i n g the space as such, but r a t h e r by e n f o r c i n g the r e a l i t y of each space. Opposing the two, i n s i d e and outside, the Museum simultaneously became a symbol of p r i v a t e t e r r i t o r y w ith i t s s p e c i a l i z e d audience, while being revealed as the place where a r t i s d e f i n e d and where that mythic d e f i n i t i o n f i n d s i t s l e g i t i m a c y . See Buren, "Round And About A Detour," Studio International, p.247. 111. Two days p r i o r to the opening of the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l , Buren informed New York Times a r t correspondent Grace Glueck, the f i r s t c r i t i c t o preview the show i n the l o c a l press, that "[The Guggenheim Museum] r e a l l y k i l l s a piece of a r t , p r i m a r i l y because i t ' s a work of a r t i t s e l f . " [Grace Glueck, "Museum Presents Wide Media Range," New York Times, February 10, 1971, p.26.] Buren elaborated on the power of the a r c h i t e c t u r e of the Guggenheim Museum i n "Notes on Work In Connection With The Place Where I t Is I n s t a l l e d , " Studio International, 190 (September 1975), where he w r i t e s : The Guggenheim Museum i s a p e r f e c t example of a r c h i t e c t u r e which although enveloping and welcoming, i n f a c t excludes what i s e x h i b i t e d there (normally) f o r the b e n e f i t of i t s own e x h i b i t i o n . Holding out i t s arms, yes, but i n order to smother. Any work ve n t u r i n g unconsciously i n t o such an "envelopment" i s i r r e v o c a b l y absorbed, swallowed up by the s p i r a l s and curves of t h i s a r c h i t e c t u r e . The r o l e of p r o t e c t o r , acquired by the Museum, i s here taken to the p o i n t of paradox by the a r c h i t e c t h i m s e l f . The Guggenheim Museum behaves l i k e an overbearing mother t o the a r t i t houses. Such a r c h i t e c t u r e i s damaging t o a r t as i t i s , and by the same token very c l e a r l y r e v e a l s the l i m i t s of the s o - c a l l e d a r t . This a r c h i t e c t u r e i s heartening, (p.125) 112. When Harry Guggenheim commissioned t h i s b u i l d i n g from Frank L l o y d Wright, J.J.Sweeney, then the D i r e c t o r of the Museum, was adamantly opposed to Wright's unconventional design. I t was Sweeney's view that Wright's design, an avant-garde statement i n i t s own r i g h t , would be u n s u i t a b l e 100 f o r d i s p l a y i n g a r t o b j e c t s . However Harry Guggenheim disagreed, and Sweeney subsequently resigned s i x weeks a f t e r the new Museum opened. See Meyer, The Art Museum: Power, Money, Ethics, p.143. 113. The concept of bricolage was f i r s t used as a metaphor f o r m y t h i c a l thought by L e v i Strauss i n The Savage Mind (1962) . See Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style (London & New York: Methuen, 1979), pp.103-104, f o r an i n t e r e s t i n g e l a b o r a t i o n of t h i s concept. 114. Although t h i s p a r t i c u l a r power of the museum i s made emphatic i n the Guggenheim because of i t s a r c h i t e c t u r a l p l a n , i t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of most museums. The devices which museums employ to order of the v i s i t o r ' s experience are v a s t . Some of these i n c l u d e arrows which d i r e c t people through the b u i l d i n g , guide manuals which are u s u a l l y the only t h i n g i n museums d i s t r i b u t e d at no cost, even the guides or pre-recorded tapes which read the works f o r spectators a l s o l e a d the l a t t e r on a designated path. For an i n t e r e s t i n g a n a l y s i s of the ways th a t museums convey i d e o l o g i c a l meaning through a symbolic s t r u c t u r i n g of v i s i t o r s ' experiences and perceptions, see Ca r o l Duncan and Alan Wallach, "Museum of Modern A r t As Late C a p i t a l i s t R i t u a l : An Iconographic A n a l y s i s , " Marxist Perspectives, 3 ( F a l l 1978), pp.28-51. 115. This d i s c u s s i o n of the f u n c t i o n of the a r c h i t e c t u r e i n the Guggenheim i s indebted t o Benjamin Buchloh, "Formalism and H i s t o r i c i t y , " Europe in the Seventies, pp.102-3; and Daniel Buren, "Round And About A Detour," Studio International, pp.246-247. 116. The concept of detournement was o r i g i n a l l y a r t i c u l a t e d by the S i t u a t i o n i s t s to r e f e r to a k i n d of g u e r i l l a warfare of s i g n i f i c a t i o n , and has connotations of i l l i c i t a p p r o p r i a t i o n , p i r a c y , detouring, d e f l e c t i n g , and the sudden r e v e r s a l of an o r i g i n a l meaning or purpose. I t i s i n e f f e c t a tra n s f o r m a t i o n process whereby the conventional meanings of forms of a r c h i t e c t u r e , urbanism, cinema, a d v e r t i s i n g , are subverted, and new meanings are created. The f a c t t h a t the new meanings often have such a broad and d r a s t i c range of reve r b e r a t i o n s -- b l a t a n t censorship i n the present context — renders the detourne/nent as evidence that the present system of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s has become f o r c i b l y homogenized. The potency of t h i s concept l i e s i n i t s c a p a b i l i t y t o e l i c i t these r e v e l a t i o n s . Detournement was defined i n Internationale situationiste, 1 (June 1958), p.13, as f o l l o w s : S'emploie par a b r e v i a t i o n de l a formule: detournement d'elements esthetiques p r e f a b r i q u e s . I n t e g r a t i o n de productions a c t u e l l e s ou passees des a r t s dans une c o n s t r u c t i o n superieure du m i l i e u . Dans ce sens i l ne 101 peut y a v o i r de pe i n t u r e ou de musique s i t u a t i o n n i s t e , mais un usage s i t u a t i o n n i s t e de ces moyens. Dans un sens plus p r i m i t i f , l e de'tournement a l ' i n t e r i e u r des spheres c u l t u r e l l e s anciennes est une methode de propagande, qui temoigne de l'usure et de l a perte d'importance de ces spheres. 117. Although Donald Judd's work (fig.9) was i n s t a l l e d i n one of the ramps which made up the main e x h i b i t area of the Museum, i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to understand how he could maintain that Buren's p a i n t i n g obstructed some of i t s view-p o i n t s . In keeping w i t h the c i r c u l a r i t y of the b u i l d i n g , Judd's i n s t a l l a t i o n c o n s i s t e d of two c y l i n d e r s of sheet metal. These were separated by a nine i n c h i n t e r v a l . One was f i f t e e n f e e t i n diameter, and the other was placed i n s i d e the f i r s t . Taking i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n t h a t the Museum's i n t e r i o r walkway i s a three-degree c i r c u l a r plane, Judd's two r i n g s e x p l o i t e d the t i l t of the ramp upon which they were placed. The outer c i r c l e , twenty-four inches high on i t s u p h i l l s i de and t h i r t y - t w o inches on i t s d o w n h i l l s i d e , l e v e l e d the slope of the ramp and maintained the h o r i z o n t a l plane. The inner c i r c l e , however, p a r a l l e l e d the slope of the ramp. Thus Judd's piece acknowledged the c o n c e n t r i c i t y , the slope and s p i r a l q u a l i t y of the l o c a t i o n , and played the l e v e l base of the b u i l d i n g o f f against the ascent of i t s ramps. By counterposing the c i r c u l a r plane and the i n c l i n e plane of the b u i l d i n g ' s ramps, Judd had n e a t l y accommodated h i s work to the Museum's a r c h i t e c t u r a l s t r u c t u r e . However, sin c e the height of the work echoed the height of the p a r a p e t - l i k e w a l l s which serve as a p r o t e c t i v e r a i l i n g , Judd's i n s t a l l a t i o n was v i s i b l e from the opposite side of the Museum's s p i r a l only from the higher l e v e l f l o o r s (and even then only i n p a r t ) . I t revealed i t s e l f p r i m a r i l y as the spe c t a t o r approached that part of the ramp where the work was set up. Therefore Judd's c l a i m that a banner placed i n the c e n t r a l w e l l of the Museum v i s u a l l y obstructed h i s work, a work c a r e f u l l y p o s i t i o n e d i n the s p i r a l and hidden behind the concrete r a i l i n g , was c l e a r l y unfounded. Walter De Maria j o i n e d i n p r o t e s t with Heizer and Judd. His i n s t a l l a t i o n took up three succeeding niches to e x h i b i t three l a r g e swastikas. The swastika i n the center niche was three f e e t by three f e e t , and was made of aluminium. In the center of the hollowed out swastika, which protruded four inches from the w a l l , was placed a s t a i n l e s s s t e e l b a l l which gave the symbol a maze-like semblance. In the niches on e i t h e r s i d e of the aluminium s c u l p t u r e were placed exact-s i z e photos of the swastika i n the center niche. Since the three swastikas were suspended on the w a l l at the viewer's e y e - l e v e l , the view of De Maria's i n s t a l l a t i o n from across the c e n t r a l w e l l of the Museum would have been p a r t i a l l y o b s t ructed by a larg e p a i n t i n g i n the center of the Museum. Yet t h i s could have been e a s i l y r e c t i f i e d by simply a d j u s t i n g Buren's banner so that the t h i n edge a l i g n e d with 102 De Maria's swastikas, thereby s o l v i n g the problem without having to r e s o r t to the d r a s t i c measure of censorship. 118. Although F l a v i n ' s i n s t a l l a t i o n was u n t i t l e d , i t had a lengthy d e d i c a t i o n which read: "to Ward Jackson, an o l d f r i e n d and colleague who, when, during F a l l , 1957, I f i n a l l y returned t o New York from Washington and j o i n e d him to work together i n t h i s museum, k i n d l y communicated." 119. In h i s account of the events that l e d up to the censorship of h i s work, Buren e x p l i c i t l y names F l a v i n as the r i n g l e a d e r of the a r t i s t s who wanted h i s work removed. See Buren, "Round And About A Detour," Studio International, p.246. F l a v i n himself admitted t h a t he "complained about Buren's enormous i n t r u s i o n " i n " L e t t e r to the E d i t o r , " Studio International, 182 (July/August 1971), p. 6. Yet he argued that Buren was purposely seeking to d i s r u p t the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , and dismissed Buren as a f l y - b y - n i g h t r a d i c a l : I t must be a s i n i s t e r American " p e t i t - b o u r g e o i s " " i m p e r i a l i s t " p l o t t o please me. Well, I ' l l have to check out the l a t e s t composite f a n t a s i e s of French r a d i c a l i s t party l i n e s on American a r t i s t s and t h e i r seasonal comforts with l i t t l e Buren, i f ever again he surfaces i n New York. 120. Greenberg's a n a l y s i s maintained that the a r t s should concern themselves only with the p a r t i c u l a r c ontingencies of the medium being employed. For ins t a n c e , i n h i s c e n t r a l t h e o r e t i c a l essay of the 1960s, "Modernist P a i n t i n g " (1960), Arts Yearbook, 4 (1960), pp.101-108, Greenberg i n s i s t e d that p a i n t i n g should accomplish only those e f f e c t s which were proper and d i s t i n c t i v e to p a i n t i n g alone (e.g., the d e l i m i t a t i o n of f l a t n e s s , shape of the support, and p r o p e r t i e s of pigment), and t h a t i t s fundamental c o n d i t i o n s were to a r t i c u l a t e these e f f e c t s as a unique, unrepeatable and uncopiable c u l t u r a l experience. Representation, i l l u s i o n i s t i c space, f i g u r a t i o n , gesture, and the l i k e , were seen as extraneous t o the a r t of p a i n t i n g when reduced to i t s fundamental terms. 121. Part of t h a t same m i l i e u were w r i t e r s l i k e Michael F r i e d and R o s a l i n d Krauss who s t u d i e d at Harvard U n i v e r s i t y i n the l a t e 1950s when a s i m i l a r instrumentalism predominated. 122. Dan F l a v i n , "some remarks... excerpts from a s p l e e n i s h j o u r n a l , " Artforum, 5 (December 1966), p.27. 123. Although Judd's work of the 1960s d i d not i t s e l f embody t h i s idea of s i t e s p e c i f i c i t y , the manner i n which i t conceived of the a r t object s h i f t e d the focus away from the 103 Modernist idea of s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l i t y and made p o s s i b l e the development of s i t e s p e c i f i c i t y i n the work of a r t i s t s such as F l a v i n . With F l a v i n ' s p r a c t i c e of s i t e s p e c i f i c i t y , whatever remained i n Modernist a r t of a d i a l e c t i c between the artwork and the viewer was e l i m i n a t e d . Since the emanating l i g h t of h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n s completely engulfed the spec t a t o r , the experience of the work was one-dimensional. Moreover, the experience was without the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o n t r a d i c t i o n since the i n t e n s i t y of the viewer's r e l a t i o n s h i p with the objects and s i t e remained c o n s i s t e n t as the viewer moved around i n the space shared w i t h the obj e c t . Even the most b a s i c of r e f l e c t i o n s t h a t might have remained f o r the viewer, e.g. to explore the perceptual consequences of the p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r v e n t i o n performed on the s i t e , were e l i m i n a t e d once the viewer entered i n t o t h a t s i t e and was completely absorbed by i t . Thus F l a v i n ' s s i t e s p e c i f i c works of a r t permitted the spectator only a powerless acceptance and ennervated p a s s i v i t y . P r o h i b i t i n g r e f l e c t i o n and c r i t i c i s m , these works v a l o r i z e d submission and s p e c t a c l e . I t was t h i s aspect of the new avant-garde a r t trends that l e d Herbert Marcuse to complain i n "Art as a Form of R e a l i t y , " New Left Review, 74 (July/August 1 9 7 2 ) , p.5 7 , that r a t h e r than d e s t r o y i n g " i l l u s i o n , " the new trends had the e f f e c t of strengthening i t . 1 2 4 . John R u s s e l l , The Times, London, March 2 0 , 1 9 7 1 . 1 2 5 . Waldman, "Statement by Diane Waldman," Studio International, p . 2 4 8 . 1 2 6 . On Buren's e l i m i n a t i o n of "the concept of progress and p e r f e c t i b i l i t y " from h i s work, see Daniel Buren, i n Georges B o u d a i l l e " E n t r e t i e n avec Daniel Buren: L'Art n'est p l u s j u s t i f i a b l e ou Les po i n t s sur l e s > i ' , " Les Lettres Francaises, P a r i s , March 1 3 , 1 9 6 8 , p.2 9 : En e f f e t , l e point l e plus important, c'est l a p r i s e de conscience de 1 ' e l i m i n a t i o n du concept du progres, de p e r f e c t i b i l i t e . On the p u r s u i t of the " t o t a l d e p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n of the t h i n g on d i s p l a y , " see Buren, i n B o u d a i l l e " E n t r e t i e n avec Daniel Buren...," Les Lettres Francaises, p.2 9 : I I faut que l e f a i t de repeter e n t r a i n e une dep e r s o n n a l i s a t i o n t o t a l e de l a chose donnee a v o i r et non que c e l a devienne un r i t u e l qui n' a u r a i t a l o r s comme f o n c t i o n que de r e - s a c r a l i s e r l ' a r t . On the e f f o r t t o negate a l l " o r i g i n a l i t y " through h i s p a i n t i n g s , see Buren, "Beware," Five Texts, p.1 6 . 1 2 7 . Buren spoke of h i s attempt t o remove "the object's q u a l i t y of being a unique work" during h i s i n t e r v i e w with 104 Georges B o u d a i l l e " E n t r e t i e n avec Daniel Buren...," Les Lettres Francaises, p.29: La r e p e t i t i o n enleve egalement a l ' o b j e t son ca r a c t e r e d'oeuvre unique q u i , quel q u ' i l s o i t , peut par son unicite" e t r e un jour recupere par l ' a r t . 128. Buren, "Beware," Five Texts, p.15. For Buren then d e p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n and the avoidance of e v o l u t i o n are e s s e n t i a l components of a formula which comes together to produce a n e u t r a l form. As he informed B o u d a i l l e i n " E n t r e t i e n avec Daniel Buren...," Les Lettres Francaises, p.9, i f e i t h e r of the components i s absent, the work immediately leads back to "un a r t h i e r a t i q u e " : La r e p e t i t i o n n'est v a l a b l e que s i e l l e ne se charge pas elle-meme d'une s i g n i f i c a t i o n . Qu'elle ne devienne pas a son tour mythique. Le second stade, l e plus important, c'est de mettre en doute l e concept r e p e t i t i f dans son stade p r i m a i r e a f i n de l e f a i r e passer du mythique a 1'historique. 129. See Roland Barthes, Writing Degree Zero, t r a n s . Annette Lavers and C o l i n Smith (New York: H i l l and Wang, 1968); and Mythologies, t r a n s . Annette Lavers (New York: H i l l & Wang, 1972) . 130. Buren's c r i t i q u e of the d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the a e s t h e t i c sign and i t s environment, p a r a l l e l s Barthes' theory i n Writing Degree Zero of the p o s s i b i l i t y of o b t a i n i n g a ( s c i e n t i f i c ) "zero degree" of language, and h i s d e f i n i t i o n i n Mythologies of "myth" as the i n v e r s i o n of a h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i e d i n t o a n a t u r a l , u n i v e r s a l s i g n i f i e r . 131. Buren, "Beware," Five Texts, p.12. The "zero degree of w r i t i n g " was p o s i t e d by Barthes i n Writing Degree Zero as a disengaged, c o l o u r l e s s w r i t i n g , f r e e d from a l l bondage to a pre-ordained s t a t e of language.... [Writing] i s then reduced t o a so r t of negative mood i n which the s o c i a l or m y t h i c a l characters of a language are abolished i n favour of a n e u t r a l and i n e r t s t a t e of form; thus thought remains wholly re s p o n s i b l e [ i . e . , h i s t o r i c a l ] , without being o v e r l a i d by a second commitment of form to a H i s t o r y not i t s own. (pp.76,77) For Barthes, as f o r Buren a f t e r him, the zero degree of form was seen as capable of r e s i s t i n g the "language-robbery" of myth which turns "an h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y " i n t o "a n a t u r a l image of t h i s r e a l i t y . " As he put i t i n "Myth Today" In a f u l l y c o n s t i t u t e d myth, the meaning i s never at zero degree, and t h i s i s why the concept can d i s t o r t 105 i t , n a t u r a l i z e i t . . . At bottom, i t would only be the zero degree which could r e s i s t myth. Barthes, Mythologies, pp.131,142,132. 132. See Andre Parinaud, "Interview w i t h Daniel Buren," Galerie des Arts, 50 (February 1968); as r e p r i n t e d i n Lucy Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1912 (London: Studio V i s t a , 1973), p.41. 133. Daniel Buren, "Function of the Museum" (1970) i n Five Texts, t r a n s . Laurent Sauerwein (New York: John Weber G a l l e r y , 1973), p.5. 134. As Benjamin Buchloh argues i n "Formalism and H i s t o r i c i t y , " European a r t i s t s i n the 1960s and 1970s tended to employ d i f f e r e n t methods of a e s t h e t i c s i g n i f i c a t i o n than d i d American a r t i s t s . According to Buchloh, the "prominent s p e c i f i c d i f f e r e n c e " between American and European a r t during t h i s p e r i o d i s found i n " t h e i r d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e s toward the idea of h i s t o r y and the h i s t o r i c i t y of a r t . " (p.83) Whereas European a r t tended to be h i s t o r i c i s t , d i a l e c t i c a l and l i n g u i s t i c , American a r t i n the same p e r i o d was more pragmatic, p o s i t i v i s t and f o r m a l i s t . 135. Buren, "Function of the Museum," Five Texts, p.5. 136. Just as one of the prime aims of French i n t e l l e c t u a l s i n the 1960s was the d e f i n i t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e w i t h i n the context of language as a whole, some a r t i s t s i n France, of which Buren and h i s colleagues i n the BMPT group are prime examples, began to put an equivalent e f f o r t i n t o the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the d i f f e r e n t frameworks w i t h i n which the s o c i a l d e f i n i t i o n of a r t takes p l a c e . 137. "The s p e c t a c l e , " according to Guy Debord i n Society of the Spectacle, t r a n s , anon. ( D e t r o i t : Black and Red, 1970) , " i s the moment when the commodity has a t t a i n e d the t o t a l occupation of s o c i a l l i f e . " ( t h e s i s 42) This concept takes the economic t h e o r i e s of the l a t e r Marx, i n p a r t i c u l a r Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (1867), and i n f u s e s them with the s t u d i e s on ideology found i n Marx's e a r l i e r w r i t i n g s such as The German Ideology (1945) . What r e s u l t s i s an update of Marx whereby the commodity and ideology — i n the sense of an upside-down v e r s i o n of r e a l i t y — are so p e r f e c t l y overlapped t h a t they become one. For example, compare the f i r s t sentence of Marx's chapter on "Commodities and Money," i n Capital, v o l . 1 (The Process of C a p i t a l i s t P r oduction), 1867, ed. F. Engels, t r a n s . Samuel Moore and Edward A v e l i n g (New York: I n t e r n a t i o n a l P u b l i s h e r s , 1967): The wealth of those s o c i e t i e s i n which the c a p i t a l i s t mode of production p r e v a i l s , presents i t s e l f as "an 106 immense accumulation of commodities," i t s u n i t being a s i n g l e commodity, (p.35) with the f i r s t t h e s i s t o Debord's Society of the Spectacle: In s o c i e t i e s where the modern c o n d i t i o n s of production p r e v a i l , a l l of l i f e presents i t s e l f as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything t h a t was d i r e c t l y l i v e d has moved away i n t o a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . The commodity becomes the s p e c t a c l e , i t becomes "the heart of the unrealism of the r e a l s o c i e t y , " as ideology becomes c r y s t a l i z e d i n the commodity form, ( t h e s i s 6) As Debord w r i t e s , "The spectacle i s capital t o such a degree of accumulation t h a t i t becomes an image." ( t h e s i s 34) These ideas permeated i n t o the European c u l t u r a l m i l i e u of the 1960s, e s p e c i a l l y i n France. For instance, Buren has on v a r i o u s occasions remarked on the considerable i n f l u e n c e which Debord and the S i t u a t i o n i s t s had on the development of h i s work, and the work of the BMPT group of which he was a part i n the l a t e 1960s. See "A L i t t l e S i t u a t i o n i s m . . . : Daniel Buren Interviewed by David B a t c h e l o r , " A r t s c r i b e International, 66 (November/December 1966), 51-52; and Daniel Buren, Daniel Buren/ Entrevue: Conversations avec Anne B a l d a s s a r i ( P a r i s : Flammarion, 1987), p.24. For the main features of the s i t u a t i o n i s t a n a l y s i s , see the twelve issues of the j o u r n a l compiled and r e p r i n t e d as i n t e r n a t i o n a l e situationiste: 1958-69 ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s Champs L i b r e , 1975); Debord, Society of the Spectacle; and Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967), t r a n s . Donald Nicholson-Smith (London: L e f t Bank Books & Rebel Press, 1983); a l s o see Ken Knabb, ed. & t r a n s . , Situationist International Anthology (Berkeley: Bureau of P u b l i c Secrets, 1981) . The d i s c u s s i o n s on the S i t u a t i o n i s t s which I found most u s e f u l were A l f r e d W i l l e n e r , The Action Image of Society: On Cultural Politicization, t r a n s . A.M. Smith (New York: Pantheon, 1970); Edward B a l l , "The Great Sideshow of the S i t u a t i o n i s t I n t e r n a t i o n a l , " Yale French Studies, 73 (December 1987), pp.21-37; and Peter Wollen, "From Breton t o the S i t u a t i o n i s t s : The S i t u a t i o n i s t I n t e r n a t i o n a l , " New Left Review, 174 ( A p r i l 1989), pp.67-95. Debord and the S i t u a t i o n i s t ' s a r t i c u l a t i o n of the i n c r e a s i n g l y s p e c t a c u l a r nature of c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y was complimented i n the 1960s by the p u b l i c a t i o n of other t e x t s w i t h s i m i l a r analyses. For example, Henry Lefebvre's, Everyday Life in the Modern World, t r a n s . Sacha R a b i n o v i t c h (New York: Harper & Row, 1968); Jean B a u d r i l l a r d ' s Le Systeme des objets ( P a r i s : Denoel-Gonthier, 1968); and B a u d r i l l a r d ' s La Societe de consommation ( P a r i s : G a l l i m a r d , 1970), a l s o argued that there had been a fundamental s h i f t i n c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y i n the post-Second World War p e r i o d , from a s o c i e t y of production t o a s o c i e t y of consumption. 107 138. Guy Debord, "Perspectives de m o d i f i c a t i o n s concientes dans l a v i e quotidienne," Internationale situationiste, 6 (August 1961), p.25. Debord continues by commenting on the c o n d i t i o n of modern a r t i n the i n c r e a s i n g l y s p e c t a c u l a r s o c i e t y : La d i s p a r i t i o n de toutes l e s anciennes v a l e u r s , de toutes l e s references de l a communication ancienne, dans l e c a p i t a l i s m e developpe; et 1 ' i m p o s s i b i l i t y de l e s remplacer par d'autres...produisent non seulement 1 ' i n s a t i s f a c t i o n p a r t i c u l i e r e m e n t aigue dans l a jeunesse, mais encore l e mouvement d'auto-negation de l ' a r t . L ' a c t i v i t e a r t i s t i q u e a v a i t t o u j o u r s ete seule a rendre compte des problemes c l a n d e s t i n s de ^ l a v i e quotidienne, quoique d'une maniere v o i l e e , deformee, p a r t i e l l e m e n t i l l u s o i r e . I I e x i s t e , sous nos yeux, l e temoignage d'une d e s t r u c t i o n de toute 1'expression a r t i s t i q u e : c'est l ' a r t moderne. 139. Debord, Society of the Spectacle, t h e s i s 193. 140. P a r t s of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n are indebted t o Hans Magnus Enzenburger, "The I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of the Mind" (1962), i n The Consciousness Industry (New York: Seabury Press, 1974), pp.3-15. On the response by French a r t i s t s t o the perception that the encroachment of the c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y on t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s was growing, see the essays i n Art and Confrontation: The Arts in an Age of Change t r a n s . N i g e l F o x e l l (Greenwich, Conn.: New York Graphic S o c i e t y , 1968); and the chapter on " C u l t u r a l P o l i t i c i z a t i o n : Precedents and P a r a l l e l s " i n A l f r e d W i l l e n e r , The Action Image of Society: On Cultural Politicization, pp.193-276. In the l a t e 1960s, many people i n France c a l l e d f o r the end of a r t because i t had become evident t h a t a r t was incapable of r e s i s t i n g co-optation and commodification by the "consumer s o c i e t y . " The s t r e e t performance, the p o l i t i c a l demonstration, the cobble-stone b r i c k , were a l l described as a s u p e r i o r form of c r e a t i o n than the a r t object confined i n the museum -- the mausoleum of c u l t u r e . Museums came to be seen as f u n c t i o n i n g as d i s t r i b u t i o n apparatuses f o r r e i f i e d c u l t u r e ; and museum/official c u l t u r e i t s e l f came to be understood as an indispensable i n g r e d i e n t i n the commercial and p o l i t i c a l attempts to confuse the p u b l i c with a constant barrage of new commodities. [See Michel Ragon, "The A r t i s t and S o c i e t y , " and Andre Fermingier, " 'No more Cl a u d e l s ' , " both i n Art and Confrontation, pp. 23-40, and 41-62.] S i m i l a r c r i t i q u e s against the a r t establishment took place across Europe i n the l a t e 1960s. For i n s t a n c e , the 1968 "Documenta IV" e x h i b i t i o n i n K a s s e l , West Germany, was p r o t e s t e d by many a r t i s t s who argued th a t l a r g e commercial e x h i b i t i o n s such as the Documenta served t o l e g i t i m a t e the 108 f a l s e claims that democracy and freedom e x i s t e d i n l a t e c a p i t a l i s m : The p r o p e r t i e d c l a s s e s accumulate a r t as a c a p i t a l investment and an object f o r s p e c u l a t i o n . A r t i s t s become f o o l s who supply a democratic a l i b i f o r a s o c i e t y whose a f f i n i t i e s w ith Fascism are becoming more and more obvious. Quotation taken from l e a f l e t d i s t r i b u t e d at "Documenta IV, " and c i t e d i n Studio International, 176 (September 1968), pp.63-4. The b e l i e f t h a t c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c i z a t i o n c o uld have a p r o g r e s s i v e e f f e c t on s o c i e t y was prevalent not only i n P a r i s , but a l s o i n l a r g e p a r t s of Europe during the l a t e 1960s. For instance, i n B r u s s e l s during 1968, hundreds of a r t i s t s took over the P a l a i s des Beaux A r t s , a l a r g e p r o f i t -making museum run by a p r i v a t e c o r p o r a t i o n , and h o i s t e d up a banner which read: "THE FIRST REVOLUTION WAS POLITICAL, THE SECOND ECONOMIC, THE THIRD CULTURAL." [See Theresa Schwartz, "The P o l i t i c a l i z a t i o n of the Avant-Garde," Art in America, 59 (November 1971), p.103] 141. Buren, " C r i t i c a l L i m i t s " (1970), i n Five Texts, t r a n s . Laurent Sauerwein, (New York: John Weber G a l l e r y , 1973), p.52. 142. As I read i t , Buren i s here not only a l l u d i n g t o the S i t u a t i o n i s t s theory of s p e c t a c l e , but a l s o to Marx's theory of production, which i n t u r n was fundamental to S i t u a t i o n i s t t h e o r i z i n g . This p a r a l l e l between Buren and Marx becomes c l e a r i f we place a few key passages from Marx beside Buren's c u l t u r a l theory. S p e c i f i c a l l y important p a r a l l e l s can be found i n Marx's view of h i s t o r y as i t appears i n Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, v o l . 3 (The Process of C a p i t a l i s t Production as a Whole), 1867, ed. F. Engels, t r a n s . Progress Press (Moscow: Progress Press, 1959), and h i s observations i n The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 1852, t r a n s , anon. (New York: I n t e r n a t i o n a l P u b l i s h e r s , 1963) , of the process that culminated i n a r t -f o r - a r t ' s - s a k e . For example, i n the chapter t i t l e d "The T r i n i t y Formula" i n Capital: A Critique of P o l i t i c a l Economy, Marx presents a view of h i s t o r y which e x p l a i n s how L i k e a l l i t s predecessors, the c a p i t a l i s t process of production proceeds under d e f i n i t e m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s , which are, however, simultaneously the bearers of d e f i n i t e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s entered i n t o by i n d i v i d u a l s i n the process of reproducing t h e i r l i f e . Those c o n d i t i o n s , l i k e these r e l a t i o n s , are on the one hand p r e r e q u i s i t e s , on the other hand r e s u l t s and c r e a t i o n s of the c a p i t a l i s t process of production; they are produced and reproduced by i t . (pp.818-9) 109 Thus the c a p i t a l i s t system of production, l i k e the p r i m i t i v e and feudal modes before i t , f u n c t i o n s by "producing and reproducing" the r e l a t i o n s of production. In other words, a l l p roduction under c a p i t a l i s m — whether i t be of c i t i e s , b u i l d i n g s or artworks — i s h i s t o r i c a l , motivated by the c a p i t a l i s t system of production. Therefore, i n c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y , p r e c i s e l y because the s o c i e t y i s d e f i n e d by a h i s t o r i c a l l y determined system of production, a l l claims of autonomy, o b j e c t i v i t y , or u n i v e r s a l i t y , are n e c e s s a r i l y f a l s e . What that means f o r a r t production under c a p i t a l i s m i s t h a t a r t looks the way i t does because i t i s produced under these d e f i n i t e m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s , which are simultaneously the bearers of d e f i n i t e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s producing and reproducing themselves. A r t then, as Buren s t a t e s , i s h i s t o r i c a l and " e x c l u s i v e l y p o l i t i c a l . " Buren's observation that i t i s only i n a r e p r e s s i v e s o c i e t y t h a t there e x i s t s the p r i v i l e g e of "freedom i n a r t " has i t s foundations i n The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. There Marx describes the way i n which the r e p u b l i c a n bourgeoisie adopted the despot Louis Bonaparte and, "through the b r u t a l abuse of t h e i r own press," c a l l e d upon him "to suppress and a n n i h i l a t e i t s speaking and w r i t i n g s e c t i o n , i t s p o l i t i c i a n s and i t s l i t e r a t i , i t s p l a t f o r m and i t s press," i n order t o secure i t s c o n t r o l not only of the means of m a t e r i a l production, but a l s o of the process of s i g n i f i c a t i o n . ( p . 1 0 4 ) As Walter Benjamin l a t e r noted i n "Addendum to 'The P a r i s of the Second Empire i n B a u d e l a i r e ' " (1939), Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism (London: NLB, 1973), p.106, i t was only a f t e r the bourgeoisie i n 1851 a b r u p t l y abandoned i t s d i s t i n c t i v e c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e d e f i n i n g a e s t h e t i c judgement as s u b j e c t i v e and opposed to the o b j e c t i v e r u l e s and norms of the ancien regime, that the theory of a r t - f o r - a r t ' s - s a k e was t h e o r i z e d . These ideas are immanent i n the passage c i t e d above, where Buren acknowledges th a t the i d e a l i s t i c or f o r m a l i s t i c ideas which t y p i f y any type of a r t - f o r - a r t ' s -sake are an ideology, and that a r t - f o r - a r t ' s-sake i s the f i n a l form under which the c o n t r o l of a r t i s t i c psyche can be exerted i n the sphere of bourgeois c u l t u r e . A r t i s merely a token gesture t o l i b e r t y , meant to provide the i l l u s i o n of freedom i n a r e p r e s s i v e s o c i e t y where freedom does not i n f a c t e x i s t . As h i s own t h e o r e t i c a l t e x t s r e v e a l , however, Buren's a r t i c u l a t i o n of a d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n between the a e s t h e t i c s i g n and i t s environment i s intended t o go beyond mere a n a l y s i s , towards "a s p e c i f i c form of p r a c t i c e . " [Daniel Buren, "Beware" (1969), i n Five Texts, t r a n s . Charles H a r r i s o n and Peter Townsend (New York: John Weber G a l l e r y , 1973), p.22.] In t h i s sense Buren's s t r a t e g y c o r r e l a t e s with A l t h u s s e r ' s post-1968 theory of the way i n which " I d e o l o g i c a l State Apparatuses" f u n c t i o n t o " i n t e r p e l l a t e " s u b jects — i n c l u d i n g a e s t h e t i c a l subjects — and to reproduce the e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s of production: "the reproduction of the means of production." [Louis A l t h u s s e r , 110 Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, p.143, p.174, p.128.] For Buren then a t h e o r e t i c a l understanding of the workings of i d e o l o g i c a l apparatuses r e v e a l s that they reproduce the dominant ideology, and i t i s thus only through "a complete rupture with a r t " that "a r e v o l u t i o n a r y p r a c t i c e " can be achieved: [The] rupture [of the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l order] can only be e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l . This rupture i s / w i l l be the r e s u l t i n g l o g i c of a t h e o r e t i c a l work at the moment when the h i s t o r y of a r t (which i s s t i l l t o be made) and i t s a p p l i c a t i o n a r e / w i l l be envisaged t h e o r e t i c a l l y . . . . [Not] only w i l l theory be i n d i s s o c i a b l e from i t s own p r a c t i s e [ s i c ] , but again i t may/will be able to give r i s e to other o r i g i n a l kinds of p r a c t i c e . . . [As] f a r as we are concerned, i t must be c l e a r l y understood t h a t when theory i s considered as producer/creator, the only theory or t h e o r e t i c a l p r a c t i c e i s the r e s u l t presented/the p a i n t i n g or, according to A l t h u s s e r ' s d e f i n i t i o n : "Theory: a s p e c i f i c form of p r a c t i c e . " Buren, "Beware," Five Texts (1970), p.22. 143. Dan F l a v i n , "Several more remarks...," Studio International, 111 ( A p r i l 1969), pp.175. 144. Daniel Buren, as quoted by Grace Glueck i n "Museum Presents Wide Media Range," New York Times, February 10, 1971, p.26. 145. Texts play a c r u c i a l r o l e i n Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n s , and are themselves a major part of h i s work. Buren e x p l a i n s h i s use of a c r i t i c a l language outside the frame of h i s p a i n t i n g s i n "Preface: Why Write Texts or The Place From Where I Act" (1973), i n Five Texts, t r a n s . P a t r i c i a R a i l i n g (New York: John Weber G a l l e r y , 1973), .pp.6-8, where he argues that the d i a l e c t i c between the p a i n t i n g and the t e x t i s i n r e a l i t y no d i f f e r e n t from any other a r t work whose meaning i s c o n s t a n t l y reproduced by c r i t i c s ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . As such, h i s w r i t i n g s are an attempt t o c o n t r o l the meaning of h i s work to as great a degree as p o s s i b l e . However, Buren warns that while there i s [an undeniable] i n t e r a c t i o n between the t e x t s and the p a i n t i n g . . . i t would be an absolute m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to forget which engenders the other: the process i s from the work to the t e x t . N either i s a m i r r o r r e f l e c t i n g the other i n d e f i n i t e l y , (p.5) 146. Glueck, "Museum Presents Wide Media Range," New York Times, p.26. 147. Only two New York a r t c r i t i c s mentioned the removal of Daniel Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n from the 1971 I l l I n t e r n a t i o n a l . One of these, E l i z a b e t h C. Baker, i n an addendum to " C r i t i c s Choice: Daniel Buren," Art News, 70 ( A p r i l 1971), p.58, notes that what upset some of the other a r t i s t s i n the show was that Buren's p a i n t i n g "dwarfed" t h e i r own works. A f t e r informing her readers th a t some a r t i s t s complained to the Museum's o f f i c i a l s about Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n , Baker adds: One wonders, however, i f i t s perhaps a r b i t r a r i l y overpowering s c a l e was not more simply the reason f o r the c l a s h . The h a s t i l y added addendum to Baker's a r t i c l e r e v e a l s that the a r t i c l e i t s e l f was w r i t t e n p r i o r t o the events that took place at the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . The only other New York c r i t i c t o w r i t e about the withdrawal of Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n from the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l was John Canaday, who i n " A r t : A 'Documentary' at Guggenheim," New York Times, February 11, 1971, IV, p.22, w r i t e s that Buren's p a i n t i n g was removed by the Museum due to "pressure from the other a r t i s t s . " 148. The show was met with almost unanimous c r i t i c a l condemnation from the p u b l i c and press. The Museum re c e i v e d more than f i f t y l e t t e r s of p r o t e s t , hundreds of complaints by telephone, and innumerable requests f o r refund of the f i f t y cents admission fee. One museum v i s i t o r wrote D i r e c t o r Messer informing him that she was about to s t a r t a c l a s s a c t i o n s u i t against the Guggenheim f o r defrauding the p u b l i c . [See l e t t e r from Mrs. Peter Hauser to Guggenheim D i r e c t o r Thomas M. Messer, dated March 2, 1971; and Messer's r e p l y to Mrs. Hauser dated March 4, 1971, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives] Others wrote l e t t e r s complaining t h a t , "Of a l l the frauds perpetuated by a l l c o n - a r t i s t s i n New York C i t y , [the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l ] i s the most de s p i c a b l e ! " or " I t i s a disgrace that you f i l l your museum with such non-sense." [Both of these l e t t e r s t o the Guggenheim complaining about the I n t e r n a t i o n a l -- one by J u l i u s M. Marek and the other by Mrs. Paul Glaser -- are c i t e d i n Grace Glueck, "Nay-Sayers," New York Times.] A long-time A s s o c i a t e member of the Guggenheim wrote th a t he and h i s f a m i l y were so "disgusted" by the show's " u t t e r v a c u i t y and meaninglessness," that they were about t o cancel t h e i r membership. [See l e t t e r from A s s o c i a t e Member Ronald Freelander to the President of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peter 0. Lawson-Johnston, dated March 15, 1971; and Messer's r e p l y to Mr. Freelander dated March 24, 1971, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives.] Most of the New York a r t c r i t i c s were e q u a l l y alarmed about the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . Barbara Rose i n "Gobbledygook at the Guggenheim," New York Magazine, March 8, 1971, s t a t e d t h a t i t was evident from what was being e x h i b i t e d at the I n t e r n a t i o n a l t h a t the a r t i s t s i n t h i s show had p o l i t i c a l 1 1 2 motivations a n t a g o n i s t i c to what they undoubtedly saw as "a decadent bourgeois c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y " : Most of the a r t i s t s have turned t h e i r backs on the object — e i t h e r i n disgust with the a r t market or w i t h the values of the warring commodity-exchange s o c i e t i e s i n which they l i v e . (p.28.) John Canaday i n "How to Look S i l l y and I n s u l t Your Host," New York Times, A p r i l 11, 1971, IV, p.27, a l s o gave the back of h i s hand to the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , but was heartened by the f a c t t h a t people were asking f o r t h e i r money back at the door: Americans... are only beginning t o r e a l i z e t h a t they don't have to l i e down and be i n s u l t e d by any more e x h i b i t i o n s l i k e the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l . In "New York L e t t e r , " A r t International, 15 (May 20, 1971), p.73, G e r r i t Henry, was a l s o indignant about what he saw at the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , but r e j o i c e d i n the f a c t t h a t the e x h i b i t i o n had r e c e i v e d such a negative response: with a f a i r l y unanimous "nay" from the c r i t i c s . . . the general hue and cry i s f o r t h i s s o r t of t h i n g to stop.... [Thus] one w i l l probably see more and more c r i t i c s ( i f not s c r i b e s and pundits) dancing on the permanently unoccupied graves of the a r t i s t s i n the M i n i m a l i s t Mafia. H i l t o n Kramer, " P l a y i n g the Gracious Host — But t o What?" New York Times, March 7, 1971, IV, p.21; Emily Genauer i n "Art and the A r t i s t , " New York Post, February 20, 1971, p. 34; Douglas Davis i n "The Last I n t e r n a t i o n a l ? " Newsweek, February 22, 1971, p.64; Grace Glueck i n "Art Notes," New York Times, March 21, 1971, IV, 22; John Gruen i n "Point Of Too Many Returns," New York, March 8, 1971; Denise Green i n " S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , " A r t s Magazine, 45 ( A p r i l 1971), pp.78-9; Anon., " A r t , " Manhattan East, February 23, 1971; as w e l l as the New York museum guide "Conceptual M i s c a r r i a g e ? : Guggenheim Museum's Labour Bring's F o r t h a Mickey Mouse of A n t i - A r t , " Pictures On Exhibit (March 1971), pp.8-9; a l l a l s o expressed serio u s r e s e r v a t i o n s about the show. Byron B e l t , "Outlandish, But Is I t A r t ? " Advance, March 7, 1971, reviewed the show without s t a t i n g a value judgement, even though the t i t l e of h i s a r t i c l e r e v e a l s h i s o p i n i o n . There were only two p o s i t i v e reviews t o the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l by the New York a r t press. One was w r i t t e n by a l e a d i n g organizer of the A r t Workers C o a l i t i o n , John P e r r e a u l t , and published i n the l i b e r a l - l e f t j o u r n a l the Village Voice, February 18, 1971, p.19. T i t l e d " I n t e r n a t i o n a l V e l v e t , " P e r r e a u l t s t a t e d i n h i s review that 113 the work on d i s p l a y i n t h i s I n t e r n a t i o n a l was headed i n the c o r r e c t d i r e c t i o n : I t i s c l e a r that the d i r e c t i o n of t h i s e x c e l l e n t e x h i b i t i o n i s toward non-object a r t . Any s o p h i s t i c a t e d observer of contemporary a r t would have to agree t h a t t h i s d i r e c t i o n i s a r e a l i t y . P e r r e a u l t wrote about the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l again i n an a r t i c l e t i t l e d " C o l o r i n g Book," Village Voice, March 4, 1971, pp.13-14, i n which he conveyed the c r i t i c i s m t hat he h i m s e l f had r e c e i v e d by the m a j o r i t y of h i s peers " f o r having been too k i n d " t o the I n t e r n a t i o n a l . Apart from P e r r e a u l t ' s review i n the Village Voice, the only other p o s i t i v e review that the I n t e r n a t i o n a l r e c e i v e d i n the New York press was w r i t t e n by James Monte, a c u r a t o r at the Whitney Museum of American A r t , and p u b l i s h e d i n Artforum, 9 (March 1971), pp. 28-31. The review was t i t l e d "Looking at the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , " and t h a t was almost e x c l u s i v e l y what the author d i d . Monte d e l i n e a t e d the new avant-garde trends as d e r i v i n g d i r e c t l y from American Minimalism, and a l l of the f o r e i g n a r t i s t s i n t h i s show as p a r r o t i n g the Americans: Pieces depending on one aspect of Minimalism, exact s i t e l o c a t i o n , ... i n c l u d e works by Burgin, Dias, Dibbets, Long, Merz, Nauman, and Takamatsu. The s e q u e n t i a l aspect of Minimalism, the aspect based on i n t e r v a l s , e i t h e r v i s u a l or numerical, i n c l u d e s work by Darboven and Kawara. Minimalism's "conceptual" outgrowth i s represented by the work of Darboven, Kosuth and Weiner. (p.28) When i t came to judging the "value" of the v a r i o u s c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o the I n t e r n a t i o n a l , Monte s t a t e d that F l a v i n was " c o n s i s t e n t l y s t a r t l i n g , " Judd's piece was " b r i l l i a n t , " Nauman's piece "an elegant d e l i n e a t i o n , " H e i z e r ' s , Ryman's and Serra's c o n t r i b u t i o n s each " r e c a l l the past q u i t e f r a n k l y , and look toward f u t u r e p o s s i b i l i t i e s , " and so on. The f o r e i g n a r t i s t s , however, d i d not f a r e w e l l : a l l the European and Asian a r t i s t s could be exchanged e a s i l y f o r others of equal merit. But one must remember that the e x h i b i t i o n i s avowedly i n t e r n a t i o n a l i n i t s scope, and so i t must be what i t says, or forgo i t s t i t l e , (p.30) Monte's review of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l seems to have encapsulated the type of response which the Guggenheim o f f i c i a l s had expected when they planned t h i s e x h i b i t i o n . F i r s t , i m p l i c i t i n h i s a r t i c l e i s a c o n v i c t i o n t h a t Minimalism, and i t s p r a c t i c e of "exact s i t e l o c a t i o n , " was an American phenomenon. Second, he i n t e r p r e t s American Minimalism as the core movement from which a l l of the new 114 trends stem. T h i r d , he i d e n t i f i e s the f o r e i g n work i n t h i s show as second-rate, second-generation copies of American Minimalism, and the a r t i s t s c o p y i s t s of American avant-garde a r t . Consequently, he concludes w i t h a r e i t e r a t i o n of the primacy of American a r t . Whereas the New York/American press was almost unanimous i n i t s censure of the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l , many of the f o r e i g n reviews of t h i s show were p o s i t i v e . See John R u s s e l l , The London Times, March 20, 1971; P i e r r e Restany, "Notes de Voyage," Domus, 498 (May 5 1971), pp.48-9; L i l P i c a r d , "Radical A r t at the Guggenheim: The S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n New York i s a Test f o r the 'Documenta', " Die Welt, February 25, 1971, t r a n s , anon, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ar c h i v e s . None of these reviews mention the i n c i d e n t with Buren. The three f o r e i g n reviews t h a t I have seen t h a t do mention the censorship of Buren's i n s t a l l a t i o n , are h i g h l y c r i t i c a l of the Guggenheim's a c t i o n s . Michel Claura, who was the spokesperson f o r the BMPT group of which Buren was a part i n the l a t e 1960s, i n "Une e r r e u r comprehensible," Opus International, 12 (June 1971), pp.73-4, argues that the Guggenheim removed Buren's work i n order t o p r o t e c t " l ' i d e o l o g i e dominante." (p.74) Rene Denizot, another French a r t c r i t i c , i n "Conclusion," Opus International, 12 (June 1971), pp.74-5, wrote that the censorship was more of the author than of the p a i n t i n g : L ' i n t e r d i c t i o n pure et simple de l'oeuvre est l e document de ce paralogisme selon l e q u e l l'oeuvre est confondue avec l'auteur et l ' a r t avec 1 ' a r t i s t e , (p.74) In "Buren, Haacke, Chi A l t r o ? " Data, 1 (September 1971), p. 31, the e d i t o r s of t h i s I t a l i a n j o u r n a l wonder out loud what i s going on at the Guggenheim. 149. Denise Green, " S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , " Arts Magazine, p.78. 150. Emily Genauer, "Art and the A r t i s t , " New York Post, February 20, 1971, p.34. 151. H i l t o n Kramer, " P l a y i n g the Gracious Host — But to What?" New York Times, March 7, 1971, IV, p.21.. 152. H i l t o n Kramer, "Art and P o l i t i c s : I ncursions and Conversions," Age of the Avant-Garde, pp.525, 527. 153. Ibid., p.524 154. Ibid., p.525. Kramer warns that i n the "new p o l i t i c a l s c e n a r i o " where "the a i r c r a c k l e s w i t h r e v o l u t i o n a r y r h e t o r i c , " there i s a "campaign to impose p o l i t i c a l c r i t e r i a on every d e c i s i o n a f f e c t i n g the c r e a t i o n and e x h i b i t i o n and judgement of works of a r t . " This he sees 115 as d e v a s t a t i n g f o r a r t because i t renders i t as having "no d e f e n s i b l e s o c i a l f u n c t i o n s apart from i t s a l l i a n c e w i t h s p e c i f i e d p o l i t i c a l o b j e c t i v e s . " 155. Kramer, "Art and P o l i t i c s : Incursions and Conversions," Age of the Avant-Garde, p.522. 156. Noam Chomsky, Language and R e s p o n s i b i l i t y : Based on Conversations with Mitsou Ronat, t r a n s . John V i e r t e l (New York: Pantheon, 1977), p.20. 157. Personal correspondence from N o e l l e N a s t a l a , Program A s s i s t a n t , N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s , dated J u l y 25, 1989. Nastala informs me t h a t "Although the amount requested was $25,000, the Guggenheim Museum r e c e i v e d a grant i n the amount of $10,000." In a telephone i n t e r v i e w with David Bancroft (August 18, 1989), the p u b l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the Museum Program at the N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s informed me t h a t i t was very odd f o r the Guggenheim Museum have r e c e i v e d so l i t t l e funding from the NEA i n f i s c a l 1971 ($10,000 i n t o t a l ) , s ince the support of the nation's a i l i n g Museums was at t h a t time a p r i o r i t y f o r the NEA. Unfortunately, however, Bancroft claimed that the NEA kept very poor records at the time and that a l l of the i n f o r m a t i o n p e r t a i n i n g to the r e f u s a l of the Guggenheim Museum's request f o r funding i n e a r l y 1971 was missing from the a r c h i v e s . 158. For the d e t a i l e d plans f o r the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l t o t r a v e l t o L a t i n America, see " S i x t h Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l E x h i b i t i o n : Budget f o r C i r c u l a t i o n to South America," dated May 27, 1971, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum A r c h i v e s . These plans were begun as e a r l y as the f a l l of 1970, as i s i n d i c a t e d by the l e t t e r from Messer to G l o r i a Zea de Uribe, D i r e c t o r of the Museo de Arte Moderno i n Bogota, Colombia, dated November 16, 1970, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum A r c h i v e s . Zea de Uribe informs Messer th a t she i s " d e f i n i t e l y i n t e r e s t e d i n b r i n g i n g [the S i x t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l ] t o Colombia." Yet when I asked Messer i n a personal i n t e r v i e w (February 16, 1989) why the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l f a i l e d t o t r a v e l t o L a t i n America, he answered th a t he d i d not remember anything about the t r a v e l plans of t h i s show or about the involvement of the USIS. Edward Fry t o l d me i n a telephone i n t e r v i e w (February 22, 1989) t h a t i t was unclear t o him what the involvement of the USIS was with the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l , but that t h e i r presence seemed to be u b i q u i t o u s . In p a r t i c u l a r , Fry remembers that B i l l Moyers, now a t e l e v i s i o n c e l e b r i t y , was one of the USIS r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . A f t e r e n q u i r i n g f u r t h e r , on A p r i l 27, 1989, I received a l e t t e r from Ward Jackson, the Chief A r c h i v i s t of the Guggenheim Museum, who informed me t h a t he had r e c e n t l y spoken to Messer about the i n t e r r u p t i o n of the S i x t h 116 I n t e r n a t i o n a l ' s t r a v e l plans. According to Jackson, Messer now remembered th a t The reason that the Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l d i d not t r a v e l t o Colombia, Uruguay, and Argentina i n 1971 was apparently there was not s u f f i c i e n t i n t e r e s t . C l e a r l y , Messer's memory c o n t r a d i c t s even the l i t t l e b i t of a r c h i v a l evidence on the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l t h a t h i s colleagues f a i l e d to remove from the f i l e s f o l l o w i n g my request f o r access. While on the t o p i c of the wi t h h o l d i n g of i n f o r m a t i o n , i t needs t o be mentioned t h a t , mystery of mysteries, the f i l e on the 1971 Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives i s approximately one-quarter the s i z e of the f i l e s on every other I n t e r n a t i o n a l organized by the Museum. F i n a l l y , a r c h i v i s t Ward Jackson informed me on February 17, 1989, that the USIS was to provide f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r the 1971 I n t e r n a t i o n a l e x h i b i t i o n t o t r a v e l abroad, but that I would not f i n d records of t h i s i n the a r c h i v e s . He was r i g h t . 159. John F. Kennedy, "The A r t i s t i n America," New York Times, October 27, 1963, I, p.83. Although Kennedy p r a i s e d the avant-garde a r t i s t s who questioned power, note t h a t i n the same speech he was impelled t o place a q u a l i f i c a t i o n on that q u e s t i o n i n g : The men who create power make an ind i s p e n s a b l e c o n t r i b u t i o n to the nation's greatness. But the men who question power make a c o n t r i b u t i o n j u s t as ind i s p e n s a b l e , especially when that questioning is disinterested. [ I t a l i c s mine] 160. Richard Nixon, S p e c i a l Message t o Congress, December 10, 1969, r e p r i n t e d i n Wall Street Journal, January 2, 1970, p.6. E s s e n t i a l l y the same theme was repeated by Nixon on other occasions when addressing the issue of a r t s funding. For i n s t a n c e , i n a speech to the As s o c i a t e d C o u n c i l s of the A r t s i n May, 1971, he s t a t e d that "there i s a growing r e c o g n i t i o n that few investments i n the q u a l i t y of l i f e i n American pay o f f so handsomely as the money spent to s t i m u l a t e the a r t s . " [As c i t e d i n Taylor and B a r r e s i , The Arts at a New Frontier, p.14 8] Nixon's statements on a r t often made a c o r r e l a t i o n between a r t and s p i r i t u a l i t y . For example, i n h i s S p e c i a l Message to Congress, December 10, 1969, r e p r i n t e d as "Mr. Nixon and 'The Q u a l i t y of L i f e ' , " i n Wall Street Journal, p.6, Nixon s t a t e d Too many Americans have been too long denied the i n s p i r a t i o n and the u p l i f t of our c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e . 117 Now i s the time t o e n r i c h the l i f e of the mind and to evoke the s p l e n d i d q u a l i t i e s of the American s p i r i t . 161. For a d i s c u s s i o n of the WPA, see F r a n c i s V. O'Connor, Federal Support for the Visual Arts: The New Deal and Now (Greenwich, Conn.: New York Graphic S o c i e t y , 1969), pp.26-30; Richard D. McKinzie, The New Deal for A r t i s t s (Princeton, N.J.: Pr i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973), pp.75-92. 162. Taylor and B a r r e s i , The Arts at a New Frontier, p.136, w r i t e t h a t Nancy Hanks, the then-Chairperson of the NEA, only got the mandate she was seeking by c l o s e l y f o l l o w i n g the Pr e s i d e n t ' s p u b l i c statements on the a r t s . I t was f o l l o w i n g h i s speeches that she came t o understand t h a t the r o l e the President envisioned f o r the a r t s was " r e g i o n a l development, d i v e r s i t y , [and] a broadening of the base." 163. That the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n was using the a r t s as a smokescreen i s c e r t a i n l y supported by the f a c t that d e s p i t e h i s p u b l i c enthusiasm f o r the NEA and f o r the great value which the a r t s had f o r Americans, Nixon was p r i v a t e l y a n t a g o n i s t i c t o "anything that has t o do wit h the a r t s . " This was underscored during the Watergate i n v e s t i g a t i o n when i t was revealed by one of the t r a n s c r i p t s of the tapes which proved h i s g u i l t , that on June 23, 1972, the President had i n s i s t e d t h a t h i s daughter T r i c i a Cox avoid museums and other a r t f u n c t i o n s because "they're Jews, they're l e f t wing." According to Steven R. Weismann, "Arts O f f i c i a l s Deplore Nixon Comment," New York Times, August 7, 1974, Nixon's remarks evoked not only adverse comment from o f f i c i a l s of a r t s i n s t i t u t i o n s across the country, but great confusion since the Nixon A d m i n i s t r a t i o n had funded the a r t s more than any previous f e d e r a l A d m i n i s t r a t i o n . 164. From the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o "On the New C u l t u r a l Conservatism," Partisan Review, 39 (Summer 1972), p.397. This i s s u e of Partisan Review i s f o r the most part devoted to the papers which were a part of t h i s symposium, and in c l u d e s w r i t i n g s by A l l e n Ginsberg, Clement Greenberg, Christopher Lasch, Ihab Hassan, Mary McCarthy, Harold Rosenberg, and others. 165. Thomas M. Messer, l e t t e r t o H i l t o n Kramer, dated March 8, 1971, i n Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ar c h i v e s . Messer wrote: Dear H i l t o n : Your Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l review and the p o i n t s you make i n i t i n v i t e some d i s c u s s i o n . Would you care t o j o i n me f o r lunch some day next week? I would be glad i f you would. 118 166. See Hans Haacke, "Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Board of Trustees" (1974), reproduced i n Hans Haacke: Unfinished Business, pp.110-17. 167. H i l t o n Kramer, "The Presidency and the A r t s , " New York Times, October 31, 1976. 168. Peter S t e i n f e l s , The Neoconservatives: The Men Who Are Changing America's Politics. h i Figure 1: President Eisenhower presenting i n Washington the f i r s t Guggenheim International Award to the B r i t i s h a r t i s t Ben Nicholson. In the centre i s Harry F. Guggenheim, chairman of the board of trustees of the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation. (Source: The New York Times, February 27,1957.) Figure 2: President Eisenhower presenting in Washington the Guggen-heim International Award to Juan Miro in 1959. (Source: The New York Times, May 20, 1959.) F i g u r e 3: R i c h a r d Long, B r o o k l y n C l a y , c l a y , 1971. ( S o u r c e : James Monte, " L o o k i n g a t t h e Guggenheim I n t e r n a t i o n a l , " A r t f o r u m , v o l . 9, March 1971 .) Figure 5: Mario Merz, Fibonacci's Progression, fluorescent l i g h t s , 1971. (Source: James Monte, "Looking at the Guggenheim Inte r n a t i o n a l , " Artforum, v o l . 9, March 1971.) Figure 6: Daniel Buren, u n t i t l e d , canvas with a c r y l i c , 20 x 60 cm., 1971. (Source: Claude Gintz, "Identites nouvelles," in Vingt-cinq ars d'art en France: 1960-1985, Par i s : Larousse, 1985.) fZ3 Figure 7: Daniel Buren, u n t i t l e d , canvas with a c r y l i c , 20 x 60 cm. 1971. (Source: Daniel Buren, Daniel Buren/ Entrevue: Conversations avec Anne Ba l d a s s a r i , P a r i s : Flammarion, 1987. " Figure 8: Michael Heizer, Actual Size, s l i d e projection, 1971. (Source: James Monte, "Looking at the Guggenheim International," Artforum, v o l . 9, March 1971.) Figure 9: Donald Judd, u n t i t l e d , hot r o l l e d s t e e l , 83 cm. high x A59 cm. diameter, 1971. C o l l e c t i o n of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. (Source: James Monte, "Looking at the Guggenheim Int e r n a t i o n a l , " Artforum, v o l . 9, March 1971.) Figure 10: Dan F l a v i n , u n t i t l e d , fluorescent l i g h t , 1971. C o l l e c t i o n of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. (Source: James Monte, "Looking at the Guggenheim International," Artforum, v o l . 9, March 1971.) 127 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY A. Interviews and Correspondence Andre, C a r l . Correspondence. January 23, 1989. Bancroft, David. Program A s s i s t a n t , N a t i o n a l Endowment f o r the A r t s . Telephone correspondence. August 18, 1989. Crimp, Douglas. 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