MRPJ #2/Untitled: Conversation between Douglass Crimp and Gregg Bordowitz

WINTER/SPRING 1991


Douglass Crimp: For 10 years, I’ve tried to redefine art as being directly involved in social conditions and ways of constructing different audiences. At the point where—because of AIDS—that begins to happen on a large scale, the last thing I want to say is, “Oh well, we don’t care whether this is art or not.” We do care. We want to say that Testing the Limits or Gran Fury is legitimate art, that art exclusively oriented to the art market is illegitimate art. We to be forceful about staking our claims.

Gregg Bordowitz: This is where we differ. I would never want to say that anything is illegitimate art. What I contest is the dominant art world’s view that you can make anything except overtly politicized art. There’s still this idea that you can do anything in the art world except make an overt statement. Didacticism id the only vulgar thing you do in the art world! And that’s what I’ve been interested in since art school—that No-no: making work that is overtly political but still engaged in the current issues of representational strategies.

I want to challenge artists to deal with AIDS in whatever form they want—but to do it in a way that reveals what their stake is, to do it in a way that doesn’t pose as objectivism, that doesn’t pose as removed for any academic reasons of aestheticism. To honestly deal with what is at stake for them in the AIDS crisis.

Filed under:

Research

MRPJ Project, AIDS

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