|Culturally insensitive white male in clownface.|
|DuChamp's Jeune homme triste dans un train|
"... avant-garde works must remain wild and never neglect an opportunity to attack their trainers; above all, it is the hand that feeds them which must be repeatedly bitten. They have to continue to do what the avant-garde is supposed to do: shatter stereotypes, shake things up, and keep things moving; offer fresh possibilities to a jaded understanding; encourage a new consciousness; revitalize the creative spirit of the medium; and, above all, challenge the skills and ambitions of every practitioner. Such a pure avant-garde must not only emphasize the formal elements of its art (recognizing that these elements are its art); its outside interests must be in very long-term - if not permanent - problems. It may have to say no to Cash, to Flag, to Man, to God, to Being itself. It cannot be satisfied merely to complain of the frivolities of a king's court or to count the crimes of capitalism or to castigate the middle class for its persistent vulgarity. The avant-garde's ultimate purpose is to return the art to itself, not as if the art could be cordoned off from the world and kept uncontaminated, but in order to remind it of its nature (a creator of forms in the profoundest sense) - a nature that should not be allowed to dissolve into what are, after all, measly moments of society."
-Gass (from "The Vicissitudes of the Avant-Garde")
|The Soup and the Clouds|
"There are few vocations (like the practice of poetry or the profession of philosophy) that are so uncalled for by the world, so unremunerative by any ordinary standards, so inherently difficult, so undefined, that to choose them suggests that more lies behind the choice than a little encouraging talent and a few romantic ideals.
"To persevere in such a severe and unrewarding course requires the mobilization of the entire personality - each weakness as well as every strength, each quirk as well as every normality."
-Gass from "At Death's Door: Wittgenstein"