Monday, November 09, 2009

Anthony Huberman on Robert Filliou

I would normally link you to Art Forum's page where this is written but for some exclusive reason they dont offer this particular article online. Read on and feel enlightened.

"Filliou's work is still largely unfamiliar to American audiences, but his well-known maxim "Art is what makes life more interesting than art" is a useful summary of what he stood for. Before beginning to write poetry and make art, he trained as an economist at UCLA and became interested in Charles Fourier, the nineteenth-century utopian-socialist philosopher who, in opposition to Smith and well before Marx and Freud, imagined radically new socioeconomic structures in his search for universal harmony. Fourier's guiding and operative priniciple was "passionate attraction" (l'attraction passionee), those primordial desires that precede self-consciousness and survive the rational binaries that reasonable minds invoke; he introduced life, intuition, joy, and conviviality into sociological analysis and economic equations. When Filliou entered the art world, in the early 1960s, he sought to insert those very same values into a community he saw as weighed down by self-conscious critical distance, careerism, money, expertise, and, worst of all, talent, which, to Filliou, was merely the ability to use an acquired skill to execute a task. he viewed most protagonists of the avant-garde as no more than talented inventors. What really counts in a work of art, he insisted, is a quality that grows out of intuition and play- genie sans talent, or genius without talent- a quality he felt all human beings possess in abundance. "

and there's much more in the print version of November's Art Forum. page 109-110

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