Adrian Piper

  • passages August 17, 2018

    Aretha Franklin (1942–2018)

    WHERE I LIVE NOW, Respekt! is what we say to express surprise, admiration, and, well, respect, for a person’s achievement. In my country of origin, in the 1970s, “Respect” was my infallible litmus test for culling those with whom friendship was possible from those who didn’t know who Aretha Franklin was, or who looked with distaste or condescension on her magisterial achievements, or who openly derided them as “jungle music.” Among those who passed that first test, those with whom friendship was likely had to either move to the beat spontaneously, or at least be willing to learn. That learning

  • REALITY CHECK

    KANT’S ANSWER to the question “What is Enlightenment?” begins with the foundational definition of Enlightenment as the free and autonomous exercise of one’s rational faculties, independent of what one is told, ordered, or required to think or do. By the “autonomous exercise of one’s rational faculties,” he means basically what he meant in his Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785), namely, deliberating in accordance with the same principles of reason he had already critically dissected in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781). Rational deliberation for Kant covers two overlapping areas.

  • passages December 11, 2014

    Rosemary Mayer (1943–2014)

    ROSEMARY WAS MY CLASSMATE in Mr. Bageris’s drawing course, in my second year at the School of Visual Arts in the fall semester of 1967. We met at its first class meeting. I sat down next to her because I noticed that she was reading Goethe’s Elective Affinities (1809) while we were waiting for Mr. Bageris to start the class. She was the only student in the class reading a book. As I had just finished it, I asked her whether she was enjoying it. She said she was finding it a bit dry, and much preferred The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774). I hadn’t read Werther, but I wrote down the title, and

  • Adrian Piper

    IN THE THIRD MEDITATION, Descartes attempts to answer the solipsist’s question as to whether there exists anything external to oneself, by considering whether he has any ideas about the external world that could not have arisen from within his own mind. He distinguishes those properties that are “clearly and distinctly perceived” in his “ideas of corporeal objects, namely

    –magnitude or extension in length, breadth, and depth;

    –figure [i.e., shape], which results from the termination of extension;

    –situation [i.e., position], which bodies of diverse figures preserve with reference to each other;

  • FEMINISM & ART: NINE VIEWS

    HOW MIGHT WE ASSESS FEMINISM’S INITIAL IMPACTS ON ART, ITS SUBSEQUENT HISTORICIZATION, AND ITS CONTINUING INFLUENCE? ARTFORUM ASKED LINDA NOCHLIN, ANDREA FRASER, AMELIA JONES, DAN CAMERON, COLLIER SCHORR, JAN AVGIKOS, CATHERINE DE ZEGHER, ADRIAN PIPER, AND PEGGY PHELAN TO CONSIDER THIS QUESTION IN AN ONLINE ROUNDTABLE ASSEMBLED IN AUGUST. THEIR RESPONSES—REFINED BY THE PARTICIPANTS AND PRESENTED IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES—SUGGEST THAT FEMINISM AND FEMINIST DISCOURSES AS THEY HAVE FOUND EXPRESSION IN CONTEMPORARY ART ARE AMBIVALENT (“IN THE FULLEST SENSE OF THAT TERM,” AS PHELAN PUTS IT), MULTIFACETED, AND EVER EVOLVING.

    LINDA NOCHLIN

    As a participant in the women’s art movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s, I have decidedly mixed feelings about the historicization of feminism. It is difficult to see lived experience transformed into historical text. Things that seemed open and dynamic are now pinned down and displayed like butterflies in a case. Of course, there is also the tendency to idealize the past, to see the women’s art movement as totally united. This was not the case: Although all of us were for justice, equity, and a fair shake for women artists, critics, and academics, our views were extremely

  • In Support of Meta-art

    I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE a case for a new occupation for artists. This occupation might exist as part of, alongside, or instead of the art itself. If it existed as part of or alongside the art, it might have the effect of giving the art a perspicuous and viable interpretation, support, or framework, although I don’t see this as its intention. If, on the other hand, it were to replace the art, well and good. We could then add it as a nascent appendage to the field, and spend hours of discussion and many kilocalories deciding upon its status and implications. I will call the occupation I have in mind