PRINT January 1970



Judging from the look of your latest issues, your offices have been “liberated” by Systems, dirt, mirrors, Robert Smithson, Non-Sites, Post-Non-Sites, oil-soaked towels, U.S. Army cartographers, molten lead, flour, on-location travelogues, Cybernetic Big Brothers, Pre-Neo and Post-Happenings, Jack Burnham, polyethylene heavens and ream after ream of apologia.

If the foregoing is facetious, let it at least convey a misgiving: the artists so heavily featured in your recent issues are enjoying rather ominously wide attention of late. My quarrel is not in all cases with their work but rather with the attention itself, which reflects a snow-balling enthusiasm of art writers for militantly conceptual art.

Granting that you’ve kept at least a modicum of balance in the past, one sensed even then, and now begins to get the real odor of, a creeping ideological dogmatism; a Techno-Cultural Revolution that would make yours a closed situation parading itself as the ultimate in openness.

—Daniel N. Dudrow
Baltimore, Md.

The photo run at the head of the article on the Seattle show called 557,087 (November) without credit might give rise to the assumption that it has something to do with a “two piece rope sculpture” of mine. It should therefore be made clear that the rope photographed was a “memory piece” of Seth Siegelaub’s, entered in my name without permission or foreknowledge. Since it was agreed way back in September that the piece of rope, such as it was, be withdrawn, I am disappointed that the photo should have appeared in the article, risking further misunderstanding. The rope in question has been given to local Seattle kids—not a bad piece of social work as it turns out, but that’s another thing.

—Barry Flanagan
London, England

I would like to clarify some points about the “Place and Process” Show (November). Prior to my participation in the show I had been told that the public would not be invited to the pieces to be made outside the museum. My proposal was that six naked people were to plant a cornfield with cornflakes. It was requested that they stay in the cornfield and eat cornflakes all day until they had to leave to defecate.The piece presented was representative of two digestive systems functioning simultaneously, one organic, the other biological. The work was to be considered completed when the cornflakes were digested by the cornfield. It was interesting to consider how the materials of nature subjected to industrial processing could be redigested by the source of their origin. The work’s primary concern was with organic and biochemical systems and their symbiotic ecologies.

—Les Levine
New York City

Due to an oversight on my part, the illustration of John Hunter’s Multiple Portrait of Sigmund Freud (October, 1969) was erroneously credited to Galleria Carl van der Voort. The credit should be to The Graphic Gallery, San Francisco.

—Peter Plagens
Los Angeles, Calif.

The essence of a national art is identifiability, not relevance over time, color sensitivity or simple competence. By insisting on the latter, Terry Fenton (September) isolates himself from the domestic mainstream, and ignores the fact that in “Canadian Art”, Canadian is over seventy percent of the total.

—M. Wong
Ottawa, Canada