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A Note on Dorothea Rockburne

IF WE ASK HOW it is that ideas and objects intersect and what is the nature of the reciprocity between thought and sight we are asking the essential questions to which Dorothea Rockburne’s art addresses itself. Her work is central to the evolvement of the most penetrating being done today because it has broken with the use of language as representation.

Language in itself is now understood to be a system of elements—a threshold above which is difference and below which is similitude. Freed from transparency, language is order, and the order form becomes the content. Rockburne has developed a means of using materials which I, personally, would have thought impossible three or four years ago. Her materials never stress physicality as meaning. To accomplish this she has found that rigorous algebra of thought, set theory, to be an intellectually unifying premise for determining the diversity

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