TABLE OF CONTENTS

ART IN THE DARK

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPTUAL and performance genres changed the rules of art till it became virtually unrecognizable to those who had thought that it was theirs. The art activity flowed into the darkness beyond its traditional boundaries and explored areas that were previously as unmapped and mysterious as the other side of the moon. In recent years a tendency has been underway to close the book on those investigations, to contract again around the commodifiable esthetic object, and to forget the sometimes frightening visions of the other side. Yet if one opens the book—and it will not go away—the strange record is still there, like the fragmentary journals of explorers in new lands, filled with apparently unanswerable questions.

When Piero Manzoni, in 1959, canned his shit and put it on sale, in an art gallery, for its weight in gold; when Chris Burden had himself shot in the arm and

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