PRINT April 1988



THE COORDINATES OF THE COLLEGE Art Association’s (CAA) annual obstetric, its cirque imaginaire, are (conventionally) a place—this year Houston; a locale—the assembly halls and concourse zones of the corporate hotel; a new body of disciplinary, worked materials—papers, voices, slides; and a panoply of would-be disciplined “others”—margins, reinterpretations, and intertexts (words on gender, on philosophy, and notably on the place [or nonplace] of contemporary visual practice and criticality in the privileged domain of “history”).

The guarantors of these positions—the axes, if you like, that fix them in the social, in the economic—are: the university system, whose special legatees are sent to imagine and perform the outgrowth of their “field”; the publishing industry, which bodies forth these and other imaginations (its particular operation is usually signaled in its base[ment]-level fair,

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