PRINT November 1990


SOMEWHERE IN THE INTERSTICES between the much maligned mutability of “pluralism” and the marginalized trajectory of “difference” is the common ground where most artists work. It is baffling to consider that in most art-historical texts, a handful of practitioners represents the industry and ideas of 50 years, while hundreds go unaccounted for—until such time, of course, as they serve the purposes of the commercial or cultural power structure. History, after all, tends to be written by winners. As Lowery Stokes Sims has pointed out, the fictional “other” is little more than a cathartic symbol, and “difference” a detour sign deflecting us from issues of power and control of a narrowly defined, nonrepresentative (art) world.1 If today there is a “reworking of existing cultural frames of reference,”2 it is a movement occasioned by the need to redefine a skewed perspective that has somehow cast

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