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PRINT April 1991

CRITICAL REFLECTIONS

LET US CALL ART commentary any trace of a gesture of and in language that links to or with a work of art, whatever its distinctive matter, language, color, whether a closed or open volume, music, a weighty mute body in dance, or a speaking body in the theater. The “work of art” in question may be what we used to call (and still do) a work, a proposition, a performance, an installation (ephemeral or lasting), or finally, in the sense introduced by Marcel Duchamp, any object, situation, or occasion seized by commentary as being “of art,” that is, to be precise, giving rise to commentary. According to this approach, the commentary institutes the work as much as the work itself calls for commentary.

Linking to or with the work is sufficient to localize the commentary, a term at once excessive and modest: one mens (Latin for “mind”) joins in unison with the supposed mens in the work, thereby

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