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PRINT February 1997

LIES, DAMN LIES, AND STATISTICS: THE ART OF CHRISTIAN PHILIPP MÜLLER

The bourgeois wants his art luxurious, his life ascetic. It would make more sense if it were the other way around. . . . What works of art really demand from us is knowledge or, better, a cognitive faculty of judging justly: they want us to become aware of what is true and what is false in them.

—Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory

SCATTERED, ALMOST TEN YEARS of context-specific projects that can be reconstituted only with difficulty; scattering, a body of work that tracks the paths and passages of the art system itself, which today will not hold still long enough to be judged: the fundamental dispersion of Christian Philipp Müller’s installations and performances may explain the relative silence of American critics in the face of his now-extensive series of critical projects. To write about Müller’s work (not to write on it, better to say alongside it) is to experience something akin to his

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