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PRINT March 2003

The Poets: Edit deAk and Rene Ricard

IN “ART ATTACKS! HEAVY VOLLEY AT AESTHETIC FOLLY,” a special supplement to the September 29, 1981, SoHo Weekly News, Rosalind Krauss opined, “In its most recent incarnation, Artforum announced its determination to . . . let ‘art speak for itself.’ . . . And so artists and poets write for Artforum a kind of cheerfully incontinent, incantatory assertion of self and selves.” Krauss doesn’t name the perpetrators, but Artforum readers would likely have recognized Rene Ricard and Edit deAk as the prime suspects. Ricard, a poet, had recently published a highly personal panegyric to Julian Schnabel, and in the same issue of Artforum that called for art “to speak for itself” deAk had written, “The presence of art directly in a magazine could be like a bass drum, a thumping insistence that could lock the whole enterprise onto a meaningful track.” (Krauss clearly felt the incantatory “thump,” but

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