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PRINT February 2010

EDITOR’S LETTER

AVATAR

James Cameron, Avatar, 2009, still from a color HD video, 162 minutes. Jake (Sam Worthington, left) and Quaritch (Stephen Lang, right).

I REMEMBER MY FEELING seven years ago, on first arriving at Artforum, that the situation of art could best be described using a relatively simple triangulation—a course any art magazine calling itself relevant would have to chart. First, there were critically engaged artists, writers, and historians: those for whom the idea of art’s possessing a discursive character (perhaps even a dialectical one) was a given, and for whom, one hoped, art was supposed to generate new and revealing ways to encounter, grapple with, and understand the world around them. Second, there were those who still needed to be convinced that such dialogues in art were actually worthwhile—that critical analysis did not of necessity preempt pleasure or beauty, say, but rather gave rise to new possibilities for and new experiences of those very things. Here arose, however, a most intriguing and troubling

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