Newport Beach

Buzz Spector

Newport Harbor Art Museum

Theoretical discourse has become increasingly keyed on the twin axes of hermeneutic (German) and deconstructive (French) practice. This is a somewhat unequal dialectic, largely because Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, et al. tend to be explained and interpreted within the German tradition, as if they have been secret Hegelians all along. It is thus refreshing to find an artist like Buzz Spector collapsing this opposition. By appropriating the workings of hermeneutics allegorically, he transforms them—playfully, punningly, erotically—into pure jouissance.

Spector takes the book itself as his medium. By tearing, carving, painting, adding objects to, or stacking found volumes, he produces book-objects that re- and deconstruct accepted notions of language, as well as the narrative conventions of the literary and the artistic text. In an individual volume, such as Encyclopedia, 1982, Spector “

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