An old text, recently redrafted. Still a mess but I digress—
Even before the market's invisible hands heeded the demanding koan, "get the lead out," when one walks into certain NY galleries it is possible to simply taste the desperation in the air. Ripe as a family of dead animals covered by drywall, connivingly villainized as Judy Greer in 13 Going on 30, this desperation is hard to forget, much less escape; it travels with art everywhere, and, in one instance, is the reason why a magazine like Artforum is so physically exhausting to simply open or even click on, a life or death stampede into a late 70s Who concert (now it's your turn Texte zur Kunst). Sure, artists embody it, wailing "bare life" while writhing in a Gangs of New York unitard like a tantrum-prone pageant runner-up. But please, there's worse: turn those clocks back one week and this desperation will surface like the odor of a garbage strike bookended by a Flavin installation, soundtracked to led er est, light asylum, orphan, i.u.d.—tunes enlisted in the service of nth-gen krebberesqueries and le nouvel esprit du contemporary art daily.
The source of this desperation, NY professionalism, pathologically finds itself in a Master Cleansed psychomachy as its professionalized bodies are left with evacuated cavities, ravenous love puckers in desperate need of value-rich cultural idioms to fill the disciplined void, cathectic canalizations of one's barren insides to allow for a backdoor flood of value-creation. A sublimated means of mourning liberal attitudes with melancholic neoconservativism, like combating sexual diseases with "dirty" business—maybe. A "someone had to do it" resolution to the bodily apprehension particular to the Age of Aquarius' economic and communicative immaterialities—more likely. Regardless, who has never met the Cotton Mather'd anal retentiveness of NY's "liberal" professionals? No doubt, it's the reason why so many of us have spent the latter half of the last decade—boom time—trying to "reinsert" all the artists who could never "figure it out" into contemporary discourse. Unter hunde whose leaky assholes kept on letting shit fall out as the present day us follow in distant parallax, proving history wrong and the market right which each felled item properly re-secured into our shitless asses. Dear Martin, Lee, Donald, Guy, Allan, Lorraine, Martin, Peter, Nancy, Andre, Bill, Rene, John, etc.: our ecstatic assholes are a better archive than any sort of history.
I'm not Jesse Helms, I'm not against anyone using their anus as a cultural repository. When it comes to communicating artistic narratives, it beats the lasting (and deeply paternalizing) molestation unique to pedagogic influence—at last, there's a choice of what goes in. Also, I don't totally dread the neoliberalization this culturally fashioned kópros, the fanatical philicizing that accompanies the ledgering of our shit substitutes. The fiscal reification of many of these previously uninsertable artists has managed to at least affix a glowing sign over a few prudish assholes, an animated billboard telegraphing, "OPEN FOR BUSINESS," laying bare an obviousness that some would prefer to observe subtly. See all the old dead farts squeezed into the contemporary canon thanks to the whole Harvey Shipley Miller's "evil"—or whatever—shopping spree, making MoMA look more like post-Herbie LiLo than its usual pre-3D Joe Jonas.
What is to be dreaded is the expropriable, ecstastic logoi that forms the erotics of these artful anal toys; namely how we conceptualize ourselves, our bodies as we renovate its sites in order to satisfy this yen for reterritorialized pleasures, er, necessities (me? a luddite?). The re-evaluated expansion of cultural margins into a broader social communicability rezones our reception of the techniques of artistic lifestyling, canalizing more effectively the self-motivating movement of our inner policemen—the one who inserts "know how" and "can do" ("young, ready and willing"?) to optimize the crops of cultural law writ corporeal. As the communion of markets is reconsidered, re-fantasized, re-eroticized so are we, becoming bodily relayers and retainers of value's consensual realities; reboots construed both inside and out along the jerrymandered lines of evaluative productivity and "full release" serviceability. A historicizing marketing immanent to our very bodies with the unworkable, the heterogenic, and the anartistic now enthusiastically dildoed into this limitless culture of anal homogeneity. Is the internalized expansion of marketability—those invisible hands caressing our benighted interiors—an arousal, a reason to will (like a tween at the Twilight of their sexual inexperience) paramount to whatever other conscious and unconscious pleasures might still be lurking out there? With invisible hands in our craw, can we still enjoy taking a shit? Is it that much more pleasurable?
However dread is unnecessary and best left to fascists; where there's a will, there's another way. Dreadful thoughts often come at the onset of hallucinated majorities, the incorporation of untouched margins into the all-consuming bog of social communion, the goosepimpling possibility of kool-aid group think. Despite the bunging of our (potentially) leaky asses with the repository of cultural slag amassed by the well-lubed "Man" interior and exterior to us, "his" limitlessness is our potential gain. It allows always for another crevice to soil, grave to profane, fresh abscess through which to plunge the needle, reinscribing the erotics of our integral flesh with a material perversity, a desecration repellent even to the subjectivizing techniques of cultural cathexis—all the more if this integral flesh isn't "ours" anymore. As now, as it always has been to Christians and Satanists, our flesh is "his."