Paul Hertz

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Any Time Now, 2000, Inkjet Print, 18 x 11 in.


The Cognitive Question (asked by most artists of the twentieth century, Platonic or Aristotelian until around 1958): "How can I interpret this world of which I am a part? And what am I in it?"

The Postcognitive Questions (asked by most artists since then): "Which world is this? What is to be done in it? Which of my selves is to do it?"

Dick Higgins as quoted in Brian McHale, Constructing Postmodernism (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), p 32-33, cited in Lovejoy, Margot, Postmodern Currents.


Fragmentation, ambiguity, and indeterminacy are naturalized in the emerging global, digitalized consciousness, where the spectacle of estrangement becomes a source of identity. By acknowledging distance and dispossession we raise the hope of overcoming them and reconstituting our own subjectivity--or at least we raise the spectre of the other who can construct with us an intersubjectivity where fragmentation and distance are on the table, no longer hidden, where false identities can be rejected and new ones constructed. If mustering all our selves to this effort could bring us in contact with one other person, it would be worth it, even if its artistic merit were nil.

Paul Hertz, from sketchbook for summer 1998

See also: Portfolio and related materials.


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