[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 62, Issue 29

John Haber jhaber at haberarts.com
Fri Jan 29 12:57:43 EST 2010

Wish I were there with Johanna Drucker on that trip.  I'll definitely 
agree not to use the good/evil framework.  Besides, it's so tied up with 
a Christian conception of history.  (It might have roots before that in 
the division of Judaism after Jews returned from exile and had to choose 
who counted as genuine, but I'll spare you my day job editing textbooks.) 

It's hard to find past analogies that don't load the question.  Cezanne 
with Uncle Dominic is surprisingly contemporary in a way that doesn't 
quite align him either with the Salon or the Refuses.  I just wish I saw 
fewer celebrations of the present around me. 

After I wrote those six paragraphs about the two sides of Deitch's 
appointment, I unexpectedly got a magazine assignment to get dealer 
quotes about him.  I got many more and longer ones than needed, and when 
(as promised) the unabridged version appears on my Web site (after prior 
publication rights to the magazine), it'll be really disappointing.  The 
edited version is way more fun.  But it's fascinating to see their 
points of view. 

A dealer who lived through so much else and his my heroine more or less 
says, well, things have changed, but is it really that important?  Lower 
East Side dealers who rebelled against Chelsea but know they're more of 
hype, thankfully, say it wouldn't be their choice but could add 
something.  Brooklyn dealers who've survived outside the hype are 
appalled but also very funny.  Older Chelsea dealers who know Deitch 
think that it's bound to contribute something that perhaps they 
themselves could not.  Younger dealers seem afraid to question it. 

I think I'll stick to my version.  As Kafka had it, "In the fight 
between you and the world, back the world." 


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