I read this book The Art Prophets, by Richard Polsky, which is a collection of art criticism essays that talk about dealers who discovered and promoted specific genres of art that weren’t necessarily appreciated straightaway. Like Ivan Karp with pop art, or Stan Lee in comics, Virginia Dwan with earthworks, etc. I read it during jury duty. I had a system. I’d read a couple of chapters of Ada, or Ardor, a couple of essays from The Art Prophets, and then I’d read a trashy novel (you don’t need to know details on the last part. Focus on how I am reading Nabokov).
There are actually a lot of things to say about The Art Prophets, but I’m not going to tell you any of them because this is a thing that happens in it:
In 1984, when I visited the Lightning Field, Dia would only allow two people out there at at ime (the number has since increased to six). You also had to commit to spend twenty-four hours on the property. Accommodations in a restored rancher’s cabin, adjacent to the work, are comfortable but spartan…
The temptation to photograph the work is overwhelming. Somehow, I was able to resist; it all comes down to honoring the artist’s pact with the viewer. What I did find irresistible was spending the warmest part of the afternoon interacting with the sculpture in the nude (disclosure: I wore high-top tennis shoes out of a healthy respect for the area’s diamondback rattlers). Since the Lightning Field was a work of art stripped down to its bare essence, it felt appropriate to do so myself.
Did that feel appropriate? Are you sure? I TAKE A DIFFERENT VIEW.
Also, you know what my favorite part of this is? The word “interacting”. What does that mean, Richard Polsky? In God’s name what does that mean?