Disfiguring Abstraction a performance at the Museum of Modern Art on April 3, 2013 at 12:30pm in the Inventing Abstraction show on the sixth floor of the museum, assembling under the Network Connections sign at the beginning of the exhibition.Part of the series Uncontested Spaces: Guerrilla Readings in Kenneth Goldsmith's "Poet Laureate" program. This reading is a supplement to "Disfiguring Abstraction," an essay on the Inventing Abstraction show forthcoming in the Spring 2013 issue of Critical Inquiry (which begins with these aphorisms and first paragraph):
You can be a museum or you can be modern, but you can’t be both. ––Gertrude Stein to Alfred Barr
No painting is so figurative that under certain conditions it will not look abstract. ––after Oscar Wilde
What color is abstraction? It can’t just be white. Its invention in time (for example, 1910 or 1912) only means that it creates a holding space for abstractions from other times and places. To centrally locate one locus of abstraction would be to diminish the radicality of abstraction’s connections to its others – or its engendering of its others.