Compelling Quotes about the Death of Art


“Art is dead. Long live Dada.” —Walter Serner

“For me there is something else in addition to yes, no or indifferent — that is, for instance — the absence of investigations of that type. . . . I am against the word ‘anti’ because it’s a bit like atheist, as compared to believer. And the atheist is just as much of a religious man as the believer is, and an anti-artist is just as much of an artist as the other artist. Anartist would be much better, if I could change it, instead of anti-artist. Anartist, meaning no artist at all. That would be my conception. I don’t mind being an anartist . . . What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way as a bad emotion is still an emotion.” —Marcel Duchamp

“The word ‘anti’ annoys me a little, because whether you are anti or for, it’s two sides of the same thing. And I would like to be completely – I don’t know what you say – nonexistent, instead of being for or against… The idea of the artist as a sort of superman is comparatively recent. This I was going against. In fact, since I’ve stopped my artistic activity, I feel that I’m against this attitude of reverence the world has. Art, etymologically speaking, means to ‘make.’ Everybody is making, not only artists, and maybe in coming centuries there will be a making without the noticing.” —Marcel Duchamp

“The end of art, and its truth, is religion, that other circle of which the end, the truth, will have been philosophy, and so on. And you know — we shall have to get the most out of this later on — the function of the ternary rhythm in this circulation. The fact remains that here art is studied from the point of view of its end. Its pastness is its truth. The philosophy of art is thus a circle in a circle of circles : a ‘ring’ says Hegel, in the totality of philosophy. It turns upon itself and in annulling itself it links onto other rings. This annular concatenation forms the circle of circles of the philosophical encyclopedia. Art cuts out a circumscription or takes away a circumvolution from it. It encircles itself.” —Jacques Derrida