quote #1


CHRISTIAN KOBALD: Do you make art yourself?

RICHARD STEURER: I have never made music, paintings, films or novels. During my life I have basically practised two arts. The first is the art of gardening, which had an important place in the aesthetic reflections in the time of Burke and Kant, although today it has more or less disappeared from such reflections. If one is doing the planning and the acting oneself, one gets a fairly good sense of what it means to confront one`s ideas of lines, forms and colours with existing material conditions that one cannot control.
The second art is writing. But I have never written literature as such. And yet in everything I have written that is assigned to the categories of history, philosophy, political theory or art criticism I have seen myself as someone doing the work of an artist. With that I do not mean the work of a virtuoso of composition and expression. The work of an artist is the work of someone who ceaselessly offers himself up to confirmations and contradictions which give an idea an appropriate form and gains new ideas from working on the form. In this sense artist does not mean any kind of exceptional status. on the contrary it means that the philosopher, the historian, the critic or the theoretician is not somebody in possession of a truth that others don`t know and someone who speaks a language of science that is apart from conventional language. he is someone who proceeds in the universe of language, forms and thought in the same way as everyone else.

Excerpt from: >>Nobody ever thought that art was somewhere outside the class struggle<< An email interview by Christian Kobald and Richard Steurer thinking about French philosopher Jaques Rancière, published in SPIKE (21), Autumn 2009

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