T.H.: So where is the critical dimension? For example when you were doing the interview with Nam June Paik, an artist who has obviously made up his own universe, did you have a critical distance from his work? Were you criticizing his work and his decisions from your perspective as an artist?

E.K.: As an artist myself first and foremost, I’m not concerned with the specific solutions that this or that artist has arrived at in a specific space and time. That’s unique to that artist. I may or may not like it, personally, but I respect it. You can accept or reject it, analyze or just contemplate it, but the decision made by the artist is the work itself and therefore is in my view beyond questioning. One more or one less drip would not spoil a Pollock painting, but if he stopped at that last one drip, this is it. Those are decisions that artists make under specific circumstances in their historical period. So what Moholy and Paik have in common is the understanding that since telegraphy communication or telecommunications has become a part of culture and has played a role in modifying social relations. But that understanding doesn’t mean anything by itself because artworks are not an understanding. The work is a sculpture, an installation, an event, a performance; the artist makes the work. Artists have their own visual vocabulary, their own syntax, their own worldview, their own investment in changing the world. I enjoy it for what it means in that context for that artist. Yesterday I went to see the Gino Severini retrospective. [6] I can appreciate what he did in his own time without necessarily establishing a relationship with him, which I obviously don’t. I don’t need or want validation by tradition. I can appreciate tradition for what it is but I am not interested in giving continuity to it.

T.H.: I see. Then your concept of experience also makes no difference between the aesthetics of everyday life and the context of art?

E.K.: I do see differences between the aesthetics of everyday life and the one explored in the context of art, but another way of saying what I mean is that there’s a Hegelian prejudice that still percolates. Artworks do not exist to illustrate ideas and cannot be reduced to ideas, to words, to explanations. There’s a meaningful dimension to the material reality, to the material network that a piece of art produces, to the irreducible quality of the experience of art.

T.H.: But please let me insist a little more on the critical dimension of your work.

E.K.: You mean art criticism?

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