Liam Gillick’s piece in Artforum about Chris Gilbert’s resignation from the Berkeley Art Museum in part represents Gilbert’s position as one which recognizes that the Deleuzian mode of “trying to create concepts with fine articulations, extremely differentiated concepts to escape gross dualisms” is increasingly ineffective in a time of gross dualisms.
A recent example of the latter comes to mind: the spectacle of the executive branch of government of the United States (“the greatest country in the free world”) attempting to redefine torture as defined by the Geneva Conventions. As reported today on Democracy Now, the opposition to this redefinition of torture most articulated in the media is the “Republican rebellion” of McCain, Graham and Warner, which does nothing to ameliorate the complete ditching of habeas corpus in both pieces of legislation, habeas corpus being a right enjoyed in the US since its inception and in England since the 12th century. Pile on the gross dualisms.
The outrageous silent attempt to negate this most important right to a fair trial has gone largely unmentioned by the media, in a gross violation of the responsibility of the press to pursue the interests of the public at large, as well as to report important news stories. The abdication of the responsibility to question the unethical actions of government is an additional gross dualism when contrasted with the white out of corporate and consumer culture taking the place of news and relevant debate in the mass media. My piece published in NYFA Current addressed the relationship between the prevalence of “balanced journalism” in the US and a concept of “curatorial objectivity”, and how this relates to both the news we consume and the Berkeley Art Museum incident. Gilbert’s act may continue to cause reflection and inspire debate in the “art subculture” as long as these social and political bipolar disjunctions continue to become manifest in our society.