I was complaining to Jim, my artist friend,
about contemporary art. Crude cartoons
of Robin sucking off Batman, etc.; one sold
for twenty grand. Photographs of photographs.
Second-wave neo-expressionists expressing
nothing. “You don’t understand,” said Jim.
“The viewer comes to each of these
with an illusion. An illusory expectation.
Of composition, say, or subtlety,
a point or subtext; even a new shock.
And in each case the expectation
is frustrated. Something is lacking
that never was before. And so the viewer,
however hard he thinks
he is, finds he still had an illusion,
and congratulates himself for having had it
as he is saying goodbye. Think of the energy
paradoxically released from black holes. It’s
still art, you see; it fucks you
the way the Market does, only faster and deeper.”