On December 20, 1951 the French artist Jean Dubuffet gave a talk at the Arts Club of Chicago entitled “Anticultural Positions,” in which he advocated against what he called “one of the principal characteristics of Western culture...the belief that the nature of man is very different from the nature of other beings of the world.” The talk inspired then up-and-coming painters in Chicago to work intuitively and emotionally. Read now, much of it sounds Orientalist and uncomfortable. In 2013, as part of Daniel Tucker and Rebecca Zorach’s Never-the-Same project, I drew from the Arts Club archives to question and reframe Dubuffet’s legacy, and reflect on the politics of beauty and “wildness” in Chicago.
Unfurlings – Explorations in Art, Activism, and Archiving, ed. Daniel Tucker and Rebecca Zorach (Half Letter Press, 2014).