The personal embarrassment that the i experiences in the midst of an audience in the
dark when its work happens on the screen, is just a (minor) reflection of a larger
embarrassment that inheres art. The artistic voice that manifests itself in the work of
art is embarrassing because it embodies the artistic pretension of a subject that claims
that their artistic voice is not only a private mouthing, but a voice of art – and it is
not only an artistic voice, but a mouthing of the private.
There are strategies to ease this embarrassment. The first is to deflect from the
voice by putting forward an object of speech - the object that (an) art (work) seems
to address or speak about. The second strategy escapes into a juxtaposition of the
embarrassment, exposing that the artistic voice is so embarrassing that the one who
produces it can handle the embarrassment only with (self)irony. By pointing to the
embarrassment by taking a distance to it irony eliminates anything else (but the
embarrassment) and is consequently nonsensical and apolitical because it disables any
position to speak from, the basic condition of a statement.
We tried neither to deflect from our voice nor to make fun of it, but to accept it
as our subject. The attempt to untie the image from what it shows will lead us to the
act of seeing, or more generally, it will lead us from a representational regime of art
to an aesthetic regime of art...
introduction taken from my thesis "a deflection from distraction. the subject of voice", 2005 and published in "Normal Desires" by Ruth Buchanan,
excerpt thesis ↓