New Criticals

Maybe an updated, contemporary “new spirit” might entail doubt, hesitation, restlessness, visibility — the latter being playfully opposed to a secrecy, a deliberate hiding, an opaqueness that troped a lot of modernist art and literature...and governments since, well, forever. One example of the former could be Jasper Johns, some of whose visual art indicates a will to  hide  all signs of thought, as he himself once declared. This kind of hiding, to my mind, parallels the machismo and force relative to questioning that we see in the demagoguery that we find ourselves witnessing now; it’s strictly tangential to curiosity, discovery, collaboration. A lot of “official” information leaves a lot to be desired. Human beings are exploited by being kept in a state of need.