Sunday, October 26, 2008

James Lee Bayers

The actions in which Byars carried the artist's role as market producer to the point of absurdity are legendary. He is often grouped together with Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, and Marcel Broodthaers, all of whom worked counter to art's pure object character. Byars was always concerned with "solving the essential questions with questions," as he explained in a conversation with Joachim Sartorius, the former artistic director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Thus, nearly every one of Byars' statements ends with a question mark: "I think that by adding a question mark to a statement, I fill this statement with life and carry it into the area of art or poetry." With this, Byars wanted to create a "symbol for the indefinite and an openness to the universe" - an ideal constellation for an open, post-modern work of art. - Harald Fricke

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