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An Abiding Obsession | by MoonToad NL
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An Abiding Obsession

Van Gogh (post-Duchamp) and the Notion of the Fake.


I have no interest in the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. I have little or no interest in painting for it’s own sake and can only be pulled in when I see it as a vehicle for ideas.

I consumed his work when I was a teenager but, on discovering Duchamp, lost interest completely. I am profoundly interested in what Van Gogh, his life and myth, represents.

Before going there I need to hold the concept of Fakery up to the infra-thin prism and reconsider it. First of all we need to do away with judgement. Genuine is a word like truth which can be used as a weapon and therefore is immediately suspect. In contrast to the usual definition of fake as the opposite of genuine we need to consider the possibility of anti-genuine or complementary to genuine. This puts genuine and fake as opposite but equal. Now we can start.


('Infra-thin' as described by Marcel Duchamp: Is the infinite space between two sides of the same sheet of paper.

It is also the whiff of a Madeleine that provoked Marcel Proust to write one of the longest musings on memory ever undertaken. Furthermore It is the double mask of comedy and tragedy that defines drama, or at least the space between them.)


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Taken on October 19, 2005