Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Quote from Ben Lerner

Aug 04, 2020 - Gabriel Sacco

I wanted to follow up with my fictions and summer reading list with a quote from one of my fav authors Ben Lerner. There is a link to the original interview below.


"Many of the left thinkings that really matter to me-that formed a big part of my thinking about politics and art-emphasize how capitalism is a totality, how there's no escape from it, no outside. We all know what they mean: every relationship can feel saturated by market logic or at best purchased at the price of the immiseration of others. But i'm increasingly on the side of thinkers like David Graeber who are talking back to this notion of totality and emphasizing how there are all kings of moments in our daily lives that break-or at least could break-from the logic of profit and the modes of domination it entails. Zones of freedom, even if it's never pure. And I like to think-knowing that it's an enabling fiction-of those moments as fragments from a world to come, a world where price isn't the only measure of value."


He says further,


"Despair strikes me as eminently reasonable and boring. I have no patience for artists whose primary function is to articulate their art's impossibility, who in a sense commodify melancholy-just as I have no interest in artists who are purely affirmative, who've made a commercialized fetish of the culture's stupidity. Balloon dogs, etc.I think that sexual pleasure and the weird color of the sky after a storm or the stream of taillights across the bridge or the way silence can thin or thicken before music starts-all these things have to be harnessed by the political. The libidinal has to be harnessed by the political."


Original Interview: