A manual of the historical development of art, pre-historic, by G G Zerffi

By G G Zerffi

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Community often names that foundation. The worst side of town and the fanciest Reciprocity, Commonality, Service 17 require a foundation upon which agents of reciprocity can cut their deals. But this foundation must not be confused with commonality. People with nothing in common can register their pets in city hall, drive on state highways, or be fingerprinted by the federal government. The chamber-of-commerce usage of community assists the business of perpetuating collective images across time.

My work is an effort to keep the critique moving by supplementing the island metaphor. Indeed, this is the kind of metaphor that those who endorse postmodern criticism of mastery and attunement need to reject: it smacks of the search-and-destroy mentality they seek to destroy. There is a subtle difference between speaking of what is left out when order is imposed, and admitting that order never manages to totally dis-place chaos. Both order and chaos must be maintained. Crusoe's presence makes Friday the absent other; but Crusoe's presence is itselfcproblematic.

At the center of the continuum lies the subject-an entity whose identity must be maintained across time. If the balance of this continuum is tipped in the direction of being God-like, the entity is collectivized and communion is out in the open. If the balance goes the other way, the entity is individuated and we are stuck with remunity. The modern person plays the role of a fulcrum, a center that is nevertheless somewhat immune from the struggle; the references to the self, or person, or man, refer to this real person (you or I or we) who is and is not the center of thinking.

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