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Eric de Bruyn
«The Filmic Topology of Dan Graham (excerpt)»

I contend that Graham's piece [Schema] exhibits, exactly, the performative function of the statement. It constitutes a statement, that is, of the exhibition as such. «Schema» does not locate us within the truth game of Modernist art. «Schema» does not assume the same seriousness of tone, demand the same kind of aesthetic conviction. Rather it manifests and subverts the rules of the game as it was played during the sixties. This means, furthermore, that «Schema» does not take the tautological form of a proposition. A proposition has an apodictic character that remains ignorant of its historical field of use. Joseph Kosuth's «art as idea as idea» forms a contemporary example of such a proposition. A statement like «Schema», on the other hand, depends on a specific, material set of conditions for its realization. Accordingly, there is no ideal version of «Schema»: «a specific variant , in a sense, does not actually exist, but under certain conditions can be made to appear»*. Indeed, Graham seized any opportunity that emerged to publish «Schema» in order to make its contingent value apparent.

FN*: Dan Graham, Information, in: End Moments, 1969, p. 45.

Excerpt from: Eric de Bruyn, The Filmic Topology of Dan Graham, in: Dan Graham, Works 1965–2000, Düsseldorf, 2000, p. 329–354, here: 336