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The Decision Between UsArt and Ethics in the Time of Scenes$
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John Paul Ricco

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226717777

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226113371.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 16 June 2021

: Unbecoming Community

: Unbecoming Community

(p.173) 6: Unbecoming Community
The Decision Between Us

John Paul Ricco

University of Chicago Press

In this final chapter, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ installations of paper stacks and candy piles are theorized as aesthetic and ethical scenes of decision. Ricco theorizes that by partaking in the work by being offered the opportunity to take a sheet of paper or piece of candy, visitors participate in a shift from the Duchampian paradigm of the audience completing the work, to an inoperative praxis in which the audience unmakes the work. Ricco argues that this is not a destructive gesture, but rather a sustaining of the work as already-unmade and that it is this shared partaking in unmaking or in-finishing, that is the generating structure that keeps open the space of being-together as a question of decision. In other words, Gonzalez-Torres’ artistic invitation and offering is understood to be a form of inoperative aesthetic, ethical and political praxis, extended to an anonymous and non-collective community that can be most properly described as unbecoming.

Keywords:   Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Offering, Marcel Duchamp, Community, Unbecoming, Already-Unmade

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