Allan Kaprow wrote

“[…] here is the ball park I perceive: an artist can

  1. work within recognizable art modes and present the work in recognizable art contexts (e.g., paintings in galleries; poetry in poetry books; music in concert halls, etc.)
  2. work in unrecognizable, i.e., nonart, modes but present the work in regognizable art contexts (e.g., pizza parlour in a gallery; a telephone book sold as poetry, etc.)
  3. work in recognizable art modes but present the work in nonart contexts (.eg., a “Rembrandt as an ironing board”; a fugue in an air-conditioning duct; a sonnet as a want ad, etc.)
  4. work in nonart modes but present the work as art in nonart contexts (e.g., perception tests in a psychology lab; anti-erosion terracing in the hills; typewriter repairing; garbage collecting, etc. (with the proviso that the art world knows about it))
  5. work in nonart modes and nonart contexts but cease to call the work art, retaining instead the private consciousness that sometimes it may be art, too (e.g., systems analysis; social work in a ghetto’ hitchhiking; thinking, etc.)

All artists can locate themselves among these five options. Most belong to the first, very few occupy the fourth, and so far, I know of no one who fits the fifth who hasn’t simply dropped out of art entirely. (One runs into such postgraduates from time to time, but their easy testimonials to the good life lack the dense ironies of doublethink that would result from simultaneous daily participation in art and, say, finance.)”

from “Nontheatrical Performance” (1976) in Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life (2003) pp. 175-6

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