Someone recently compared me to Steven Shaviro, the American philosopher and cultural critic. Whether this comparison flatters, insults, or stands up to scrutiny, I'm not entirely sure; as a Professor of English at Wayne State University and a highly respected author, he's arguably smarter and more successful than me, but, on the other hand, I'm younger and better looking ...
Still, I'm happy to take it as a compliment; for whilst I don't know the gentleman in question, I am familiar with Doom Patrols (1997), Shaviro's theoretical fiction(s) about postmodernism in which he says many things - not necessarily true or accurate, but often witty and stylish - with which I sympathise and might wish to have said myself (You will, Oscar, you will).
I particularly love Shaviro's reading of Andy Warhol and his swish aesthetic. He is absolutely spot on to acknowledge the importance of Warhol and his pimples; an artist who not only understood how to be Greek in the Nietzschean manner (superficial out of profundity), but how to have done with judgement (I approve of what everybody does) - including the judgement of God, but in a far less aggressive, less hysterical fashion than others:
"For Warhol has none of the anxieties that plagued his great Modernist forebears, none of their transgressive urges or buried ressentiment."
Andy simply didn't care if nothing was true and everything permitted. Nor did he worry about substantial things disappearing behind their own shadows and losing their solidity, their palpability, their presence. For as Shaviro says, an artist is somebody who ultimately wants to turn the whole world into a simulacrum:
"It all comes down to images and nothing but images. [...] The critical spirit finds the world to be radically deficient. Images never satisfy it; it always wants something more. But Warhol just shrugs his shoulders, and suggests that enough is enough. The world, for him, is not deficient, but, if anything, overly full."
It's unfortunate, therefore, that even Warhol - by his own admission - simply produced more art junk, thus cluttering up the world still further. To make a little space, it seems, is the most difficult thing of all ...
See: Steven Shaviro, Doom Patrols, (Serpent's Tail, 1997), ch. 16: Andy Warhol.
Note: The complete text is available to read free on Shaviro's website: click here.