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By Mary Joe Hughes (auth.)

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Extra resources for The Move Beyond Form: Creative Undoing in Literature and the Arts since 1960

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21 The complex lineage of Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) bears affinities with that of Cixous. 22 He later became something of a global citizen, living in France but often teaching in the United States. Derrida’s condition of living on the margins is far from unique. Journalist Pico Iyer has written a book on the subject, based on firsthand experience. Born to Indian parents but brought up in England, Iyer has lived in Japan as an adult, while working for an American magazine. ”23 And this condition is by no means limited to natives of postcolonial nations.

The work in the Gagosian Gallery consisted in six enormous forged steel blocks, spaced just far enough apart to let viewers walk between them. Indeed they almost demanded passing through, by absorbing people into the negative spaces that they colonized and defined. ”28 In a retrospective of Serra’s work at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2007, his huge serpentine pieces seemed to slant backward or forward as the viewer shifted perspective. ”29 The way that Serra’s pieces in this way close in and open out, sucking in the viewer and disgorging him or her again, makes it clear that an appreciation of his work is no static or contemplative experience.

Still fixed and relatively unalterable, you might think, but what about its reproducibility? There it is in the Sunday supplement, with added glasses, an ad for designer frames. And there it is again on the computer screen, subject to computerized manipulation and linked through a myriad of electronic webs to the online collections of various art departments around the world. And what about the Mona Lisa on the screen, her smile altering from a grimace to a grin, thanks to computer programs with names like Goo.

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