magee and an incoherent task

Here’s a bit more from Paul Magee, and from the same article as last week. This time it’s the part where he is talking about examining an “incoherent task”:

I am referring to that familiar examiner’s predicament of excusing poor art work because there is something good in the scholarly accompaniment, and excusing poor scholarship because there is something good in the artwork; and then excusing the fact that ‘there is something good in it’ is not good enough as far as either of these endeavours are concerned, on the grounds that it is actually unjust to fail a candidate set such an incoherent task in the first place. Each part of the practice-led research dissertation package has its alibi in the other and the whole offers an alibi for performance as well.

– Paul Magee, “Introduction. Part 1: Beyond Accountability?.” Text. October, 2012., p.10



exegesis and i

Here’s Paul Magee on academics, artworks and saying “I”:

We have long been accustomed to criticising (Adorno & Horkheimer 1972) and/or defending (Giddens 1993: 47) academic discourse on the grounds of its claim to impersonal objectivity. Lacan suggests that this is just a ruse: what is essential to the academic is to be able to say or imply ‘I’, responsibly. A painting does not say ‘I’ in any accountable sense, and nor does a poem. An exegesis offers that ‘I’, albeit intolerably contradictorily when judged in amalgam with an artwork. For an artwork is judged, as much as for any other reason, by dint of its capacity to void that very same imaginary totality ‘I’.

Which is why it could not be counted as research in its own right. Or so people must have intuited.

– Paul Magee, “Introduction. Part 1: Beyond Accountability?.” Text. October, 2012., p.5