Theater of Refusal by Charles Gaines
Danielle Wu

"Works of art are complex events; their true complexity is revealed in criticism and its attempt to circumscribe the boundaries of art. Criticism idealizes representation and consequently
distances the viewer from actuality. This is evident in the way marginalized discourse has been used to reduce complex experiences to over arching themes that relieve us of the responsibility of having to deal with the works themselves. For example, Peter Plagens' review of the I 993 Whitney Biennial focused on the "overarching" theme that the works selected for the exhibition represented the "artist-as-victim [which is] increasingly demanded by the contemporary art scene." This is clearly an attempt further to marginalize an exhibition already marginalized by the curators and to simply essentialize all of the work in the show."