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4" x 7.5 ", ceramic, Price on Request




KALTENBACH ANNOTATIONS:  Although photographically illustrated, this is a lie; Lee Lozano would have termed it Info-Fiction. It is supported by the fact that I had previously had a toe amputated.


I considered this extreme Minimalism: the move from Visual Art to Visualized Art and the complete dematerialization of the object. Also, it was my first attempt at Alchemy: the transmutation of Bad, (a lie,) to Good, (a work of visualized art existing only in the viewers mind).


This was also my first try at the structuring of my reputation as opposed to the enhancement of it; which was one of my first uses of the “Protocol of Opposites.” This Art Action developed as I observed the involvement of my peers in building their reputations and decided to choose an opposite direction. One of the most obvious things I saw here was the embroidery by artists of their achievement by changing the date of work to an earlier time. (Build a Reputation) My interest was to work with reputation as a medium by manipulating my public image as an art expression rather than doing it for career reasons. This for the first time opened up the possibility of degrading my reputation rather than always working to enhance it. I felt like a painter who for the first time has been introduced to grays and black.


Another observed strategy artists were using was to close their studios to keep private their conceptual structures and techniques that were being used until their work was revealed to the public. Through the Protocol of Opposites I decided to publicize my ideas in an attempt to influence the thinking of my peers. This was obviously a Bad Idea and therefore challenging so I tried it out on my closest friend from art school, Ed Higgens. I gave his work a lot of thought and suggested to him my ideas that might best help him in his research. A week later I wrote and told him what I was doing. He called immediately to tell me to NOT do that; he said that people would hate me.


So naturally, now recognizing how Bad an Idea it really was, I began at once. Two things I learned right away; I had the advantage of being able to bring a fresh eye to the work while the artist had the advantage of a much greater depth of knowledge of what he or she was doing. The ‘product’ of this endeavor was really interesting in that for the first time I couldn’t “see my work”; that is, I couldn’t determine what the effects were of my observations and comments. As a corollary of the indeterminate results of these studio visits, I decided that I should keep secret what was done. So two new things emerged: art that wasn’t really perceptible and art that had to remain secret. My need for Minimalism was quite satisfied by these things.


Eventually the art of influence which I termed Causal Art moved to the Art Forum ads and into the manifesto form. This was a move in the direction of ‘Targeting’ my art toward a specific audience. With the Sidewalk Plaques and Graffiti Works I had been directing my art expression toward the unprepared viewer, hiding their nature as art by displaying them outside an art identified environment. Now with the ads I felt that I was directly addressing fine art professionals.






TELL A LIE                                                                                                                  BUILD A REPUTATION

Artforum magazine, February, 1969                                                                     Artforum magazine, May, 1969


The Crooked Path, 1995

13" x 20',  editioned monoprint (inked artist's right foot (missing one toe) with acrylic ink) on paper, ed of 10, 




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