The extremists are right when they recognise the power of art, and ban it or burn it. Its provocations are always against the dead hand of intellectual and spiritual slavery. When someone like Liza Lou breaks free, the life is relevant as a testimony against false authority. It is the work though, that should go on speaking to us long after the circumstances of the life have become irrelevant. It doesn't really matter what happened to Caravaggio on that mosquito-infested stretch of coast where he died. It matters that we can sit in silent contemplation in front of The Killing of St Matthew. The work outlasts the life.
Liza Lou Kitchen, 1991-1994, Mixed media, paper mache, wire, glass beads and glue, 168 square feet