"Modernism, abstract art, is the same aiming at sublimation and purification as genocide. In the essence of thought modernism and minimalism are seeking the same justification as Auschwitz. Modernism is a horrible dogma."Having recovered from this blow of shock and awe, my first reaction was disbelief. How could such a brutal and absurd comparison be uttered by a leading authority whose own artistic concepts and models belong evidently themselves to the modernist tradition? And in the history of western art I never came across any dogma whatsoever at all, let alone a horrible one.
Secondly I wondered if perhaps Bob Witman has mistaken the meaning of Spuybroeks words. But considering the rest of the interview that would be absurd as well. So I remain flabbergasted and see no other solution than to buy and read Spuybroeks "The Sympathy of Things", the publication of which was the actual reason for the interview. But whatever I may read there, I will consider linking modernism to nazism forever as a blasphemy.
Spuybroek is also wrong in his statement that modernism began with the First World War and ended on 11/9 2001. Or isn't it true that Brancusi, who came to Paris in 1903, is the pioneer of modern sculpture, and had his work exhibited in New York at The Armory Show already in 1913? And what about the numerous abstract sculptors that are still working today all over the world? Didn't they survive the Twin Towers?
I guess Spuybroek was simply provoking his interviewer. Or did Bob Witman lure him deliberately into a trap?