Scott Malcomson, 9 June 1994
People who can find the world in a grain of sand are not necessarily people one wants to spend a lot of time with. At a recent conference held in a SoHo gallery in New York, the moderator spoke of interventions and discursive spaces, of enacting positions in a performative way, of avoiding both essentialism and relativism. He spoke of crucial theoretical work. To a person of my generation, this rap is utterly familiar, even homey; one has to struggle to imagine a time when things were différent. Nevertheless, the idea of crucial theoretical work appears to me laughably pretentious. Crucial to whom? How? Why?