Just wandered in, looking for a kiss.

The analogy I wish to draw here is blatant. The rhetoric of beauty tells the story of the beholder who, like Masoch’s victim, contracts his own submission — having established, by free consent, a reciprocal, contractual alliance with the image. The signature of this contract, of course, is beauty. […]

The experience of art within the therapeutic institution, however, is presumed to be an end in itself. Under its auspices, we play a minor role in the master’s narrative — the artist’s tale — and celebrate his autonomous acts even as we are off-handedly victimized by their philosophical force and ruthless authority. […] And we, poor beholders, like the silly demimondaines in Sade’s Philosophy of the Bedroom, are presumed to have just wandered in, looking for a kiss, so Pow! Whatever we get, we deserve — and what we get most prominently is ignored, disenfranchised, and instructed. Then told it is “good” for us. (62-63)

From Hickey, Dave. After the Great Tsunami.” The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty. Los Angeles: Art Issues Press, 1993. 55-64. Print.

Full-blooded acknowledgement.

Where the hell was this idea when I was dropping out of an MA in the humanities?

For [Dave] Hickey, writing near the beginning of the nineties, only a full-blooded acknowledgement of the pleasure and sociality that intersect in disputatious experiences of beauty could rescue the academic art world from its arid purism. (2)

From Mitchell Morris’ The Persistence of Sentiment.