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How to Talk Through Your Hat (4)

Most art-related press releases get written by people who aren’t just art-world wannabes but individuals who have never laid eyes on the work in question. That is, they’re exercises in “How to Write about Art You Haven’t Seen.” That’s because the publicity cycle in the art world runs on a three-month time lag. Let me explain. […]

How to Talk Through Your Hat (3)

It’s conceivable that any given postmodernist text you happen upon in print came from The Postmodernism Generator, a website that generates endless postmodern essays via an algorithm. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say, since postmodern theory hypothesizes that no original ideas exist, only recycled ones. A recycling machine for the standardized locutions of postmodernist theory comes as a logical extension of that philosophical position. […]

How to Talk Through Your Hat (2)

Pierre Bayard’s formulation applies no less to photography than it does to books. To what extent do we ― and, if we teach, do our students ― talk about photographs we don’t know at all, or have looked at carefully sometime in the past but since forgotten, or have only glanced at, or have merely heard of? […]

How to Talk Through Your Hat (1)

Pierre Bayard’s book, “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read,” represents a spirited defense of ― nay, an energetic advocacy of ― talking through one’s hat. Nowadays we use a more blunt locution the name that act: Bullshitting. […]