Donald Preziosi wanted to arouse suspicion with his anthology of art history texts. He points out in his introductory essay that the telling of the story of art history hinges upon the idea that objects reveal ideas. “From the beginning, the principle concern of historians and critics of the visual arts was the linkage of objects to patterns of causality assumed to exist between objects and makers, objects and objects, and between all of them and their various contemporary contexts.” (p.17)
Are muffins the print form of some idea stored in the hard drive of our heads? In what I’ve read so far of of Andy Crouch’s “Making Culture” he seems to think so. He suggests we spend some time meditating on what omlettes assume about the way the world is and ought to be. But my question is this: even if it is true that ideas really do long to get out of our heads and become created objects can’t opposing ideas create still create identical objects? Isn’t this the cruel irony of Judas’ kiss? A kiss ought to be the outpouring of love and trust but in this case it was the manifestation of betrayal. The kiss itself tells us nothing. It is the greater context of the story in which the kiss is a part that allows us to read a motive into that “cultural artifact”.