Document Type



In a letter written to Phillip Lieder, then editor of Artforum, before the 1967 publication of “Art and Objecthood” in that same journal, Michael Fried wrote: “I keep toying with the idea, crazy as it sounds, of having a section in this sculpture-theater essay on how corrupt sensibility is par excellence faggot sensibility[. . .].” This essay analyzes this statement in relation to Fried’s published theorization of “objecthood” and “theatricality” as “corrupted and perverted.” The essay asks what exactly constituted a “perverted” sensibility for Fried and what the implications are of aligning that perversion with homosexuality. The proposed answer is located in the manner by which the minimalist relation to viewers disrupts the “coherent” image of modernism—a relation that exits the clearly demarcated enclosures of serious aesthetic judgment and enters into the engaging and absorbing vagaries of desire.