Krausâ€™ work I Love Dick remediates visual art. The question is what the endgame of Krausâ€™ remediations is. In this paper I pose that Kraus remediates visual art in an attempt to have her emotions, intelligence, and merit as a female artist validated.
One of the goals of writing is being read and transferring ideas. This ties in with Krausâ€™ quote of Olsen, who states that the â€œbest poetry is a kind of schizophreniaâ€¦ It is a transfer of energy between the poet and the readerâ€ (225). The tenor of this metaphor can be extended to â€˜all writingâ€™ or even â€˜all artâ€™. By extending the metaphor Krausâ€™ writing can also be seen as a schizophrenic transfer of energy; schizophrenic in the sense that the reader realizes that Kraus writes partly to herself and projection (147) is a big part of Krausâ€™ infatuation. By remediating a visual art piece – the film with the letters hanging on Dickâ€™s cacti that does not exist except in the mind and letters of Kraus and Lotringer – Kraus projects her emotions on the written word. This is an effective medium to have her emotions understood by other people â€“ Dick, the reader â€“ and to â€˜transfer energy between the [writer] and the readerâ€™.
Intellectually posited beneath two theorizing men, Lotringer and Dick, Kraus describes Kitajâ€™s exhibition (170-188). Perhaps due to her insufficient schooling she doesnâ€™t take the remediation to the level of academia â€“ indeed, she describes as feeling singular in academic settings. The written description of Kitajâ€™s visual art and its presentation is limited to descriptions of the visuals without a theoretic framework as well as loose associations and social commentary focused on what was en vogue in the 1950â€™s.
Kraus also describes the work and life of Hannah Wilke (195-202). This is a remediation in the sense that Kraus describes some of Wilkeâ€™s artworks with words. The description of Wilkeâ€™s life is a meta-memoir, which seems clever. Meta-memoir is, however, not a technique invented by Kraus. By describing the life and work of Wilke Kraus seems to try to forge a link between her own and Wilkeâ€™s lives and statuses as female artists and places herself next to what she calls a â€˜geniusâ€™. There are some large, link-breaking, and obvious differences between Kraus and Wilke however, which canâ€™t be expanded upon in this paper. Suffice it to say that Kraus is not successful in drawing an effective implicit comparison between herself and a genius.
In conclusion, Krausâ€™ remediations of visual art try to make the reader understand her emotions. Kraus also has a go at theorizing through remediation. Added to this list is the attempt at validation of Krausâ€™ status as a female artist. These remediations might make a critical reader â€“ like the writer of this paper â€“ wonder whether Dick is right in sending only a xerox copy of another letter to the creator of these remediations.
Kraus, Chris. I Love Dick. Serpents Tail, 2016.