02 4 / 2012
"The reason Safer isn’t able to have what he calls “an aesthetic experience” with contemporary art is that he fears it. It’s too bad, because fear is a fantastic portal for such experiences. Fear tells you important things. Instead, Safer is fixated on art that only wants to be loved. Most art wants attention, but there are many ways of doing this — from being taken aback by Andy Warhol’s clashing colors and sliding silk-screens to being stopped in your tracks by just a dash in a poem by Emily Dickinson. Art isn’t something that only wants love. It’s also new forms of energy, skill, or beauty. It’s the ugliness of Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Children. Often art is something we cross the street to avoid, something that makes us uncomfortable, that tells us things we don’t want to know, that creates space for uncertainty. Safer goes to the most hellish place on Earth to look for “an aesthetic experience,” then gets grumpy when he doesn’t have one. It’s clownish."