The phrase 'Reality Slays Art' does not claim that reality impedes art, destroys it, renders it irrelevant. Instead, this sentence (the title of a painting by Albert Oehlen from 1980) states that art ideally helps in developing a feeling for the massiveness of the real: for inevitability, contingency, density, poison but also malleability, sex, resistance, for my small and unimportant pains and the ugly triumphs of a not yet fully developed consciousness. In other words, for the dismal, tragic, deep tautology that everything real is real–though least of all perhaps the artwork to which I owe this insight. But since it is in encountering art that one experiences this feeling, art can easily become its first victim. At times deservedly so.
Press release Galerie Buchholz. Text: Diedrich Diederichsen, 2019.