Presentness is Grace. Art and Objecthood.
"1) The success, even the survival, of the arts has come increasingly to depend on their ability to defeat theatre. …For theature has an audience—it exists for one—in a way the other arts do not; in fact, this more than anything else is what modernist sensibility finds intolerable in theatre generally. Here it should be remarked that literalist art, too, possesses an audience, though a somewhat special one: that the beholder is confronted by literalist work within a situation that he experiences as his means that there is an important sense in which the work in question exists for him alone, even if he is not actually alone with the work at the time. It may seem pradoxical to claim both that literalist sensibility aspires to an ideal of “something everyone can understand” (Smith) and that literalist art addresses itself to the beholder alone, but the paradox is only apparent. Someone has merely to enter the room in which a literalist work has been placed to become that beholder, that audience of one—almost as though the work in question has been waiting for him. And inasmuch as literalist work depends on the beholder, it is incomplete without him, it has been waiting for him. And onece he is in the room the work refuses, obstinately, to let him alone—which is to say, it refuses to stop confronting him, distancing him, isolating him. (Such isolation is not solitiude any more than such confrontation is communion.)
…Like Judd’s Specific Objects and Morris’s gestalts or unitary forms, Smith’s cube is always of further interest; one never feels that one has come to the end of it; it is inexhaustible. It is inexhaustible, however, not because of any fullness—that is the inexhaustibility of art—but because there is nothing there to exhaust. It is endless in the way a road might be: if it were circular, for example.
…We are all literalists most or all of our lives. Presentness is Grace.”