A bulleted argument for why my cat, here after referred to as Caroline, should be considered the most perfect exemplar of Minimal art

Caroline

 

–  Caroline is not a rectangle.

– Caroline is not a surface of any shape held parallel to a wall.

– Caroline, while admittedly consisting of skin, bones and internal organs, is not fundamentally a skin of color applied by the artist; the different components of her being are all part of her ontogenetic development (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny).

– Caroline’s black and white coloring is integrated with her fur, which is itself a result of her ontogenetic development, and therefore not a result of any subjective choice; the “placement” of the colors of fur are due to the probabilities governing genetics.

– Caroline cannot be said to participate in illusion or mimesis in any way.

– Caroline is often found on the floor, ground, or furniture, thus intruding on normal viewing/living space and articulating the nature of that space; she is therefore more closely allied to sculpture than she is to painting, while not participating in “sculptureness” as defined by Minimalist theorists.

– It could, perhaps, be argued that Caroline participates in the sublime which would ally her more closely to the work of Rothko, Newman, and abstract expressionism in general but it should be pointed out that the notion of the sublime is a human construct and cannot be said to reside in any object, natural or otherwise, much less Caroline.

– It could, perhaps be argued that Caroline’s rare and generally brief bouts of movement ally her with kinetic sculpture but here I would refer the reader to previous statements regarding the ontogenetic development of Caroline. Movement is clearly subordinate to Caroline’s other characteristics.

– As an ontological, ontogenetically developed object/being, Caroline is not the result of individual choice or personal subjectivity .

– Caroline has no purpose other than to exist (it might be argued that she gives me great pleasure but this is a result of my own subjectivity as a viewer).

– Caroline, due to the ontogenetic nature of her existence, is the perfect self-referential “specific object” as defined by Donald Judd and adopted by others. Further, Caroline’s generally inscrutable behavior belies any residual Romantic notion of communication with the viewer; I am prepared to stipulate that Caroline has a mind but this in no way argues against self-referentiality.

– Finally it might be objected that the procreative ability of cats in general and Caroline specifically would ally her with systems art (Sol Lewitt, Mel Bochner, and Mario Merz to mention a few examples).  I am not prepared at this time to address this objection; I have received a generous grant from the Gugggenheim Foundation and will spend the next year in Italy developing a book length refutation of this objection.

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