“Art never commemorates. It is not made to preserve a memory, and whenever it is set to work in a monument, it does not belong to the memorializing aspect of the work.”
I must admit that this statement confounded me initially. I thought of all the monuments made to honour the memory of some important prince, general or king, and the war memorials that mark the memory of the fallen, and the tombs, statues, etc. created by great artists. These structures make up a large part of our cultural histories and they are included in art history books. Are they not art? But Nancy also adds that if we needed proof of his claim, we need only observe that “there are monuments without art, whereas there is no work of art that is as such a monument.” Ha! So,then we are meant to ask, how is this or is not art, and further, wherein lays “art? Nancy never asks easy questions.