THE SILENT CAMP: QUEER RESISTANCE AND THE RISE OF POP ART
Jonathan D. Katz

American Life is a billboard; individual life in the U.S. includes something nameless that takes place in the weeds behind it. --Harold Rosenberg1

Let me begin by refuting any purely chronological determination of the sixties. Already in 1959--and we’ll be going back even further-- Harold Rosenberg could write, "You cannot fit into American life except as a camp."2 It’s a formulation that sounds very Warhol sixties, at once world weary and blasé in its conspiratorial wink, yet here it is at the end of the Fifties.

Rosenberg even asserted that the celebrated conformity and conservatism of the decade was in fact itself nothing but a form of camp, "A good deal of the notorious conservatism of the present generation is ancestor ‘camping’--that is a dead-pan take-off on life with Grandpa. In the camp, the masquerade becomes the real thing…."3 Rosenberg thus sees in the outward obeisance to cultural norms and values at the close of the Fifties--what he calls "life with Grandpa"--a quality of performance, in which daily life becomes a species of costume drama.

The article "Death in the Wilderness" which contains these observations, concerned as it is with what Rosenberg called the "nameless" activities behind the billboard of American life, emerged amidst a generalized late fifties angst over the very conformity once deemed necessary to triumph in the Cold War.4 Yet in characterizing the "mental world" of the Cold War generation as a kind of camp melodrama, it offers both a surprising new reading on a generally hackneyed tale of generational succession and a new vector for analyzing resistance within what has been uncritically labeled the age of consensus.5

To argue, as Rosenberg does, that the oppressively conformist socio-political climate of the Cold War 1950s is but a kind of put on would surely come as news to those other Rosenbergs, but it is, I think, symptomatic of a major shift in intellectual currents that begins in the mid fifties and reaches a zenith in Pop art.6 What’s at stake here, of course, is a question at the heart of any account of the politics of the cold war era--namely when did the fabled fifties metamorphose into the equally fabled sixties, or, in other words, how did the era’s deadly serious politics of policed consensus come to enable a form of resistance oriented around camp---and, more importantly, why.

Remarkably, Rosenberg’s late fifties vision of camp has not been cleansed of its homosexual genealogy. Rosenberg continues in his account of camp, "Just how much play-acting there is in this … is indicated by the enthusiastic participation of the homosexuals in the Reconstructed Family movement; indeed fairies and near-fairies were in the vanguard of the new domesticity…" 7

This is thus a paper about inheritances and disinheritances into the sixties of a particular kind of ironic response to dominant norms and values popularly and somewhat uncritically lumped under the label camp. It’s also about the role of homosexuals in promoting that form of response, and finally it’s about why a once homosexual discursive trope came to be seen as emblematic of an entire movement, such that Vivian Gornick could write in the Village Voice in 1966 an account of Pop art and 60’s culture as deeply, even inherently homosexual. She tellingly, and somewhat hysterically, entitled the article "Pop goes Homosexual: It’s a Queer Hand Stoking the Campfire."8

Central to my argument will be the assertion that the camp noted by Rosenberg, not to mention the fabled camp of Pop, is ontologically related to the hoary silences and negations of the art of the early fifties. Loosely put, that, for example Robert Rauschenberg’s stately White Paintings (fig.1,1952) and Warhol’s banal comic strip imagery of 1960 are cousins. I’ll even be arguing that works like John Cage’s infamous 1954 4’ 33" of silence, a musical composition in which every note is silent or Rauschenberg’s 1954 Erased De Kooning (fig. 2)--a drawing by the Abstract Expressionist master which Rauschenberg laboriously erased--not to mention the White Paintings-- were all species of camp, and as such can be thought of as progenitors of Pop.

Now I know that positing a connection between Rauschenberg’s empty canvases and Warhol’s riotous Marilyns (fig. 3, 1962) can seem a stretch, so at this point I want to simply recall Warhol’s own storied reticence, his monosyllabic mien, his brandishing of tape recorder and later video camera as a kind of protective shield inhibiting communication. Remember that upon the occasion of Warhol’s first showing of his Pop pictures to would be collectors, he wore a mask, gave others masks, and played music so loudly that it restrained, if not arrested speech.

A new generation of scholars have been trying to break through the reticence of Warhol’s self-described gay mentors Cage, Johns and Rauschenberg--ascribing these artists’ coy refusal of questions of sexuality and identity to their membership in the pre-Stonewall, pre-liberationist generation of gay men. But there are problems with the attribution of an interest in silence and negation simply to a pre-liberationist, closeted sexuality. Why, for example, would a person of John Cage's radicality, unconventional lifestyle, disdain for public opinion, and anarchistic leanings nonetheless uphold the highly restrictive social compact of the closet?

Is there another frame through which to assess this silence? For if the silence of these queer artists was an attempt to escape notice--as the silence of the closet presumably is--it was a manifest failure. Cage and his friends and colleagues Johns and Rauschenberg became notable precisely for their silences--clear proof of its unsuitability as a strategy of evasion. Closeted people seek to ape dominant discursive forms, to participate as seamlessly as possible in hegemonic constructions. They do not, in my experience, pointedly seek to negate them.

My point is that if silence was, paradoxically, in part an expression of identity as a closeted homosexual during the Cold War, it was also much more than that.

Silence was not only a symptom of oppression, it was also, I want to argue, a chosen mode of resistance. This silence is not the passive stratagem of a closeted homosexual unwilling and unable to declare his identity within a hostile culture. On the contrary, it got them noticed. Indeed, in recuperating silence, absence, negation and other forms of anti-expressionism as a means of what I will characterize as a specifically queer resistance during the Cold War, we will find that it shares more than may at first seem evident with the-anything-but-silent cultural resistances of the 60’s.

The kind of silence I’m referring to is a specularized, performative and highly ironized silence --a form of political engagement now so distinctly undervalued in a post-Stonewall gay political context as to render it all but invisible as political gesture. But, to put it, blandly, the times were different under a savagely policed, McCarthyite America and silence could and did prove effective as a strategy of dissent.

John Cage telegraphs precisely such a context of grave constraint in beginning his 1961 essay on Robert Rauschenberg with this report on the state of affairs in the art world during the first half of the fifties. "Conversation was difficult and correspondence virtually ceased. (not because of the mails, which continued.) People spoke of messages, perhaps because they’d not heard from one another in a long time. Art flourished."9

I’m particularly struck by the connection between a flourishing art and a cessation of correspondence, which can be emblematized in one work above all, Rauschenberg’s 1954 Erased De Kooning, a work Cage celebrates in the same 1961 article along with the White Paintings for precisely, paradoxically, their plenitude. Indeed, Cage repeatedly underscored that there was no such thing as emptiness or silence, at least not as it is commonly understood. Emptiness was simply the other side of seeing, as noise was the other face of music and Cage set out quite deliberately to deconstruct these false polarities. His infamous 4'33" of course sprang from this intuition, and the incidental noises produced by the audience during its performance only served to drive home the point. Within this frame of reference, not speaking was hardly a form of absence, and a white or erased canvas was to quote Rauschenberg "never empty." In his 1949 "10 Lecture on Nothing," Cage said, "what we/re-quire/is/ silence/;/but what silence requires is that I go on talking."" 11

So silence and speech need each other, are in fact mutually implicative. After all, what would silence without sound sound like, or a gesture without ground? So silence isn’t the opposite of sound, nor blankness the opposite of gesture, but rather an element within it.

In deconstructing these polarities, Cage and Rauschenberg serve to open up the process of signification. They introduce a kind of noise, or its visual equivalent, into the process of meaning--a noise we can call mediation. In defining silence as not silent or emptiness and erasure as not empty, these artists manifest a negative relationship between what their works say and what they actually mean. Here, the significance of the work-- the authors repeatedly tell us, as well as show us,--is powerfully not the literal meaning specified in the work as it were denotatively-- for they’re not empty and they’re not silent.

And these works weren’t received denotatively either. Allan Kaprow, after seeing the White Paintings, came to understand his role as mediator precisely because of the emptiness of these works: He wrote in a review, "in the context of Abstract Expressionist noise and gesture, they suddenly brought one face to face with a numbing, devastating silence... It threw the responsibility of art onto the spectator."12

As early as 1958, Harold Rosenberg singled out authorial silence or absence as the touchstone of what he understood to be an entirely new aesthetic movement--one conceived in distinct contrast to Abstract Expressionism. Rosenberg organized an exhibition in Houston entitled "Audience as subject," which included the work of Rauschenberg and Johns. For him, as for Kaprow, their work was silent because the present, authorial "I" was subsumed to the spectatorial "you."

Like Kaprow, Rosenberg argued that such art was about the viewer as mediator of meaning, "Instead of concentrating on art, its problems and its needs, the artist speaks to the audience about itself... The art that holds up the crooked mirror to the audience is timely not with regard to art, but with regard to society."15 Three years later Rauschenberg would second Rosenberg’s insight when he proclaimed on a MOMA panel that, "Meaning belongs to the people." In his 1961 article about Rauschenberg’s White Paintings , Cage says pretty much the same thing in the terse formulation "the thing is, we get the point more quickly when we realize it is we looking rather than that we may not be seeing it."15

Much in literary studies describes this move away from a denotative or literal meaning (if such a thing could exist) and towards meaning as a product of mediation by an audience. One variant we call irony, and it names precisely this production of a gap between what one says and what one actually means. When it assumes a negative relation between what is said and what is meant, as in the White Paintings or 4’33", then literary theorist Ross Chambers has dubbed this figure ironic negation. Through ironic negation, Cage and Rauschenberg figure a distance or fissure into the relation between text--be it visual or musical--and the perceiving subject. The revelation of mediation introduced into any discursive situation produces instability--but in the case of negation, that instability yields the possibility of an understanding that is precisely otherwise to its literal terms. In short, ironic negation can produce an opposition, but an opposition that ---and this is key in a policed "consensus-based" Cold War context--belongs to the perceiving or mediating subject and not to the author.

So what do these particular ironic negations of Cage and Rauschenberg negate? Well, expression of course. Negation can succeed in marking a distance from a freedom of expression, manifesting subjection without declaring the terms of its subjugation. It can tell a story without words. But as a readerly relation, silence is recognized, not written or spoken, understood, not declared. It manifests resistance, but does not articulate the position or identity from which that resistance comes. And especially in the context of the presumptively expressive media of music or art, ironic negation can open a space for a new audience relation modeled as an appeal or seduction towards opposition, rather than as a declaration of expressly oppositional terms.

In short white paintings or silent music inaugurates a process of reading or examination that at least potentially moves the viewer or listener from an unselfconscious complicity with dominant forms of expression (wherein the meaning is passively registered as inherent IN the piece) towards a degree of self-consciousness about one’s role as a reader or maker of meanings--towards, in other words, an awareness that meaning is the result of a reading, of an exegetical process that has been naturalized and thus become transparent.

By negating or emptying out heretofore naturally expressive forms like music or art they become denaturalized and thus their seemingly automatic claims to meaning are replaced by an awareness of the conditions through which their meanings come into being. As Chambers notes, let there be no doubt that this recognition of meaning as actively constructed and conditional as opposed to inherent is ideological, but it’s an ideological recognition of a very particular kind--the kind of ideology that recognizes another discourse as ideological without offering or specifying the position or identification from which to view it.

Ironic negation offers no naturalized or transparent foothold, no steady or solid framework substituted for the position under pressure. Rather, it stands in perpetual alterity, appended to its target but capable of shifting shape and adopting new characteristics like a endlessly mutable parasite in response to the changes made by its host. Especially within the avant-garde, this other face, whether as silence or white painting or erasure, helped foreground and make textured precisely those relations of audience, institutionality and authorship that Modernism was so successful at obscuring in the name of the transcendent author/genius. And since negation is an oppositional mode that refuses articulated oppositionality, it offered precisely the kind of cover required to seed discontent in the policed cultural context of the American Cold War era--especially for closeted homosexuals.

As closeted gay men, Rauschenberg and Cage well understood the utility and instrumentality of a silent resistance in the face of adversity, for as Cage once put it, " silence in antipathy is a positive thing."17 Recent post structuralist analysis of the dynamics of opposition have repeatedly underscored the extent to which the logic of opposition must mention, and thus reinscribe as central and defining, precisely that which it seeks to invalidate. As Cage once said, "protest is all too often absorbed into the flow of power, because it limits itself to reaching for the same old mechanisms of power, which is the worst way to challenge authority! We'll never get away from it that way! " 18

As an instance of the suspension of the mechanisms of power which always already impart meanings, authorial silence is one way of tearing down the master’s house without using the master’s tools-- thus avoiding the reinscription of those categories which are being challenged in the first place. A specular, performative silence operates by opening up a space between what is said (or not said) and what is meant. Remember that dominant culture has long met with silence a number of identities and possibilities subculturally articulated. Here silence stands as a means or exercise of cultural power, the power not to notice, not to speak, even to erase what is transparently present. To be silent thus need not imply being silenced. It could indeed imply the opposite, an exercise in power. It’s an important distinction. Not recoverable as specifically oppositional, ironic negation nonetheless opposes. Think of a child holding her breath.

But note something else important. Each instance of ironic negation I’ve mentioned took place within a specific and highly charged artworld discursive frame: Rauschenberg erases a De Kooning, Cage praises silence and emptiness before the assembled Abstract Expressionist multitude at the Club, the White paintings, about the size and shape of a gestural canvas, are made for exhibition at the then epicenter of Abstract Expressionism Betty Parson’s Gallery, though she ultimately refused them. In each case, these negations do their work within the naturalized expressivity of the Cold War’s dominant Abstract Expressionist discursive clime. Theorist Chambers has noted, "It can be hazarded that the irony of negation is characteristic of discursive situations in which power occupies a position of centrality and legitimacy, such that opposition can know what it is opposing (without necessarily knowing in the name of what it is opposing it.)" 19

I want to argue that the relatively centralized and consensus-based Abstract Expressionist artistic context of early and mid-fifties America, organized around the Club or the Cedar Tavern, not to mention the highly policed, "consensual" conformist culture of McCarthyite America, offered precisely the kind of legitimated and concentrated power center that ironic negation requires to work its charge. Remember that this was the period ultimately dubbed by Daniel Bell The End of Ideology--a period repeatedly characterized as marking an end to questions of power and influence in America through the attainment of that holy grail of the Cold War, consensus. Here, negation works as opposition precisely because of the centrality and visible legitimacy of its discursive targets.

But what happens when that legitimacy begins to fray, when other competing discursive possibilities are allowed a hearing?

By the late 50s, in part under pressure from figures like Johns and Rauschenberg and Cage, Abstract Expressionism was hardly the only game in town. Dealers like Eleanor Ward, Leo Castelli and Betty Parsons, each of whom had deep and abiding connections to the Abstract Expressionists were nonetheless centrally involved in the promotion of a post Abstract Expressionist generation. Some of the most important collectors of Abstract Expressionism, figures like Ben Heller and Emily Tremaine, immediately and aggressively sought out the work of a new generation (and Heller even actively promoted it through his criticism). Museums like the Museum of Modern Art, which was organizing and circulating groundbreaking exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism also bought and showed non- Abstract Expressionist new work-- practically as soon as it appeared. Moreover, critics centrally associated with Abstract Expressionism's rise to prominence like Frank O'Hara, John Bernard Myers and even T.B. Hess positively and occasionally enthusiastically reviewed these post-Abstract Expressionist modes as well.

I want to suggest, at the risk of oversimplifying a very complex story, that this decentralization of power, both within and without the art world, yielded a significant historical shift in the deployment of irony as a means of resistance. Once the Abstract Expressionist hegemony itself began to fracture, and once Cold War culture moved into a less centralized, post Mc Carthy phase of increasing cultural and political contestation, ironic negation would not do, for increasingly the operations of power were no longer so identifiable and visible--and thus no longer so easy to oppose. A decentralized and diffused sphere of power, such as that found in America in the post McCarthyite 50’s, where authority increasingly camouflaged itself as authority, engendered a new field of social contestation. In this new field, the appropriation of authority, not its negation, became a chief means of resistance.

Absent an "end to ideology," power in a diffused political arena is up for grabs and appropriation can become precisely such a means of grabbing power. By appropriation, I of course mean the assumption or citation of an authoritative form which causes it to bear meanings or significance beyond that of its denotative function. To see such an appropriation at work, let’s listen to critic Nicolas Calas describe his reaction to Johns’ 1954-55 Flag painting (fig. 4) in a 1959 review:, "What is the function of a sign that has lost its significance? What can Notre Dame have meant to a 15th Century Greek who had fled invaded Constantinople and had lost Hagia Sophia? " At the end of the fifties--the decade, above any other--in which the image of the American flag and all it denoted was raised to the status of an icon, how ripe this image had become for appropriations in service to other meanings. Johns’ appropriation of a discourse of power emblematized by the flag had instead served to deflect Calas’ desire away from the purposes decreed by this symbol towards other meanings for other purposes. Calas continued, " From a national emblem the flag becomes a symbol of ambiguity…."21 To convert so potent and "present" an image as the American flag into any other usage at this time --much less one so riven with doubt and despair-- is testimony to the success of appropriation as an anti-authoritative seduction. Were I pressed to give a date for the beginning of the 60’s it would be as far back as here in 1954-55, as Johns causes the American flag to at least potentially carry other meanings, and thus turns the power used to establish its authority against itself. He didn’t burn the flag, but he started down that road. Here the 60’s can be defined as precisely the appropriation of dominant discursive forms in the interests of that which is other to the needs of power. 22

I want to be very clear here that an appropriation is not itself a statement, but rather constitutes a seduction of another towards the making of their own statement--like Calas does. In recognizing other possibilities not in the interests of power within authoritative forms like flags, an appropriation nonetheless works indirectly, irresponsibly, even playfully with authority. It is assuredly not confrontational. Johns says nothing in Flag. Rather, in making the image available for meanings beyond its denotative ones--which is to say in countering the flag’s own claim to literality-- he offers a site for new, unauthorized mediations. The appropriator discovers that discourses of power are always vulnerable to "misreadings"--no matter how authoritative. Note that here I say the appropriator, not Johns, because there are many appropriators at work here--Johns of course, but also Calas and also me and also you. That’s one reason I think of this as an Ur -work of the 60s--it has caused us individually, quoting a slogan of the period, to take back the power. But it does so without it being possible to locate any agent or discursive framework with control over this process--other than ourselves.

So again, in allying himself with a highly individuated inducement towards self-conscious mediation, Johns performs an act of self-effacement. We don’t know what this flag means to him, and I would hazard that for Johns and for that matter, for the other great appropriator, Warhol, a continuous effort was required to make themselves "other" to us such that we cannot get inside them or claim to know them.23 In producing their author functions as "other" to us, we are blocked from the shortcut of identifying with them as authors and thus having them mediate their works for us. Rather, as appropriations, the signification of their work remains open, indeed subject always to further appropriation, as Johns’ appropriation of his own work in images like Three Flags (fig. 5) suggests. Absent direction as to how to mediate these appropriations, like a child learning to walk, the casual spectator is left palpably, insistently and uncomfortably alone.

Well not exactly alone. In proffering or even fostering a site for the identification of our own meanings, appropriation’s deflection from the literal entails a deviation. While allowing us to acknowledge what we already know of ourselves, by definition those who deviate are deviants. In a sense, an appropriation works a seduction as an act of self recognition, and occasionally even articulation, of one’s deviancy, of desires repressed by the codes of social control. Thus an appropriation has the power to produce in the viewer a new socially constructed identity born of an otherness to the literal or denotative meanings the discourse of power seeks to secure. An appropriated text’s otherness to its denotative meanings replicates the viewer’s own otherness from the self the image presumes to denote to. Thus to see an appropriation otherwise to its literalness is to recognize one’s own otherness, and the image becomes the site of a conversion to an other constructed identity.

How many of you read "camp" in Warhol’s Torn Campbell Soup Can (fig. 6) label here and what does it say of you if you do? Perhaps this is what Rosenberg meant when he said that you can’t participate in American life except as a camp. Camp acknowledges the subject's inevitable construction within and by dominant culture, while initiating a resistance from the site of greatest domination, a demonstration that control cannot be absolute, and that the potential for any mode, no matter how authoritative, to be turned to 'other' purposes lies in the very means that serve to exercise and naturalize control. But the only language we have for resisting domination is the same language through which domination is written. By the late 50’s, there were all these potential appropriators walking around increasingly recognizing that they were other to the selves the dominant discursive forms presumed them to be. Rosenberg continued in the same article with which I began this talk, "To keep a straight face has become an elementary health precaution." 24

We are where we began. If the closeted homosexual and the average viewer both understand keeping a straight face as a social imperative, then the gap between them, at least at this historical moment, isn’t so wide after all. As the workers of seductions away from normative meanings towards highly individuated recognitions of otherness, these late fifties gay artists operated as seducers. From their early negations to subsequent ironic appropriations of images like flags, the result of their seductions--often, as Calas illustrates, self- recognition of a deviation from the norm-- helped, by the early 60s, the general spread of "social deviancy." No more fifties-style alienation, with its highly individualized exclusion from the social norm-- the new 60s politics was actively, and communally, dissident.

Vivian Gornick was right, I believe, when she concluded in her1966 article "Pop goes Homosexual: It’s a Queer Hand stoking the Campfire.": "It is the texture, the atmosphere, the ideals, the notions of 'camp' (a term, from its beginnings, the private property of American and English homosexuals) which currently determines middle-class taste, directs its signs, and seems to nourish its simple-minded eagerness to grind the idea of 'alienation' into yet another hopelessly ironic cliche." 25

1Harold Rosenberg, "Death in the Wilderness" in the Tradition of the New. (Chicago, 1959): 258. This article is dedicated to Andre Dombrowski, without whom it could not have been written.

2Ibid.

3Ibid.: 242.

4As early as 1951, an article called "The Younger Generation" in Time Magazine made social conformity into the scapegoat of consensus:

Said a girl in Minneapolis, 'The individual is almost dead today, but the young people are unaware of it. They think of themselves as individuals, but really they are not. They are parts of groups. They are unhappy outside of a group...These kids in my group think of themselves as individuals, but actually it is as if you took a tube of toothpaste and squeezed out a number of little distinct blobs on a piece of paper. Each blob would be distinct--separated in space--but each blob would be the same.’ Time, (Nov. 5, 1951): in J. H. Satin, The 1950s America's "Placid" Decade. (Boston, 1960): 46.

5The phrase "mental world" is in Rosenberg’s "Death in the Wilderness." As early as 1955, Rosenberg would write a polemic against McCarthyite witch hunts called "Couch Liberalism and the Guilty Past" which understood political confession itself to be but a species of performance or masquerade. "[Modern history-changing needs the services of a new kind of martyr: persons prepared to make a gift of their own pasts to the one under construction….the genuine "I" of the confessor is not the interest of either the accused or his prosecutor. The defendant must give away a past larger than the one he actually possesses." Rosenberg, "Couch Liberalism and the Guilty Past"Tradition of the New :22.

6The origins of this shift in the 50s towards what would be called Pop is signaled in an untheoretical way in nearly every Modern Art textbook; after all, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, as artists born of the 50s, are implicitly connected to the 60s through being routinely characterized as Pop, or some variant like protopop, or prePop .

7"Death in the Wilderness": 242-43.

8Vivian Gornick, "Pop Goes Homosexual: It's a Queer Hand Stoking the Campfire," The Village Voice, vol. XI, no. 25 (April 7, 1966) : 1.

9John Cage "On Robert Rauschenberg, Artist, and His Work," in Metro (May 1961), reprinted in Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage, (Middletown, CT, 1961): 98.

10Ibid.:103

11Ibid.: 117.

12Allan Kaprow, Art News 65 (March 1966) : 60-63.

13Harold Rosenberg. introduction to Audience as subject. exhibition catalog. (Houston, 1959), unpaginated.

14Robert Rauschenberg in unpublished 1961 transcript of the "Symposium on Assemblage" organized by William Seitz following The Art of Assemblage exhibition at MOMA, MOMA archives:23.

15Cage, Silence:108

16Ross Chambers. Room For Maneuver: Reading Oppositional Narrative, (Chicago,1991). Here, as throughout the remaining text, I am heavily dependent on the Chambers’ extraordinary insights.

17Thomas Hines, "Then not Yet 'Cage:' The Los Angeles Years, 1912-1938" in John Cage: Composed in America, ed. Marjorie Perloff and Charles Junkerman (Chicago,1994): 74

18John Cage and Daniel Charles. For The Birds ( Boston: Marion Boyars,1981): 236.

19Chambers: 241.

20Nicholas Calas "ContiNuance: On the possibilities of a new kind of symbolism in recent American painting and what such symbols could possibly mean." Art News 57 (February 1959): 39.

21Ibid.

22Of course any opposition between negation and appropriation demands deconstruction, for each implies the other. To negate a discourse is to appropriate that which it denotes and turn it against itself, while all appropriation negates the literal or denotative meaning of that which it appropriates, for if it didn’t it would be simply a citation of a dominant discursive form and not an appropriation.

23Indeed, both Johns and Warhol developed famously opaque artistic personas. See for example Michael Crichton, Jasper Johns (New York,1977) and Victor Bockris, The Life and Death of Andy Warhol (New York, 1989).

24Rosenberg, "Death in the Wilderness," :242

25Gornick: 1.