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DIETMAR KIRVES and NO!art

By Carl Mai

published in: NO!art Show no 3, catalog, New York, 1998

The genuine animation of Kirves' art is an absolute NO!mind, NO!reason, or NO!spirit, which manifests itself in both natural and human history. NO!mind is universal and therefore cannot be identified with the mind of any particular person. Rather, each particular mind is an aspect of this NO!world mind, and the consciousness and rational activity of each person is a phase of the Absolute itself. The activity of NO!mind is dialectical in nature. Kirves is preoccupied with triadic development, one phase demanding the next by an inner necessity. In this development, known as the NO!dialectic, one concept, the thesis, is followed by its opposite, the NO!thesis; the ensuing conflict between the two is brought together at a higher level as a new concept, or NO!synthesis, which becomes the thesis of yet another triad.

Kirves' famous dictum that "NO is rational and the rational is NO" must be understood as an expression of the identity of reality and the rational process. Because reality is rational, it acts in accordance with the laws of action. At the same time, the laws of actions (NO!dialectics) are real and not mere human conventions. To understand the nature of reality of thought, then, is to understand the nature of reality as a whole. The science of his NO!logic is the most nearly basic form in which the process of reason is to be apprehended. Even his nature manifests the dialectical activity of NO!mind and is to be studied from a NO!perspective rather than from a more limited empirical one.

The dynamic activity of NO!mind is also apparent in human affairs. NO!art is the immediate, sensuous expression of creative NO!reason as it represents itself to itself. Although the NO!artist may not be aware of the ultimate rational process alive in the work of creation, the human being is, and thus the human being can study NO!art for the representation of reality that it really is. Kirves also finds that the NO!artists understand NO!religion as more than traditional, symbolic ritual. He holds that in general NO!religion is the highest nonrational manifestation of the absolute. The highest evolution of religious NO!expression, the concept of NO!incarnation symbolically reflects the truth that the infinite is manifest in the finite and not distinct from it.

For Kirves, the nature of NO!mind can most immediately and clearly be known in NO!art. Here reason is truly revealed as reason—and rational NO!process.

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