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Genius is Mysterious

Barbarella: Will it take long?
Professor Ping: Hours? Days? Weeks? Who knows? Genius is mysterious.

-From "Barbarella" (1968), Produced by Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica

There is a fine line between a stroke of genius and the ranting of a madman. How do we tell one from the other? Many great works are initially panned, only to be redeemed by the eye of history. T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and James Joyce's Ulysses now recognized as two of the most important literary works of the 20th Century were mocked and outright banned (respectively) when initially released. Paul Cezanne was continuously rejected by critics during his early life, only later did both Piccaso and Matisse point to him as "the father of us all".

Today the art world is more pluralistic, with critics (relatively) more hesitant to embrace or condemn an artist or artwork. While the water has perhaps always been murky, we now acknowledge it to be so. Who knows how (or if) history will remember Paul McCarthy, Matthew Barney, or Damien Hirst?

For "Genius is Mysterious" Projekt30 sought artwork that may be a great triumph or may be a fool's errand --above all, artwork that takes the risk to be one or the other.

"True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information."
-Winston Churchill

"No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness."
-Aristotle

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad."
-Salvador Dali

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