Photo: Gabriella Radujko; reproduction of content on retired Edward Ruscha business card
There is no School of Edward Ruscha, but if there were, prerequisites would include an embrace of ambiguity and the spirit world–its students paraphrasing quotes such as these from his recent talk with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library on March 6, 2013:
I have a deep need to make a book.
It doesn’t matter what it is about.
The idea for a book comes first.
As book artist, Ruscha challenged his interviewer and the audience. There was puzzlement among the literati, perhaps, because as book readers, according to Walter J. Ong, we humans are so literate that it is “difficult for us to conceive of an oral universe of communication or thought except as a variant of a literate universe”.