Taussig on Theory

“Barthes was a restless thinker. No sooner had he gotten things squared away with his semiotic theory than he found exceptions to the theory because the very act of squaring things self-destructs. What is called “theory” gives you insight. But it does so at the expense of closing off things as well. Theory can never do justice to the contingent, the concrete, or the particular. Yet if you don’t exercise that theory muscle to the extent that you realise its limits, then you won’t get that cherished Zenlike moment of the mastery of nonmastery”

– Michael Taussig