In this article, the author utilizes the work of Quentin Crisp to explore the possibility of cultivating the naïve as a way to reframe failure. To be “naïve” is perhaps a form of failure; a failure to be worldly or knowledgeable in one’s doing and becoming. Accusations of naïveté are used, after all, to distinguish the work one is doing from others that have not “gotten it right” or fail to see what you as a scholar see in a more critical, less naïve, vein. What I ponder here then is this thing called “naïveté?” How might the “naïf” help (re)frame failure or illustrate one way failure might be reframed for us in an aesthetic way as artist-teachers? Can the naïve succeed in its failure to be worldly?


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