I have nothing to say and I am saying it

Visiting Tate’s Gallery in London last week I came a cross a quote by an abstract painter that has been resonating in my head:
I have nothing to say, and I am saying it.

Looking for the quote on the internet, it turns out that it has been used also by others, among them the American experimental composer and artist John Cage:
“I have nothing to say / and I am saying it / and that is poetry / as I needed it” 

There are so many people telling you what you should think, or not think. The nothing to say and saying it, may express an attitude that is more open an neutral. That willingness to allow other persons to make up their own mind and find their own way, may be a very basic Acem meditation-attitude. It is not nihilistic, it is not post-modern, it is simply open and neutral.


  1. Per S.P.

    I found myself taken by the quote in your post. For what is that we do when when we constantly navigate in our lives and society? Perhaps we position ourselves, and try to position others accordingly. By doing so we somewhat blind ourselves, standing in our own way when it comes to broadening our perspective.

  2. olego

    Yes, I also find it a striking statement. It is very anti-idelogical, anti-political correctness, and thoroughly independent. It helps one to try to recognize what one reelly feels like saying, not what one should say to fit in somewhere.

  3. Great quote. Thanks for holding it up.

  4. Mark

    In fact Richter was quoting Cage, I think. It is certainly worth having this quote in mind when viewing some of Richter’s grey paintings. If black is the complete absence of colour and white the presence of all colours at equal intensity, what then is grey? On this, I have nothing to say…

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