I just have a very low opinion of him as a philosopher--low opinions of him not being that uncommon. A lot of (analytic) philosophy departments more or less rejected him outright and he got stuck in LitCrit instead. He's often incoherent, and often seems to be willfully so.Pluto wrote:It [Derrida] is heavy going.
Anyway, it's important for this question to have some notion of what truth is in the first place. On the received view in analytic philosophy, and I agree with this insofar as it goes, truth-value (so truth, falsehood, fuzzy values in between if you allow them, etc.) is a property of propositions--propositions being the meanings of declarative sentences.
It's also important for this question to have some notion of what art is. There's really no established/received view on this aside from things that are conventionally accepted as art in various contexts (for example--"the arts" in an academic setting include painting, music, etc.) On my view, a fundamental characteristic of art in what I call an "interpretational" sense is the following (quoting myself from something I've previously written and published):
One facet of the interpretational sense is that things an individual considers "art" are parsed with a focus that is different from what the object normally, "literally" is--that is, what it is in a material, practical, sense. For example, a painting, materially, is just a canvas (or something similar) with colored pigments-via-some-medium applied to it, with those pigments arranged into different shapes, textures, etc. If you see it only as that, you're not seeing it as an artwork in this respect. To see it as an artwork on this facet is to focus on things like ideas it conveys, things it might represent (if it is representational or if you interpret it as representational, even if abstract), emotions you see it as conveying, and so on.
Note that the above does not include simple, normal language usage, behavior, symbol usage, etc., because simple, normal words, behavior, etc. conveying ideas, emotions, etc. are how we normally or "literally" look at those things. The word "abstract" normally, literally conveys a particular idea; Joe making that face normally, literally conveys that he's angry; a red, octagonal sign with the word "STOP" on it literally conveys stopping at that intersection, etc.
Think of a drop-cloth that a painter might use beneath his canvas. That's not art to most folks because they only read it "literally"--as pigments on a piece of canvas or other fabric. However, you could read it as being about ideas, as being representational, etc., and it would be art to you. And yes, I'm saying that this doesn't hinge on whether someone intended it to be read in particular ways.
An upshot of this is that nothing in an artwork can necessarily be taken literally. That includes things that might appear to be propositions. Insofar as they're taken as necessarily literal, they're not taken as art. Hence why I noted this above:
That's not to downplay the ability of artworks to comment on various aspects of the world, including psychological and social aspects, especially from an meta, interpretive level, but that's more about the interpreter using the work as a catalyst for thinking about the world.