By Artspace Editors. The heated gesture skyrocketed Weiner on a trajectory that landed him a key role in the conceptual art movement in the s, when his work largely involved writing about hypothetical projects without actually making them, allowing his work to exist solely in the minds of his viewers. The artist may construct the piece. The piece may be fabricated. The piece need not be built. Each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artist the decision as to condition rests within the receiver upon the occasion of receivership.
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Edited by Leigh Tennant and Steven Cottingham. Published on unceded territories Vancouver, Canada since In this essay I will outline some of the ways material practices are entangled in the problematics of production rather than facing up to the challenge therein, which is to find a singular solution to a lack of meaning without resorting to essentialism. My goal is to think through conceptualism as an affirmative instance of general intellect, which Virno argues has become the primary mode of production in post-Fordist economies.
Although general intellect 12 is put to work in the production of value and has mostly delivered new forms of hierarchy, domination, and even evil, 13 I believe general intellect is capable of subtracting itself from the gigantic stupid immediacy of the contemporary word.
Through this lens, the re-materializations of the art object mark the recoupling of labour to its pre-crisis outcome, producing products with some sense of value that can be registered in terms of labour. This transformation within the terms of an artistic context is a question at the heart of conceptual materialism. As was said earlier, the discursivity of conceptual art aligns neatly with the public character of post-Fordist labour defined as it is by its political attributes.
This subjection is at the heart of the artisanal-expressive model of the artist, best exemplified by the abstract expressionist painter, the graphic dance of the pathological subject. Conceptualism provides a set of strategies to ward off the tyranny of the object-sign, by providing limits and constraints on artistic activity, which is otherwise at the whims of the infinite virtuality of meaning.
Rayne is interested in the material conditions of painting, and yet the paintings lack any sincere form of manual skill or material plenitude.
The object is a sign of and for painting as cultural-historical institution a particular set of sign-values , not significant of any real investment in painting as a material of unique instance of visual-phenomenological experience. The bike tube is necessarily an allegiance to Duchampian ready-made within the terms of struggle over founding this mark.
However, the expressiveness of the material is its discursivity, and must be navigated and limited within the terms of the conceptualization in order to preclude remaining a mere object within the affective and associative flow of aesthetic reality. Therefore, I would assert that the bond is the code of signification—even though the bond produces needs, it is not a bond of needs at this point in advanced industrial nations, given the material infrastructure that has been revolutionized by that very code.
This code also comprises post-Fordist labour, where the crisis in labour society is masked by excessive—competitive—political labour for the privileged minority and servile labour, poverty, unemployment, and alienation for the rest. I do not accept the idea that a concept is something beneath or beyond the object: my argument will try to make clear that the concept or analytic proposition is dependent on the forms and materials of the particular act a skilled conceptualization will be formally inscribed by the meanings and materials.
This is not to say that an act could be read entirely at the immediate formal level, that is without any other information that you may not have access to in a direct formal read. The concept is still an important aspect of the act, but the conceptual materialist artist is open to the disruption of the concept by the material segment of signification at play.
For these reasons the artistic concept is dependent on the material segment of the real, even if this dependence is often of an arbitrary nature—which is why conceptual materialism might find the idea that motivates a certain process is radically different than what is delivered to perception when the act is complete, the contingencies of signification might deliver a new combination.
All meaning is produced through the combination of signifiers which renders our conception processes reliant on material-signifiers. Although the material and concept are related in an arbitrary manner, the material is productive of meaning and not merely a passive support for meaning. It is the real that does resist integration, but the real being beyond metaphor cannot be symbolized.
With the goal of course being to get as close as possible to the real at the expense of the imaginary and symbolic, in order to revolutionize the imaginary and symbolic. However, through the process of conceptual materialism—which may include multiple waves of diachronic and synchronic making—a different relation to the real might be registered. Material practices often recouple intellect to labour motivated by the idea that this is an alternative to the problems and challenges of our current exchange relations.
However, in so doing, they disavow the possibilities unleashed within this specific historical era by confusing social wealth, that is the general intellect, with its processes and products. Transformative material practices are allied to the central tenants of conceptualism but investigate a larger cross section of material-discourse while also attending to the questions and problems pertaining to materialist theories of language, which I have barely even begun to introduce.
In conclusion, the conceptualist practice I want to affirm is highly focused on the potential contingencies of the system, mutations, novelty, and expressions of material being in which our subjectivity is a heteronomous, heterogenous small s crap as processes of new potential subjectivizations, rather than merely executing a pre-conceived idea in a closed system. Contact: info qoqqoon. Natural necessity provides a set of powerful moral-ideologies a stable set of significations in a time when everything has become unstable, hollow, capitalist tautology.
In the mirror of the economic, Nature looks at us with the eyes of necessity. All bourgeois ideology divides between these two poles. Paolo Virno makes an excellent argument that backs up the above idea that Buchloh focuses on the wrong things when it comes to the culture industry, that the culture industry precipitated post-Fordist labour rather than a collapse of culture into the homogeneity of Fordism; meaning that more emphasis needs to be placed on these emergent conditions of labour and, with it, intellectual labour.
A publicness without a public sphere: here is the negative side—the evil, if you wish—of the experience of the multitude. COM June It is a complete equivalence of thing and meaning that allows for no ambiguity. By this I mean they ought to be seen as equal and available for use within the context of a particular conceptualization.
Conceptualism and Abjection. Towards Other Genealogies of Conceptual Art
In his influential essay on conceptual art, From the Aesthetics of Administration to the Critique of Institutions , Benjamin Buchloh describes how, after its closure, conceptualism became a kind of unconscious for all artistic production after Taking as his initial premise that "conceptual art made the most rigorous investigation of the post-war period into the conventions of pictorial and sculptural representation, as well as a fundamental critique of traditional visual paradigms", Buchloh constructs a historical narrative that culminates in an information art that reactivates the postulates of the productivist avant-garde of the Russian Revolution whilst questioning the role of the artist, who is bureaucratically redefined as a mere "employee who catalogues". Nonetheless, the historic closure of conceptualism did not necessarily entail its disappearance; rather, it entailed its interiorisation into critical artistic practices, ushering in what we now call "institutional critique", which itself emerged in the wake of conceptual art as a relative and ambiguous continuation of the radical avant-garde in the museum context, increasingly mediated by the cultural industries after the s. Buchloh's historical account of conceptualism has become a canonical reference, one that this debate aims to review. According to Buchloh, conceptualism has been historicised and displayed in museums like a dry administrative, bureaucratic aesthetics, lacking of platicity, in a way culminating the high modernist avant-garde aesthetics of postwar art. The debate seeks to counter a teleological vision of modernity implicit in avant-gardism, sketching out other possible genealogies of conceptualism based on minor genres and popular culture.
Conceptualism and Abjection
You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. And all are concerted in the attempt to replace a traditional, hierarchical model of privileged experience based on authorial skills and acquired competence of reception by a structural relationship of absolute equivalents that would dismantle both sides of the equation: the hieratic position of the unified artistic object just as much as the privileged position of the author — pp37 Conceptual Art was distinguished by its acute sense of discursive and institutional limitations, its self-imposed restrictions, its lack of totalizing vision, its critical devotion to the factual conditions of artistic production and reception without aspiring to overcome the mere facticity of these conditions.
Benjamin H. D. Buchloh – ‘From an Aesthetics of Administration to a Critique of Institutions.’
Buchloh Reviewed work s :. Source: October, Vol. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, re searchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.
BUCHLOH, Benjamin. Conceptual art 1962-1969.pdf
Conceptualism and Abjection. Towards Other Genealogies of Conceptual Art. Debate around the Herbert Collection Wed, 8th Feb. Free admission.