Art Foundation Week 21

Focusing on language:


Studying of ‘Art Reviewed in ArtReview magazine’

Institutional Critique


Michael Asher

  • described by The New York Times as "among the patron saints of the Conceptual Art phylum known as Institutional Critique, an often esoteric dissection of the assumptions that govern how we perceive art." Rather than designing new art objects, Asher typically altered the existing environment, by repositioning or removing artworks, walls, facades, etc. - wikipedia

  • Michael Asher’s groundbreaking work ‘Untitled’ made in 1974 at the Claire Copley Gallery in Los Angeles. For this work, Asher removed the wall separating the exhibition and office spaces, revealing the otherwise hidden gallerist working at her desk. With all physical traces of Asher’s intervention repaired, visitors to the gallery encountered a space whose only apparent focus was the administration of business. This intervention not only opened the discourse of the gallery to issues of labor and economic exchange, but also invited the participants—both Copley and the gallery visitors alike—to re-examine their understaning of what constitutes an artwork and how visual art functions within the larger social domain. -

Marcel Broodthaers

Musée d'Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles(1968)

  • 'Marcel Broodthaers's Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagleswas a conceptual museum created in Brussels in 1968. It had neither permanent collection nor permanent location, and manifested itself in "sections" appearing at various locations between 1968 and 1971. These sections typically consisted of reproductions of works of art, fine-art crates, wall inscriptions, and film elements. In 1970, Broodthaers conceived of theFinancial Section, which encompassed an attempt to sell the museum "on account of bankruptcy." The sale was announced on the cover of the Cologne Art Fair catalogue in 1971, but no buyers were found. As part of the Financial Section, Broodthaers also produced an unlimited edition of gold ingots stamped with the museum's emblem, an eagle, a symbol associated with power and victory. The ingots were sold to raise money for the museum, at a price calculated by doubling the market value of gold, the surcharge representing the bar's value as art. Broodthaers's museum represents a pioneering effort to dispute traditional museum practices by appropriating and altering them. ' -

  • In La Salle Blanche (The White Room) (1975), a life-size copy of a room and a half in Broodthaers' home in Brussels, the wooden walls of the empty, unfurnished rooms are covered with printed words in French—such as museum, gallery, oil, subject, composition, images, and privilege—all intended to examine "the influence of language on perceptions of the world and the ways museums affect the production and consumption of art

Daniel Buren

  • Sometimes classified as an abstract minimalist Buren is known best for using regular, contrasting colored stripes in an effort to integrate visual surface and architectural space, notably on historical, landmark architecture. Among his chief concerns is the 'scene of production' as a way of presenting art and highlighting facture (the process of 'making' rather than for example, mimesis or representation of anything but the work itself). The work is site-specific installation, having a relation to its setting in contrast to prevailing ideas of an autonomous work of art. -

Andrea Fraser

  • By some crazy coincidence, this artist happens to have already done a satirical tour-guide performance in 1989. I am both excited and disappointed by this discovery. I intend to carry on with the piece, but I hope i will not be compared to hers, given that she had abundant experiencing talking about work as a former art critic, whereas I am just an aspiring young artist. If I succeed in writing and performing a compelling performance however, I think that it will be a great success because it proves my idea that the 'art system' is so artificial that anyone, given the right 'formula', is able to become part of it.

  • She also questions the same things that I am interested in exploring - is there such thing as the 'prostitution of art'?

  • WIki says - Arguably Fraser's most famous performance, Museum Highlights (1989) involved Fraser posing as a Museum tour guide at thePhiladelphia Museum of Art in 1989 under the pseudonym of Jane Castleton.[8] During the performance, Fraser led a tour through the museum describing it in verbose and overly dramatic terms to her chagrined tour group. For example, in describing a common water fountain Fraser proclaims "a work of astonishing economy and monumentality ... it boldly contrasts with the severe and highly stylized productions of this form!" Upon entering the museum cafeteria: "This room represents the heyday of colonial art in Philadelphia on the eve of the Revolution, and must be regarded as one of the very finest of all American rooms."[8] The tour is based on a script culled from an array of sources: Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment; a 1969 anthology of essays called “On Understanding Poverty”; and a 1987 article in The New York Times with the headline “Salad and Seurat: Sampling the Fare at Museums.”[9] -

Fred Wilson

  • Wilson's unique artist approach is to examine, question, and deconstruct the traditional display of art and artifacts in museums. With the use of new wall labels, sounds, lighting, and non-traditional pairings of objects, he leads viewers to recognize that changes in context create changes in meaning. Wilson's juxtaposition of evocative objects forces the viewer to question the biases and limitations of cultural institutions and how they have shaped the interpretation of historical truth, artistic value, and the language of display.[4] -

Hans Haacke

  • In 1970 Hans Haacke proposed a work for the exhibition entitled Information to be held at theMuseum of Modern Art in New York (an exhibition meant to be an overview of current younger artists), according to which the visitors would be asked to vote on a current socio-political issue.[1]The proposal was accepted, and Haacke prepared his installation, entitled MoMA Poll, but did not hand in the specific question until right before the opening of the show. His query asked, "Would the fact that Governor Rockefeller has not denounced President Nixon's Indochina Policy be a reason for your not voting for him in November?" Visitors were asked to deposit their answers in the appropriate one of two transparent Plexiglas ballot boxes. At the end of the exhibition, there were approximately twice as many Yes ballots as No ballots.[4] Haacke's question commented directly on the involvements of a major donor and board member at MOMA, Nelson Rockefeller. This installation is an early example of what in the art world came to be known as institutional critique. -

Robert Smithson

  • As well as works of art, Smithson produced a good deal of theoretical and critical writing, including the 2D paper work A Heap of Language, which sought to show how writing might become an artwork.



Walter De Maria

  • Land art

  • De Maria developed an interest in task-oriented, game-like projects that resulted in viewer-interactive sculptures. For example, his Boxes for Meaningless Work (1961) is inscribed with the instructions, “Transfer things from one box to the next box back and forth, back and forth, etc. Be aware that what you are doing is meaningless."

Matthieu Laurette

  • Nicolas Bourriaud describes Laurette as "using society as a catalog of forms...he plays with economic forms as if they were the lines and colors of a painting."

  • Laurette's Produits remboursés/Money-back Products (1993–2001) was his method of shopping and being fully refunded based on the basic marketing system of the major food and commodities corporations. He fed and cleaned himself for nothing by almost only ever buying products with "Satisfied or your money back" or "Money back on first purchase" offers. He gained fame in France and abroad at the time appearing on TV and media including in 1997 the French National evening news (Journal de 20h, France 2) and the frontpage of respected daily newspaper Le Monde with the headline 'Tomorrow we will eat for free' (Demain on mange gratis). In 1999 the Daily Express in UK featured him in an article titled "The secret of free shopping" and in 2000 the Daily Record named him 'The Freebie King'.

Carey Young

  • Young's projects often center on notions of language, training and performance, and take an ambiguous political stance to create a web of complex questions for the viewer. Since 2003, her work has shifted into an interest in legal language and systems of thought, with 'Disclaimer', an exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute[11] examining the legal disclaimer as a form of negative space. In 2005, she showed 'Consideration', a series of works exploring the connections between contract law and performance art at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York as part of the PERFORMA05 Biennial.[12] RoseLee Goldberg has described the works in this show as "dealing with the overwhelming power of the law."[13]

To be continued

Tameka Norris

Nam June Paik



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