Conceptual Art and identity politics
From the 1960s to the 1990s
in The synthetic proposition
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This chapter asks how a precisely articulated set of practices, defined by artists as Conceptual Art, evolved into a broad notion of conceptualism. It shows how, in the United States' context, some of the most important strategies of conceptualism developed through the influence of contemporaneous politics. The chapter also shows the transition from Civil Rights into Black Power, the New Left, the anti-war movement, feminism, and gay liberation, as well as what later came to be collectively named 'identity politics'. Following the surge of Civil Rights activism in the 1950s, rights movements of the 1960s fought for subjects to gain the full benefits of citizenship, equal access to resources, and protection under the law. The synthetic proposition was debated in various guises in colloquies about identity politics and multiculturalism that raised issues of the universal versus the particular, or in conversations that examined the site of the political in art.

The synthetic proposition

Conceptualism and the political referent in contemporary art


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