The political referent in debate
Identity, difference, representation
in The synthetic proposition
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This chapter offers a specific set of distinctions made in the debates about political art in the 1980s and 1990s. These distinctions are made by observing a constellation of anthologies, symposia, and exhibitions as a backdrop to understand the curatorial agenda and reception of the 1993 Whitney Biennial for American Art. They are also made by observing the constellation of anthologies, symposia, and exhibitions as a comprehensive examination of the exhibition contributions of Daniel Joseph Martinez, Andrea Fraser, and Lorna Simpson. The 1993 Biennial provides an ideal case study to examine the representation of socio-political issues in art, as it consolidated perspectives on two key terms for the later part of the twentieth century. They are identity politics and multiculturalism. By redefining difference, Thelma Golden continued, the artworks in the exhibition moved beyond essentialist definitions of identity.

The synthetic proposition

Conceptualism and the political referent in contemporary art

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