Elize Mazadiego
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Introduction
Maps, spatiality and conceptual art
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Existing scholarship on conceptual art’s prevalent use of maps focuses on their scientific, semiotic and documentary purpose. This introduction explains that this narrow analysis tends to occlude conceptualism’s idiosyncratic and complex explorations of mapping and spatiality. The chapter proposes a broader definition of the map to include other cartographies within conceptual-based artistic practices, including Fluxus and land art, that effectively ‘chart space’ and probe, if not reformulate, the multiple dimensions of the world. This chapter traces conceptualism’s ‘spatial turn’ through 1969 exhibition Spaces at the Museum of Modern Art New York, and the symposium ‘Art without Space’. These two examples are evidence of a preoccupation with art’s relationship to space, but also New York’s rather narrow notion of it. This introduction acquaints readers with new, complex conceptualisations of space that emerge from conceptual artists’ work between the 1960s and 1990s. It discusses this turn relative to the shifts in philosophical thinking of space and altered experience brought on by urbanisation, technological development and the space age. Finally, it argues that conceptualism advanced an open, dynamic and relational concept of space that has affinities with Henri Lefebvre’s ‘social space’, but which expands its parameters to include feminist and decolonial approaches to space-making. With an overview of the volume’s parts and chapters, this introduction explains how the contributions in this book reassess conceptualism’s history and provide new perspectives on its socio-political relevance through spatially oriented practices.

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Charting space

The cartographies of conceptual art

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