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Conceptualism and the political referent in contemporary art

This book examines the impact of Civil Rights, Black Power, the student, feminist and sexual-liberty movements on conceptualism and its legacies in the United States between the late 1960s and the 1990s. It focuses on the turn to political reference in practices originally concerned with abstract ideas. The book traces key strategies in contemporary art to the reciprocal influences of conceptualism and identity politics. The central concept is a reversal of the qualitative assessment made by artist and theorist Joseph Kosuth in 1969. The book overviews the 1960s-1970s shift from disciplinary-based Conceptual Art to an interdisciplinary conceptualism, crediting the influence of contemporaneous politics dominated by identity and issue-based politics. It offers a survey of Adrian Piper's early work, her analytic conceptual investigations, and her transition to a synthetic mode of working with explicit political reference. The book explores how Conceptual Art is political art, analysing several works by synthetic proposition artists. It then surveys several key 1980s events and exhibitions before taking in depth the 1993 Whitney Biennial as its central case study for understanding the debates of the 1980s and the 1990s. Examining the ways in which Hans Haacke's work referenced political subject matter, simultaneously changing the conception of the processes and roles of art-making and art, the book argues against critics who regarded his work to be "about" politics. It also looks at the works of Charles Gaines, David Hammons, Renée Green, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Silvia Kolbowski, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Lorna Simpson, and Andrea Fraser.

Charles Gaines by way of conclusion
Nizan Shaked

A state of passionate detachment: Charles Gaines by way of conclusion I use color not as an affective gesture but as a code to establish difference. But the color (dealing with sense) is emotive in relation to the object (that is, it contributes poetically to the meaning of the object). I believe this poetic meaning is as much a function of the system as it is the object, thus, what is being represented, an object?/system? Both separately? I believe one cannot be separated from the other, certainly it is not a representation of both separately, but both as a uni

in The synthetic proposition
Abstract only
Nizan Shaked

, language, visual systems of signification, the operation of cultural hierarchies, and the formulation of a political sense of being. These artists did not assume the existence of any inherent or essential identity, they instead established identity politics as a mode through which to consolidate political and aesthetic agency. The artists addressed in this book: Adrian Piper, Joseph Kosuth, David Hammons, Renée Green, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Silvia Kolbowski, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Lorna Simpson, Andrea Fraser, Hans Haacke, and Charles Gaines, based their practices

in The synthetic proposition
Marc James Léger

, including projects by Gulf Labor, Jeremy Deller, Tania Bruguera, Charles Gaines, Sergei Eisenstein, Steve Reich, Chris Marker, Hans Haacke, Thomas Hirschhorn, Isa Genzken, Marcel Broodthaers, Alexander Kluge, Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson, Adrian Piper, Coco Fusco, Marco Fusinato and Ousmane Sembène. Two of the participating avant-gardists, Harun Farocki and Chantal Akerman, have since passed away. One could mention as well the fact that the 2015 Creative Time Summit was held at the Biennale, August 11–13, with keynote presentations by Achille Mbembe, Antonio Negri, Amy

in Vanguardia
The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981)
Colin Gardner

me to become in marriage’. 18 Charles gains a growing respect for this proto-feminist ‘heresy’, realizing that Sarah has transcended her past and shed her contrived role as the ‘scarlet woman of Lyme’. More importantly, she no longer seems to need him. Charles, to his credit, has no desire to deny her this hard-won freedom, but merely, through his love, wishes to enlarge and nurture her present happiness. Sarah, however, sees an

in Karel Reisz
Michael R. Lynn

Franklin and Volta attended his lectures while visiting Paris. He gained even more fame in 1783 when he became the first man to ascend in a hydrogen balloon. Unlike some of his colleagues, and thanks to the work he had performed for the revolutionary government, Charles was able to translate his success as a popularizer into economic security and academic prestige. When the Institut de France rose from the ashes of the Académie Royale des Sciences, Charles found himself elected one of its first members. Although he never published any of his work, Charles gained fame

in Popular science and public opinion in eighteenth-century France