Harrison Chapter 4

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R: When I connect this question of re-doing an exhibition of Conceptual Art, we are all the time talking about Conceptual Art. It must be allowed to ask if there is something like conceptual paradigms in your interest as an art historian. Do you think that these if there are or there where some paradigms, conceptual paradigms, which is denied by some artists, and are they still in function?

H: I think there are certain thinks. Firstly speaking as not an historian I would say there is no denying that there was something that ? convenience call the Conceptual Art movement and so there was a substantial shift in the character of avant-garde practice over a very wide area, that was an international movement. You can date it ? precisely to a period of 1965-1972 and there were several large survey exhibitions at the time which were connected together artists of that generation tried to ? I mean all kind of names were applied to the movement. CA seems to be one of the ones that stuck. But of course that term gets used very widely for a lot of practises ? doesn't apply very well. So a lot of all gets cold Conceptual Art, historically speaking I wouldn't see as necessary connected to the core ideas that I would associate the Conceptual Art movement. But I think that's very normal. But if you ask what this core ideas were what for me makes sort of conceptual Art. It would be a particular kind of critical purchase on the break up of the authority of modernist criticism and modernist para... of art. So its not so much that I think of there being a Conceptual paradigm within the movement. Its rather more that the idea of a critical attack on the paradigmas that we associate with modernism was a factor in common between the number of interesting artists of the time. More generally I suppose the notion of CA its head up a history rather than the term of history of abstract art that from up to the 20th century abstract art got used very loosely I mean stuff that looked quite strange... and wasn't obviously figurative. But if you go back to the beginnings of abstract art movement if you go back to the work of Malevitch, Kandinsky, Mondrian and in the second decade century, you are talking about a very specific set of problems and ideas the imaginative possibilities response to the break up with the power of figuration to determine the category painting and if you really want to understand that you got to go back to that moment and understand what these artists where addressing and why they felt they couldn't go on doing what other artists have done. Similar if you want to go back to CA movement you understand why it was like it was you have to understand that little nexus of problems certain things seem as practices you just couldn't carry on with any more. So you need some act of historical reconstruction to give CA a real practical sense.


R: In respect to this background and how you figured it out there is a talk or something like a fashion, you said it became fashionable of CA in the last 10 years more and more. How do you differentiate between if you go beyond the generation question how do you differentiate between the more closer field of CA and the more wider field. I mean today everything can be conceptual in the press releases you read that architecture is conceptual, that painting is conceptual, theatres are conceptual ...

H: It just becomes a label. Like a marketing label that gets applied stuff it means not conventional painting hanging on the wall, not conventional, sculpture on the pedestal, not conventional theatre ... To terms you'd always loosely experimental. For me CA is something that was a transitional faith in art that lasted over a certain historical period I would say again between the mid sixties and the early 1970s and it was transitional and certainly of course it was a factor in the kind of changes in art which we've seen since of course it was but you cant draw a very consistence set of drawled set of ....


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