Conceptual art. Just Another (Sign-)Politics of Aesthetics?

Lecture by Sabeth Buchmann
December 17th, 2009

from the series of lectures “Conceptual Paradise. Artistic Practice in the Age of the Social Web”

On the occasion of her lecture »Conceptual art: Just Another (Sign-)Politics of Aesthetics?» art historian and critic Sabeth Buchmann will discuss the notion of production in conceptualism. The main focus will be an assessment of artistic in relation to societal work, meaning industrial production (technical means of production) as well as those kinds of activity which belong to the (social) spheres of reproduction and ‘soft skills’.

Historical conceptualism’s notion of production is among the central topoi in Buchmann’s long lasting preoccupation with conceptual artistic practices. In 2006, she published the anthology »Art After Conceptual Art» together with Alexander Alberro. In its different contributions the reader is tracing the partly contradistinctive legacies of conceptual practice during the past three decades, reflecting postconceptual pratices in relation to contemporary art. In 2007 Buchmann’s book »Denken gegen das Denken. Produktion – Technologie – Subjektivitaet bei Sol LeWitt, Hélio Oiticica und Yvonne Rainer» was released, in which she deals with the notion of production of historical conceptualism in terms of a reconsideration of subjectivity in the context of an ongoing technological modernization.

Since March 2004 Sabeth Buchmann is professor for modern and postmodern art history at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Previously, since 1997, she was lecturer, assistant professor and guestprofessor at various art academies and universities. She regularly publishes in exhibition catalogues, art magazines and art theory readers. For many years, she has been a member of the advisory board of the magazine »Texte zur Kunst». Between 2004 and 2006 she engaged in the research project “Avantgarde, Film und Biopolitik” at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, out of which the recently published anthology »Film, Avantgarde, Biopolitik» (Vienna, 2009) emerged (ed. together with Helmut Draxler and Stephan Geene). In 2008 she received the Austrian Art Critics Award for her work as an art critic.