The Sensorial + the Conceptual Mix

Lecutre by Ricardo Basbaum
January 28th, 2010

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

In his presentation Ricardo Basbaum will consider some aspects of the reciprocal convergence of the sensorial and conceptual fields in the current state of contemporary art: what is largely defined as postconceptual art to his opinion can only be conceived as a combination or mix of both fields, although its interventional aspect and value only arise if their interconnection is carefully constructed from within.

The discussion will be structured around the development of Basbaum’s own art proposals, having as background artists and events of modern and contemporary Brazilian and Latin American art, as well as North American and European. According to Basbaum, the sensorial and conceptual trends have bred different traditions within contemporary art practice, generating fields that emphasize either the direct contact between the body and artwork or the indirect unfolding of layers of methodological mediation - setting up a dynamics that seemed incapable of flowing in-between bodily experimentalism and discoursive language games. Breaking such a closure points today for a practice that reveals its conceptual condition without avoiding the body in its organic/ machinic limits and continual transformation − displaying an economy of direct and indirect experience, taken simultaneously. In his conceptual practice, Basbaum focuses on social and artistic interrelations. In form of a social sculpture the interaction between bodies, objects and environment itself becomes the art work. In this process the temporal and the spatial dimension play an important role. Basbaum’s conceptual works in form of communicative processes and circulation of forms and actions most of the time happen at a global level and often contin over many years.

Ricardo Basbaum works as professor for art theory and art history at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro and at the Faculdade Santa Marcelina in Sao Paulo. He already presented several solo shows and projects, recently «Membranosa-entre» (2009) in Sao Paulo. His works were exhibited at the Bienal in Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo (Brasil) and in Shanghai as well as in several exhibitions in London, Germany and Brasil. His project «Would you like to participate in an artistic experience» was presented at the documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007. Ricardo Basbaum has published texts and projects in several Brazilian and international magazines, books and catalogues. He is the author of von «G x eu» (1998), «NBP x eu-você» (2000), «Além da pureza visual» (2007) and contributed to «Art after conceptual art» (2006, edited by Alexander Alberro and Sabeth Buchmann). In 2004 he published his book «The next documenta should be curated by an artist». From 1995 until 2003 he was co-editor of the brasilian art magazine «Item». In 2008 he finished his doctor’s degree in Visual Arts at the Universidade de Sao Paulo.