Asher Chapter 2

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S.R. So I come with my first point. I was fascinated as a student by some of your works, specifically by the concentrated gestures you made in, for example, two works I liked very much, that was »Sculpture« in Münster in 1977, I was really impressed by it. And I liked another work very much, for me it was very strong. It was »Installation« in Kunsthalle in Bern, that was 19912. We talked earlier and you said, generally I'm not considered, generally, I'm not considered as a typical conceptual artist. But how would you call your approach; do you have a specific term for it, or how you want, how your work should be called?

M.A. It would probably be best just to say that ... I think of myself as a conceptual artist, and I think others think of myself as a conceptual artist, but at the time I began art, I .... this is what makes it so difficult; I mean, it's very difficult to talk, but anyway, I give it my best. At the time I began working, I was thinking about being honest and doing my early work; it really came from, the early work really ... came about due to formal reasons, and those reasons, sort of, were questions I had about modernism, and in particular the autonomous object, and let's say all the arbitrary decisions which went into making this that object. I found them fundamentally disengaged with everything around it, ... both – it seemed to me at least – both physically and architecturally, and then eventually, later on, I should say, socially and politically. So, ... as my practice evolved ... I realized that the structures that I used to determine, for instance, how the forms would take place, had some kinship or relationship to the way artists were working in conceptualism. So I think that that is what drew maybe artists and historians towards my work; even though it was so formally based, they realized that these methods or ways of working were quite similar to conceptualism; that was probably in the late 70s or early 80s, so then it became more obvious. But earlier on, in as early as 1969, I was in several exhibitions which were conceptual exhibitions, it was even people, way back then, that were seeing what I was doing as a sort of conceptual. So I can't deny that; I mean that was part of my history... but I was pleased by the, a lot of part of the 70s too. Well I don't want repeat what I said. I don't know if that answers your question.

S.R. Sure, that's one approach, yes.

M.A. Well, I'don't need to say you really asked me about "sculpture« or this project so far. I'm just leaving it like that.

Michael Asher »