Thursday, May 17, 2007

Contracts & Assembled Variables, RA's inheritance from Conceptualism

Chris Beas, USSR Sound System, 2007 (dimensions variable); Carl Andre, Equivalents, 1966

New York Times 5/25/07: "Rental, the latest addition to the expanding Lower East Side gallery scene, is the first one to have the light and views — if not the interior design — of a Chelsea space, thanks to its location on the sixth floor of a corner building with big windows. But that is not its distinguishing characteristic: true to its name, and like its predecessor in Los Angeles, Rental is for rent to selected out-of-town dealers. The first Rental was founded in 2005 by Daniel Hug and Joel Mesler; the New York version has been set up by Mr. Mesler. This could unsettle the gallery scene’s home-away balance of power in interesting ways. Dealers who give artists their first shows elsewhere will not necessarily have to hand them over to New York galleries to obtain exposure here. They can do the work, walk the walk and talk the spiel themselves. The next show, opening June 23, will be organized by Trudi, who runs a tiny space in Los Angeles. This fall brings the Cologne dealer Christian Nagel, followed by Sister Gallery and the Black Dragon Society from Los Angeles and Raster Gallery from Warsaw."

Far from functioning only as ideology critique, [such work] aim[s] to construct a less ideological form of autonomy, conditioned not by the abstraction of relations of consumption in the commodity form, but by the conscious & critical determination [...] of the uses to which artistic activity is put & the interests it serves. And it's in this sense that the substitution of literally heteronomous service relations for ideologically autonomous relations of commodity production & consumption can be seen not as the final erosion of the traditionally separate sphere of art but as the first step in an effort to move beyond the perpetual replay of the dialectic of negation & institutionalization which the critique of ideological use is consigned to so long as the artistic positions artists take are considered in isolation from the social & material conditions of their practices.

Andrea Fraser, "What's Intangible, Transitory, Immediate, Participatory and Rendered in the Public Sphere? Part II," Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005), 55-80

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