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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Art that disappears into thin air...

In my research to find out more about ready made art, I have come across an artist called Heubler * who in the 60's made work which was at first known as minimal but then progressed towards conceptual. He was interested in a fusion of language and made pieces called Location and Duration. He would follow rules laid down arbitrarly in advance according to which events, spatial or temporal relationships are documented and are not accessible to direct perception.

He was one of three artists who challenged Greenbergs opinion that art should be visual. The three, Heubler, Weiner and Barry all focussed on a reality and a view of language expressed.

A thought.....The flag pole is a ready made, is the transparent flag?

Weiner understood language as a 'transitionary vehicle' and as a material that takes on sculptural qualities when it is read. He developed work in 'series', the series became more important than each individual piece. Pieces he identified in series were such as a mark of water on a step or a wall, 1969 or an object secured on a threshold.

In 1969 Robert Barry made art that literally dissolved into thin air for 1969 march 1969, an exhibition which took the form of a catalogue, Barry announced that on 5 th march he would release 5 cubic feet of helium into the atmosphere, before this he had exhibited audible radio waves.

I like this idea that art is visual but is more than this, meaning can be extended beyond the piece itself. It is also a happening... one that only happens in the viewers mind, it might be tangible or it might be a 'physical chemical reaction, imperceptible but actually present. So the person performing the art work ie the releasing of the helium, knows it to be a reality but anyone watching or reading about it has to suspend normal notions of logic and reality as they can see nothing hear nothing feel nothing.

A bit like spiritual experiences where on lookers feel excluded and don't 'get it' while the person experiencing it feels what they identify as God/the spirit or whatever named deity they believe in.

Art is a spiritual experience. Except when you feel excluded.

* I was reading Conceptual Art by Daniel Marzona.

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