The desire to move viewers out of the role of passive observers and into the role of producers is one of the hallmarks of twentieth-century art. This tendency can be found in practices and projects ranging from El Lissitzky's exhibition designs to Allan Kaprow's happenings, from minimalist objects to installation art. More recently, this kind of participatory art has gone so far as to encourage and produce new social relationships. Guy Debord's celebrated argument that capitalism fragments the social bond has become the premise for much relational art seeking to challenge and provide alternatives to the discontents of contemporary life. This publication collects texts that place this artistic development in historical and theoretical context.
Participation begins with writings that provide a theoretical framework for relational art, with essays by Umberto Eco, Bertolt Brecht, Roland Barthes, Peter Burger, Jen-Luc Nancy, Edoaurd Glissant, and Felix Guattari, as well as the first translation into English of Jacques Ranciere's influential "Problems and Transformations in Critical Art." The book also includes central writings by such artists as Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica, Joseph Beuys, Augusto Boal, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. And it features recent critical and curatorial debates, with discussions by Lars Bang Larsen, Nicolas Bourriaud, Hal Foster, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.
Copublished with Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
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Umberto Eco The Poetics of the Open Work 1962020
Roland Barthes The Death of the Author 1968041
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action activity Aestheticism architecture art's artists artwork audience avant-garde avant-gardiste become Bourriaud collaboration collective concept consciousness construction contemporary art context creative culture dance death Debord democracy dialogue discussion documentation elements errantry event example exhibition existence experience fact Felix Guattari Foucault Art function Funk gallery Guattari Guy Debord Helio Oiticica Hirschhorn human idea identity images immanence individual installation interpretation Jacques Ranciere Jean-Luc Nancy Jeremy Deller Joseph Beuys logic longer Lygia Clark meaning modern movement Nicolas Bourriaud nomadism objects organized Paris participation participatory performance person philosophy play poetics political possible praxis precisely present production question reality reception Relational Aesthetics relationship Rirkrit Tiravanija Roland Barthes role sense singular situationist situations social space spectator structure sublation symbolic term things thinking Thomas Hirschhorn transformation unitary urbanism Utopia Station viewer visitors words writing