Art as a verb

Art Life , Exhibitions Jun 08, 2015 No Comments

From Stella Rosa McDonald

In Art as a verb the artist—hanging, speaking, writing, spying, smiling, selling, sticking, eating, whispering — is at the centre of the work. “Art doesn’t have to be about success or failure; it can be propositional,” writes Christopher LG Hill in the wall text that completes his poetic work. “The only rule is work,” writes the artist, teacher and nun Sister Corita Kent in a list of ten rules. “Say it simple,” state Fischli & Weiss. “I was going to prepare something, but ran out of time,” says Andrea Fraser in an epic 30-minute oration in which she addresses the crowd as “artist”, “curator”, “critic” and “collector”. This is the sort of slippery, ironic and humorous work that populates Art as a verb, challenging the historical role of the artist, their art, audiences and institutions.

Mitchell_Lost A Bet_2011

There are over 60 works in the exhibition that stretch from the 1960’s to today—from artists operating within the movements of Fluxus, institutional critique and Relational Aesthetics to the mediums of sculpture, performance and documentary—with each managing to maintain its own integrity and many that reflect on the social function of art itself. The exhibition demonstrates that the role of the artist is manifold—teacher, provocateur, actress, auteur, saleswoman, sleuth, imposter—and the objects, texts, videos, or artifacts that we call art seem to be ancillary proof of the artist’s existence in the world, if not proof of the world itself.

Until July 26th
Artspace, Woolloomooloo
Pic: Kate Mitchell, Lost A Bet, 2011. Monash University Collection

Stella Rosa McDonald

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