Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser (2005)

13 November 2017, dusan

“Andrea Fraser’s work, writes Pierre Bourdieu in his foreword to Museum Highlights, is able to ‘trigger a social mechanism, a sort of machine infernale whose operation causes the hidden truth of social reality to reveal itself.’ It often does this by incorporating and inhabiting the social role it sets out to critique—as in a performance piece in which she leads a tour as a museum docent and describes the men’s room in the same elevated language that she uses to describe seventeenth-century Dutch paintings. Influenced by the interdisciplinarity of postmodernism, Fraser’s interventionist art draws on four primary artistic and intellectual frameworks—institutional critique, with its site-specific examination of cultural context; performance; feminism, with its investigation of identity formation; and Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology. Fraser’s writings form an integral part of her artistic practice, and this collection of texts written between 1985 and 2003—including the performance script for the docent’s tour that gives the book its title—both documents and represents her work.

The writings in Museum Highlights are arranged to reflect different aspects of Fraser’s artistic practice. They include essays that trace the development of critical ‘artistic practice’ as cultural resistance; performance scripts that explore art institutions and the public sphere; and texts that explore the ambivalent relationship of art to the economic and political interests of its time. The final piece, ‘Isn’t This a Wonderful Place? (A Tour of a Tour of the Guggenheim Bilbao),’ reflects on the role of museums in an era of globalization. Among the book’s 30 illustrations are stills from performance pieces, some never before published.”

Edited by Alexander Alberro
Publisher MIT Press, 2005
ISBN 0262062445, 9780262062442
xxxvii+291 pages

Reviews: Kirsi Peltomaki (Afterimage, 2005), Melissa Gronlund (Frieze, 2005), Louis Byrne (Art Book, 2007), N.A. Hayes (PopMatters, 2008).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (104 MB, no OCR)

Hans Haacke: Working Conditions: The Writings of Hans Haacke (2016)

1 July 2017, dusan

“Hans Haacke’s art articulates the interdependence of multiple elements. An artwork is not merely an object but is also its context—the economic, social, and political conditions of the art world and the world at large. Among his best-known works are MoMA-Poll (1970), which polled museumgoers on their opinions about Nelson Rockefeller and the Nixon administration’s Indochina policy; Gallery-Goers’ Birthplace and Residence Profile (1969), which canvassed visitors to the Howard Wise Gallery in Manhattan; and the famously canceled 1971 solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, which was meant to display, among other things, works on two New York real estate empires.

This volume collects writings by Haacke that explain and document his practice. The texts, some of which have never before been published, run from straightforward descriptions to wide-ranging reflections and full-throated polemics. They include correspondence with MoMA and the Guggenheim and a letter refusing to represent the United States at the 1969 São Paulo Biennial; the title piece, “Working Conditions,” which discusses corporate influence on the art world; Haacke’s thinking about “real-time social systems”; and texts written for museum catalogs on various artworks, including GERMANIA, in the German Pavilion of the 1993 Venice Biennial; DER BEVÖLKERUNG (To the Population) of 2000 at the Berlin Reichstag; Mixed Messages, an exhibition of objects from the Victoria and Albert Museum (2001); and Gift Horse, unveiled on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2015.”

Edited and with an Introduction by Alexander Alberro
Publisher MIT Press, 2016
Writing Art series
ISBN 9780262034838, 0262034832
lii+290 pages

Review: Greg Lindquist (Brooklyn Rail, 2016).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (7 MB)

Kynaston L. McShine (ed.): Information (1970)

17 September 2016, dusan

Catalogue for an exhibition curated by Kynaston McShine and held at MoMA in New York between 2 July-20 September 1970.

The exhibition presented videos and installations by 100 American and European artists (e.g. Vito Acconci, Art & Language, Daniel Buren, Jan Dibbets, Hans Haacke, Dennis Oppenheim, Edward Ruscha, Robert Smithson, or Jeff Wall). It included an early example of dealing with publicly accessible archives within the context of an exhibition and some of the participating artists confronted the issues of political and media based contents: Haacke established MoMA Poll as a first link between the areas of politics and the museum by presenting an open poll on the way the Rockefeller family acted with regard to Nixon’s plans in Indochina.

Publisher Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1970
207 pages
via MoMA

Commentary: Eve Meltzer (Oxford Art Journal, 2006), Interviews with Adrian Piper and Hans Haacke (Doreen Mende, Displayer, 2007), Adam Lauder (2010).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (52 MB)