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On Subjectivity, 1978

Installation, Dimensions variables

The phrase "The medium is the message" (1964) by Marshall McLuhan highlights both the interest generated by the mass media and how these condition our perception of reality and the information that reaches us. Using decontextualized mass media images, On Subjectivity (1978) focuses on the nature of information and on its interpretation and ideological construction. In other words, it points to the fact that the meaning attributed to an image is the result of the influences, knowledge and personality of each individual.

The installation consists of the book On Subjectivity (Fifty photographs from The Best of Life) and the video On Subjectivity (About TV).

Muntadas selected 50 photographs of The Best of Life - a publication that included hundreds of photos from Life magazine - made 5 copies of each and sent each copy to 5 different people, asking for a comment on the images. The result was the book which, in addition to the photographs, includes the 250 contributions. The video is structured as a collage that alternates images of a television set emitting different programmes with those of people who deliver opinions about them.

Technical details

Original title:
On Subjectivity
Registration number:
1540
Artist:
Muntadas
Date created:
1978
Date acquired:
2000
Status:
On display
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Installation
Media:
Installation - "About TV": Single-channel video, colour, sound, 50 min - "On Subjectivity: Fifty photographs from The Best of Life": 50 gelatin silver print photographs, slide projection transferred into digital file, vitrines, book, envelopes and other materials
Dimensions:
Dimensions variables
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Copyright:
© Muntadas, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.

Entering a museum starts at home or in a plane or in a tweet
Mark Wigley