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Dan Graham's Kammerspiel. Interview (Chris Dercon). Recorded at the house of Herman Daled in Brussels. Herman Daled's version of Suburban House, 1987

Jeff Wall is not only an artist with his own extensive written output, but also the author of one of the most important texts on Graham's work, Dan Graham's Kammerspiel (Toronto: Art Metropole, 1991). Thus, it comes as no surprise that Wall's essay concludes with several highly suggestive points concerning the intimate connection between Graham's own writings and his projects: questions concerning functionalism and how to define a post-autonomous art. One conclusion to be drawn from Graham's written production lies in the artist's use of the category «writing» as a means to ask how an art object might not be autonomous.
This reverses Wall's question of the status of the text as an artwork and asks instead how art production, whether visual or written in form, might entertain various functions. Graham, in his 1985 essay, My Work for Magazine Pages: A History of Conceptual Art criticizes the dialectical logic of Marcel Duchamp's readymades, pointedly revealing the discursive and institutional conditions of the autonomous art object where the function of both the art and nonart object is rigidly defined through the conventions of presentation in an art institutional context. Graham saw in the fluorescent light works of Dan Flavin an alternative way to employ nonart objects, notably directed back toward the social sphere. As functional objects it follows that Flavin's light fixtures are technologically and historically specific, thus highlighting the gallery as an architectural frame, in this way the everyday object's link to nonart meaning might be maintained through «concrete relations», as in the fields of Architecture and design. If the workings of functionalism in art are open to question, the method of isolating the art object's semiotic and structural elements as a means of working across disciplines is fundamental to Graham's practice.*

*Rhea Anastas: "The Work of Art as Criticism Review", Art Journal, New York: 2000.

Technical details

Original title:
Dan Graham's Kammerspiel. Interview (Chris Dercon). Recorded at the house of Herman Daled in Brussels. Herman Daled's version of Suburban House
Registration number:
2604
Artist:
Wall, Jeff
Date created:
1987
Date acquired:
2005
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Media
Media:
Single-channel video, colour, sound, 54 min 36 s
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Private long-term loan
Copyright:
© Jeff Wall
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.

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I like to work with what is often called "cultural heritage", but the materials that I use are banal and clichéd, like sugar blocks, doors, couscous, rugs, official documents.
Latifa Echakhch