Conference and seminar by Benjamin Buchloh

In Benjamin Buchloh's influential essay on Conceptual Art "From the Aesthetics of Administration to the Critique of Institutions," he maintains that it became a form of unconsciousness for all artistic production after 1969. After stating that "conceptual art brought an end to the most rigorous investigation of the post-War period in regards to the conventions of pictorial and sculptural representation, as well as a fundamental critique of traditional visual paradigms," Buchloh constructs an account that culminates in an art of information that reactivated the postulates of the Russian Revolution's productivist Avant-Garde, and that questioned the role of the artist, redefining it bureaucratically as "an employee that catalogues." Conceptual Art's historical evolution ended with works like Hans Haacke's Visitor's Profile, which collected the statistics of the exposition's visitors' characteristics; and notably Marcel Broodthaers Musée a vendre – pour cause de faillite, a work that itself constituted a premonition of the imminent, ghostly reappearances of pictorial and sculptural paradigms of times past; paradigms that Conceptualism had abolished.

The historical end of Conceptualism, however, did not bring about its failure: beginning in the 1980s, Conceptual Art was interiorized by critical artistic practices that would bring about what is known today as "institutional criticism;" a result of the conceptual period as a continuation of the radical Avant-Garde; in a growingly mediatized context by cultural industry.
In this seminar, Buchloh proposes a new reading of his thesis and will analyze key figures of the conceptual movement such as Marcel Broodthaers, Hans Haacke, and Louise Lawler, among others.

Benjamin H. D. Buchloh is a professor of Contemporary Art, Art Criticism, and Critical Theory at Barnard College at Columbia University in New York. Now the co-editor of October magazine, he was the editor of Interfunktionen (Cologne, Germany) from 1973-1975. Of his books, James Coleman: Projected Images 1972-94 (1995) is the most notable.


JANUARY 16, 7.30 pm.
Public Conference

Simultaneous translation service available. MACBA Auditorium. Admission is free. Space is limited.

JANUARY 17, 18, and 19 6-9 pm.

Conducted in English. MACBA Auditorium. Pre-registration required. Space is limited.

MACBA Public Programs
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