Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thomas McEvilley on Installation Art

Much installation art of the 1980s--such as the work of Mel Chin or Fred Wilson or Cady Noland--was heavily code in ways that invite, or command, the viewer to decode them. The works are often extremely complex, and may refer in detailed ways to social and political situations. These works are, in other words, meant to be "read" as texts. They may appear inscrutable at first sight (and often, proudly, do), but in fact they are inwardly anxious to give account of themselves. (Thomas McEvilley, The Triumph of Anti-Art: Conceptual and Performance Art in the Formation of Post-Modernism)

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