Thursday, September 21, 2006
1- According to conceptual art, the "concept" is more important than the work itself. This is not new (idealists have maintained that conception is more important than execution in that ideas are unpolluted by accidents): Art as a mental form; perceived, evaluated and savored as ideological and communicative instead of object-like and/or "expressive." Anything that is made up of "information" (including a written proposal, photographs, documents, maps and whatnot) counts as conceptual (the term has come to encompass all art forms outside traditional painting or sculpture). 2- Conceptual art can be traced back to Marcel Duchamp, who from the second decade of the 20th century produced various iconoclastic pieces in which he questioned the traditional values of the art world. However, conceptual art did not acquire a name or become a recognized movement until the late 1960s. Since then, the conceptual trend became widespread, flourishing at the same time as other movements, such as Arte Povera, Land art, Performance art and video art. 3- Conceptual art was initially anti-commercial. Artists thought that by eliminating objecthood, they would rid themselves of the problem of commodification behind “collectable art” (it didn't happen, after the movement was legitimized, conceptual art was very much collected). 4- By conveying a "conceptual message" artists rejected the Humanist stereotype of "creator" or "talent" so prevalent in the genius culture that developed since the mid-19th Century. 5- Conceptual art takes a great variety of forms, such as diagrams, photographs, video tapes, sets of instructions, and so on. 6- The movement was the forerunner for installation, digital, and other art forms in the 1990's.