50 Years of Art and Objecthood: Traces, Impact, Critique


Friday 27 May 2016

Central Saint Martins, Kings Cross, C202

Organised by Joanne Morra and Alison Green

Arguably the most discussed piece of art criticism published since the 1960s, ‘Art and Objecthood’ written by American art historian (and poet) Michael Fried (1939-), and published in the June 1967 issue of Artforum magazine, has been variously described as ‘world dividing doxology’ (Caroline Jones), and ‘a theoretical wedge’ (Rosalind Krauss). What is clear is that the ideas it addresses are remarkably durable. ‘Art and Objecthood’ comments upon and agonizes over what is perceived as the major paradigm shift between modernism and postmodernism, in art and in wider cultural terms. If the legacy of the 1960s is multi-faceted, one key part is this: the so-called autonomous art object was challenged and replaced by contextual or relational works and meanings. By contrast, Fried’s essay argues in very strong terms that art ought to require specialized tools—critical, historical and aesthetic—and that these are worth fighting for. The main aim of our project is to analyze the impact of ‘Art and Objecthood’ and assess its divergent traces rather than its canonical receptions. The speakers consider its influence internationally within art criticism, philosophy, film studies, theatre, international modernism, new media, pedagogy, and the rise of new materialism and object studies within contemporary theory.




Alison Green and Joanne Morra, Introduction

1.45 – 5:30 Speakers

Duncan White, An ‘Automatic Escape’ or a ‘Beautiful Question’? Cinema and Experimental Film after ‘Art and Objecthood’ (20 min)

Phoebe von Held, Brecht’s ‘Anti-Theatrical’ Modernism: Reflections on Brecht’s Place in Michael Fried’s Conceptual Framework (20 min)

Joacquin Barriendos Rodriguez, Speculative Literalism: Art, Objecthood, and Ideology in Latin America and Spain (20 min)

Victor Tupitsyn, Obscuritarian Objects (20 min)

Daniel Rubinstein, Art and Process (20 min)

Stephen Melville, On Fried and Philosophy (20 min)

Margarita Tupitsyn, From Black Square to Room Square (20 min)

Chaired discussion (20 min)


Closing remarks


This is a free event. Registration is necessary: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/50-years-of-art-and-objecthood-traces-impact-critique-tickets-25013896237


Event is supported by by CSM Art Programme, CSM Research, CSM Culture and Enterprise Programme