Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium

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November 2001



Here is the first extensive survey of one of the most important -- and intriguing -- themes in art today: the often obsessive relationship between the artist and the museum. This is a relationship with a long history, whose full significance has been realized in the activities of artists in recent decades. From early instances of the urge to collect exotic objects, the "cabinet of curiosities", to assemblages of found objects and imitations of museum displays, artists have often turned their attention to the ideas and systems traditionally embodied in the museum -- display, archiving, classification, storage, curatorship -- which they have then appropriated, mimicked, and interpreted in their own ways.Citing a wide range of examples, from Marcel Duchamp's "Portable Museum" to Damien Hirst's distinctive use of vitrines, James Putnam examines the themes by which the artist/museum relationship is defined and redefined. He shows not only the ways in which artists have been influenced by museum systems and made their works into simulations of the museum, but also how they have questioned the role of museums, observed their practices, intervened in them, and helped to redefine them.This is a subject around which -- directly and indirectly -- contemporary art dialogue revolves. Without rival, this is one of those rare books that will become essential reading for everyone interested in the development of art and its presentation to the public in museum displays and installations.


I. The Museum Effect: The Artist as Archivist II. Art or Artifact? The Artist as Collector III. Public Enquiry: The Artist as Investigator IV. Framing the frame: The Artist as Observer V. Curator/Creator: The Artist as Visiting Curator VI. On the Inside: The Artist as Interventionist VII. Without Walls: The Artist as Reinventor Bibliography * Acknowledgements * Index


James Putnam is a curator at the British Museum, where he has staged a series of innovative contemporary art exhibitions.


Offers a detailed but not exhaustive look at the relationship between artist and museum.... A relevant contemporary perspective for fine arts and museum studies collections.
EAN: 9780500237908
ISBN: 0500237905
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2001
Seitenanzahl: 208 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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