Conceptualism and Materiality. Matters of Art and Politics

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Conference, Research Forum

Conceptualism and Materiality. Matters of Art and Politics

Lecture Theatre 1 (first floor), The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, King’s Cross, London, WC1X 9EW

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Lawrence Weiner, A BIT OF MATTER AND A LITTLE BIT MORE, 1976, language and the materials referred to, dimensions variable, New York, The Museum of Modern Art (photo: Ulrich Wilmes). © Lawrence Weiner/ARS, NY and DACS, London 2019. Photo courtesy Ulrich Wilmes

Organised by

  • Dr Christian Berger - Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Research Forum
  • Prof. David Peters Corbett - The Courtauld Institute of Art, Centre for American Art
£25 General admission (£15 students)

Advance booking required

Conference and Book Launch

This conference celebrates the publication of Conceptualism and Materiality: Matters of Art and Politics (ed. by Christian Berger, Brill, 2019). The aim is to underscore the significance of materials and materiality within Anglo-American Conceptual art, as well as conceptualism more broadly. It challenges the notion of conceptualism as an idea-centred, anti-materialist enterprise, and highlights the political implications thereof.

The contributors focus on the importance of material considerations for artists working during the 1960s and 1970s in different parts of the world. In reconsidering conceptualism’s neglected material aspects, this group of international scholars will gather in London to reveal the rich range of artistic inquiries into theoretical and political notions of matter and material. They revise and diversify the account of a decisive moment in the history of twentieth-century art—a reassessment that carries wider implications for the study of art and materiality in general.

The conference is organised by Dr Christian Berger, Research Fellow and Lecturer, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz/Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow, The Courtauld Institute of Art. Supported by The Centre for American Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Preliminary Schedule

All paper titles are provisional, times and other details subject to change.


Thursday, 10 October 2019:

16:00        Registration

16:30        Welcome and Introduction

David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld Institute of Art, Centre for American Art)

Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Christian Berger (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz/The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Panel I: Materialization and Dematerialization

17.00        Kavior Moon (SCI-Arc, Los Angeles)

From Air to Architecture: Michael Asher’s Early Air Works

17:25        Jacob Stewart-Halevy (Tufts University, Medford)

Ian Wilson, Conceptual Art, and the Materialization of Language

Response and Roundtable

18:25         Break

18:45        Keynote and Book Launch

Keynote: Sabeth Buchmann (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna)

Conceptual Realism

Wine Reception


Friday, 11 October 2019:

9:15         Registration

9:30        Christian Berger: Introduction

Panel II: Other Materialities

9:45          Magdalena Moskalewicz (Art Institute of Chicago)

Formula and Factory: Jan Chwałczyk and Jerzy Ludwiński’s Highly Material Conceptualism

10:10         Larisa Dryansky (Sorbonne Université, Paris)

Another Matter: Antimatter and the Dematerialization of Art

Response and Roundtable

11:15        Tea & Coffee

Panel II: Materiality and Communication (Chair: Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra, Birkbeck College)

11:45        Niko Vicario (Amherst College)

The Matter of Circulation: Teletype Conceptualism, 1966-1970

12:10        Zanna Gilbert (Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles)

Marginal Media & Manual Multiples. Edgardo Antonio Vigo’s Conceptual-Artisanal Aesthetic

Response and Roundtable

13:15        Lunch (provided for speakers and chairs)

Panel III: Materials and Affects

14:15        Yoshiko Shimada (Independent Researcher, Tokyo)

Matsuzawa Yutaka and the Spirit of Suwa

Response and Discussion

15:15        Tea & Coffee

15:45        Luiza Nader (Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw)

Conceptual Affects: The Love Discourse of Zofia Kulik’s Letter from Milan (1972)

Response and Discussion

16:45        Closing Remarks

17:15        End


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