Page 30 - Studio International - December 1969
P. 30

Art after

     philosophy: part 3

     Joseph Kosuth

     Joseph Kosuth
     Photograph of presentation for One and three chairs 1965.
     Form of presentation: chair and photostats.
     Photograph of presentation for Investigation 5,
     four concerns: conceptual, informational, visual, chance.
     Form of presentation: labels.
     Photograph of presentation for Space (art as idea as idea)
     1968 (from 'When Attitudes
     Become Form', Kunsthalle Bern, March 1969)
     Form of presentation: newspapers.
     Photograph of presentation for Universal
     (art as idea as idea)
     1967 Form of presentation : mounted photostat.

     I suppose my first 'conceptual' work was the   states. Some of the 'contributors' included
     Leaning Glass from 1965. It consists of any five   Morris, Reinhardt, Smithson, LeWitt, as well
     foot square sheet of glass to be leaned against   as myself. Also related to this 'show' I did a
     any wall. It was shortly after this that I got   series which consisted of quotations by artists,
     interested in water because of its formless,   about their work, or art in general; these
     colourless quality. I used water in every way   `statements' were done in 1968.
     I could imagine—blocks of ice, radiator    I have subtitled all of my work beginning with
     steam, maps with areas of water used in a   the first 'water' definition, Art as Idea as Idea.
     system, picture postcard collections of bodies   I always considered the photostat the work's
     of water, and so on until 1966 when I had a   form of presentation (or media) ; but I never
     photostat made of the dictionary definition of   wanted anyone to think that I was presenting
     the word water, which for me at that time was   a photostat as a work of art— that's why I made
     a way of just presenting the idea  of water. I   that separation and subtitled them as 1 did.
     used a dictionary definition once before that,   The dictionary works went from abstractions
     in late 1965, in a piece which consisted of a   of particulars (like  Water)  to abstractions of
     chair, a slightly smaller photographic blow-up   abstractions (like Meaning). I stopped the dic-
     of the chair—which I mounted to the wall   tionary series in 1968. The only 'exhibition' I
     next to the chair, and a definition of the word   ever had of them was last year in Los Angeles
     chair, which I mounted to the wall next to   at Gallery 669. (Now defunct) The show con-
     that. About the same time I did a series of   sisted of the word 'nothing' from a dozen differ-
     works which were concerned with the relation-  ent dictionaries. In the beginning the photo-
     ship between words and objects (concepts and   stats were obviously photostats, but as time
     what they refer to.) And as well a series of   went on they became confused for paintings, so
     works which only existed as 'models' : simple   the 'endless series' stopped. The idea with the
     shapes—such as a five-foot square—with in-  photostat was that they could be thrown away
     formation that it should be thought ofas a one-  and then re-made—if need be—as part of an
     foot square; and other simple attempts to 'de-  irrelevant procedure connected with the form
     objectify' the object.                    of presentation, but not with the 'art'. Since the
     With the aid of Christine Kozlov and a couple   dictionary series stopped I began one series (or
     of others I founded The Museum of Normal   `investigations', as I prefer to call them) using
     Art in 1967. It was an 'exhibition' area run   the categories from the  Thesaurus,  presenting
     for and by artists. It only lasted a few months.   the information through general advertising
     One of the exhibitions there was my only 'one-  media. (This makes clearer in my work the
     man show' in New York and I presented it as   separation of the art from its form of presenta-
     a secret, titled  15 People Present their Favorite   tion.) Currently I am working on a new inves-
     Book. And the show was exactly what its title    tigation which deals with 'games'.  	q
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