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Installation Art

Between Image and Stage

Despite its large and growing popularity—to say nothing of its near-ubiquity in the world’s art scenes and international exhibitions of contemporary art—installation art remains a form whose artistic vocabulary and conceptual basis have rarely been subjected to thorough critical examination.
With this book, Anne Ring Petersen aims to change that. She begins by exploring how installation art developed into an interdisciplinary genre in the 1960s, and how its intertwining of the visual and the performative has acted as a catalyst for the generation of new artistic phenomena. She goes on to address a series of basic questions that get at the heart of what installation art is and how it is defined. Drawing on the work of such well-known artists as Bruce Nauman, Pipilotti Rist, Ilya Kabakov, and many others, Petersen breaks crucial new ground in understanding the conceptual underpinnings of this vibrant form.

507 pages | 44 color plates, 5 halftones | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2014

Art: Art--General Studies

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“Published in oversize format, this book is packed with information. Petersen offers a global view of the installation art form, popularized during the 1960s and 1970s and still going strong. The book’s eleven chapters, introduction, and epilogue offer an in-depth exploration of time, space, and representation. Installation art is often constructed using mixed materials, including glass, video, wood, canvas, and found objects. The author starts with a definition of this often misunderstood genre, including that it involves not only the work itself but the space it occupies and the audience’s interaction with it. Installation’s close relationship to performance and theater is also examined. Artists such as Eliasson, Graham, Kaprow, Koch, Viola, and Nauman serve as examples of the variety of approaches to the topic. Petersen supports her discussion with extensive notes and a bibliography. . . . The book fills a gap in the literature on this important art form, giving it a much-needed, thorough critical review. . . . Recommended.”


Table of Contents

Space of perspective, space of experience
Situating this book
An overview

1. Towards a definition
Passage works
Genre or not?
Installation – a definition I
Minimum and maximum installations
Ergon and parergon – an analytical model

2. Articulating installation
The body in space
Discourse analysis
From sculpture, to environment, to installation
The ideological effect of installation discourse
Space in installation discourse
Three main positions in installation discourse

3. Viewpoints on installation
The aesthetics of presence
Contextualism and institutional critique
Institutionalisation and categorization
Sculpture and staging 106 Object and event
Installation as passage work I
Exhibition and photo documentation

4. Articulating performance
Performance – a new paradigm?
Performance as aesthetic expression
Performance and performativity
The performative turn
In the interface between theatre and the visual arts
The myth of unmediated presence 139 Performance and postmodernism

5. Installation as shaped space
Activating space
Mona Hatoum: Light Sentence
Installation – a space with four dimensions
An aesthetically organised space
Fictional space
Merging the work’s space and the viewer-performer’s real space

6. Installation as temporal situation
Time in art
Represented time and reception time
Three ways of thematising time
The temporary installation
Installation as time model
The narrative installation

7. Installation between image and stage
Performative installation
Performance, performativity, theatricality
The performativity of experiencing art
The theatricality of installation art
Juan Muñoz and the theatre of the gaze
Crossovers between performance and installation art
Long-term consequences of exchange
Thomas Bang and the scenography of objects
A dialectic experience

8. Performance theatre between stage and image
Avant-garde and minimalism
Robert Wilson’s theatre of images
Space as frame: Hotel Pro Forma

9. Navigation, immersion and interaction in video installation
Art and technology
Subject and object
Viewer and work
Navigation, immersion and interaction
White cubes and black boxes
“Teachings” of video installation

10. Site and context
Site as the source of meaning
Site-specificity since the 1990s
Site and performance
Site as event

11. Conclusion: On the threshold between art and culture
Installation – a definition II
The open work
Installation as cross-cultural expression
Installation as passage work II

12. Epilogue: A historical threshold
Approaching a historical explanation
Decentring the subject, decentring mankind
Installation as spectacle and themescape
Installation and consumer culture
Navigating installation’s space

List of illustrations
List of figures

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