Systems we have loved : conceptual art, affect, and the antihumanist turn

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Sewn in the Sweatshops of Marx Thierry de Duve. Concerning Consequences Kristine Stiles. Transmedium Garrett Stewart. The Way of the Shovel Dieter Roelstraete. Artists soon followed, turning to language and its related forms to devise a new, conceptual approach to art making. Examining the ways in which artists shared the structuralist devotion to systems of many sorts, Systems We Have Loved shows that even as structuralism encouraged the advent of conceptual art, it also raised intractable problems that artists were forced to confront.

Considering such notable art figures as Mary Kelly, Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, and Rosalind Krauss, Eve Meltzer argues that during this period the visual arts depicted and tested the far-reaching claims about subjectivity espoused by theorists.

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By endorsing this view, Meltzer proposes, these artists drew attention to the fictions and limitations of this dream, even as they risked getting caught in the very systems they had adopted. Table of Contents. It also limits the ways in which the work of art, and theory, can engage with the world. At its best, Systems We Have Loved captures the dynamic, critical force of theory, and it shows why structures of power must never remain hidden.

Overall, the book opens a rich vein of inquiry into art history in the United States.


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  • Conceptual Art, Affect, and the Antihumanist Turn.

Beyond the imperative to interrogate humanism and modernism, we might now ask: What were the conditions of possibility of the structuralist adventure in art history? What allowed for the adventure, and, importantly, what enabled it to become synonymous with the right way of proceeding?


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The point of such questioning is not to lead a reactionary charge against theory but to seek its place, and its appropriate role, in a robustly critical discipline. You can name or not name each one of these areas. Blind Time II was left unfinished. Crucially, cleverly, during the structuralist adventure the ideologies of humanism and modernism were unmasked. In art history in the United States, however, this unraveling became its own ideology, its own proscriptive device.

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Systems We Have Loved: Conceptual Art, Affect, and the Antihumanist Turn, Meltzer

Instead of exposing the limits of our discourse through critique, we have wallowed in the terms and conditions of a theoretical art history. Systems We Have Loved reveals some of what our cherished systems have obscured. It also suggests what we might gain from seeing the work of art anew. Please send comments about this review to editor. A Publication of the College Art Association. Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Artists soon followed, turning to language and its related forms to devise a new, conceptual approach to art making.

Systems We Have Loved

Examining the ways in which artists shared the structuralist devotion to systems of many sorts, Systems We Have Loved shows that even as structuralism encouraged the advent of conceptual art, it also raised intractable problems that artists were forced to confront. Considering such notable art figures as Mary Kelly, Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, and Rosalind Krauss, Eve Meltzer argues that during this period the visual arts depicted and tested the far-reaching claims about subjectivity espoused by theorists.

By endorsing this view, Meltzer proposes, these artists drew attention to the fictions and limitations of this dream, even as they risked getting caught in the very systems they had adopted. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews.

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