Michael Asher

Tacet 3
Sound in The Arts : From Sound Space

‘Tacet’ is a research publication dedicated to sound arts and experimental music. Its ambition is to create a interdisciplinary and international space of reflection for these practices, in all its aesthetic diversity. With contributions by Michael Asher, Maryanne Amacher, Paul Panhuysen, Douglas Kahn and many more.

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Tacet 3
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F. R. David
Spring 2017 : Inverted Commas

 

F.R.DAVID is a typographical journal, edited by Will Holder, dealing with the organisation of reading and writing in contemporary art practises. This 13th issue of F.R.DAVID is edited with Riet Wijnen, and has its origins in her Registry of Pseudonyms, an online database which accounts for who is who and why who is who. ‘Inverted Commas’ follows ‘pseudonym’ through names, naming, bodies, brains, self, author, other, reader, labour.

Includes: Michael Asher, Joan Didion, Harun Farocki, Sven Lütticken, Lucy Lippard, Barbara Guest, A.H. Nijhoff, Will Holder, Pauline Oliveros, and many more.

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F. R. David (Spring 2017) : Inverted Commas
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Situation Aesthetics: The Work of Michael Asher
by Kirsi Peltomaki


Michael Asher doesn’t make typical installations. Instead, he extracts his art from the institutions in which it is shown, culling it from collections, histories, or museums’ own walls. Since the late 1960s, Asher has been creating situations that have not only taught us about the conditions and contexts of contemporary art, but have worked to define it. In Situation Aesthetics, Kirsi Peltomaki examines Asher’s practice by analyzing the social situations that the artist constructs in his work for viewers, participants, and institutional representatives (including gallery directors, curators, and other museum staff members). Drawing on art criticism, the reports of viewers and participants in Asher’s projects, and the artist’s own archives, Peltomaki offers a comprehensive account of Asher’s work over the past four decades. Because of the intensely site-specific nature of this work, as well as the artist’s refusal to reconstruct past works or mount retrospectives, many of the projects Peltomaki discusses are described here for the first time. By emphasizing the social and psychological sites of art rather than the production of autonomous art objects, Peltomaki argues, Asher constructs experientially complex situations that profoundly affect those who encounter them, bringing about both personal and institutional transformation.

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Situation Aesthetics: The Work of Michael Asher
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Michael Asher
October Files book - Jennifer King (Ed.)


During a career that spanned more than forty years, from the late 1960s until his death in 2012, Michael Asher created site-specific installations and institutional interventions that examined the conditions of art’s production, display, and reception. At the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, he famously relocated a bronze replica of an eighteenth-century sculpture of George Washington from the museum’s entrance to an interior gallery, thereby highlighting the disjunction between the statue’s symbolic function as a public monument and its aesthetic origins as an artwork. Today, Asher is celebrated as one of the forerunners of institutional critique. Yet because of Asher’s situation-based method of working, and his resistance to making objects that could circulate in the art market, few of his works survive in physical form. What does survive is writing by scholars and critics about his diverse practice. The essays in this volume document projects that range from Asher’s environmental works and museum displacements to his research-based presentations and reflections on urban space.

Contributors: Michael Asher, Sandy Ballatore, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Jennifer King, Miwon Kwon, Barbara Munger, Stephan Pascher, Birgit Pelzer, Anne Rorimer, Allan Sekula

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Michael Asher (October Files)
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