The second half of the 1960s witnessed the emergence first in America, then in Europe, of a peculiar figure that continues to problematize the economy of the "art scene" to this day: the figure of the artist-as-theorist. The critical and theoretical works of many artists who champion the use of language in the field of art are still a largely unexplored terrain. Although they were in many respects the heirs of Soviet avant-garde artists whose intellectual prerogatives had been radically expanded, the theorizing artists of the period from 1965 to 1985 nevertheless played an unprecedented role. While the status of the former was based on a progressive, positivist paradigm that elevated the theory of art into a science that was to be enriched and taught, the status of the latter seems to have been the upshot of very diverse factors. The object in this book is not so much to define those factors as to explore them through a variety of singular itineraries. By examining how and to what end the preeminent artists-as-theorists have been able to maintain the "dangerous liaisons" (Rosenberg) between artistic practice and ideas, L'artiste comme théoricien sheds light on some of the foundations of the complex status of the "contemporary artist".
Editor: Olivier Mignon
Essays by Olivier Mignon, Katia Schneller, Anaël Lejeune, Laurence Corbel, Maria Palacios Cruz and Allan Sekula
Art intervention by Allan Sekula
Published in 2010
In French and English
21 x 27 cm