Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Site-Specific Art

I suppose first I would say that the main thing I got from this article is that site-specific art means certain things based on how different individuals define site. Although the particulars are different, they all deal with the basic concept that site specific art is based on "exchanges between the work of art and the places in which its meanings are defined." There were a few ideas that particularly struck me.

First, the idea that is represented by the anecdote of Richard Serra- that site-specific art is made dependent on the site. If the work is to be moved from the specific site it is no longer the same (the exchanges between the art and place would be fundamentally different). I think that this is an important distinction to be made in regard to site-specific art. When the artist is making the piece they are making it with a place, space, and/or position in mind. To change this would be to change the entire piece.

The second idea was that the object was not so much dependent on the space it occupied but how the viewer's attention was displaced by the room and the object. This reminded me of the idea (from "But is it Installation Art?") that installation art involved the viewer and was supposed to provoke an intense reaction from the viewer often using "antagonism toward its environment." In this idea, coming from minimalist sculpture the role of the viewer is particularly stressed. It also makes the connection with performance and viewer compared to audience.

Third, was the discussion of space as being mediated by personal images, states of mind, and movement. I think that this is an important point to make as well. Space seems to me to be something that is more dimensional than a place or site. To me a place or a site could be one dot, but a space is a series of dots that have some relationship with one another. This is also expressed by the statement: "Space, as frequentation of places rather than a place stems in effect from...movement." By using this definition or approach of space in regard to site-specific art, I think it prompts ideas about what is included in site-specific art- object, viewer, movement.

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