This talk explores the shift from ‘looking’ to ‘reading’ in the text-based art practices of the 1960s and 70s as demonstrated in the works of Vito Acconci, Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Smithson, Dan Graham and more. Focusing on the operation of typography and how this particular design element helps to move the works in question from a state of self-referentiality to an active engagement with the spectator, the talk will explore how the ideas of authorship and originality are challenged by situating the artworks in dynamic and interactive contexts, such as advertising and magazine publishing.
Of particular interest will be those text-works that were typeset and reproduced through printing, as opposed to those which were painted stencilled or handwritten, allowing for a discussion around the engagement of these works within the active processes of editing and publishing.
Ruth Blacksell is the Programme Director of the MA in Book Design, Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at Reading University. She has worked as a graphic designer since 1994, mainly on print and exhibition materials for museums and art galleries and is currently working towards a PhD, researching the use of typography and the document in Conceptual Art practices of the 1960s and 70s.
February 29, 2012, 6:30 pm
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London