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Martha Buskirk

Martha Buskirk is Associate Professor of Art History and Criticism at Montserrat College of Art.

Titles by This Author

In this book, Martha Buskirk addresses the interesting fact that since the early 1960s, almost anything can and has been called art. Among other practices, contemporary artists have employed mass-produced elements, impermanent materials, and appropriated imagery, have incorporated performance and video, and have created works through instructions carried out by others. Furthermore, works of art that lack traditional signs of authenticity or permanence have been embraced by institutions long devoted to the original and the permanent. Buskirk begins with questions of authorship raised by minimalists' use of industrial materials and methods, including competing claims of ownership and artistic authorship evident in conflicts over the right to fabricate artists' works. Examining recent examples of appropriation, she finds precedents in pop art and the early twentieth-century readymade and explores the intersection of contemporary artistic copying and the system of copyrights, trademarks, and brand names characteristic of other forms of commodity production. She also investigates the ways that connections between work and context have transformed art and institutional conventions, the impact of new materials on definitions of medium, the role of the document as both primary and secondary object, and the significance of conceptually oriented performance work for the intersection of photography and the human body in contemporary art.Buskirk explores how artists active in the 1980s and 1990s have recombined strategies of the art of the 1960s and 1970s. She also shows how the mechanisms through which art is presented shape not only readings of the work but the work itself. She uses her discussion of the readymade and conceptual art to explore broader issues of authorship, reproduction, context, and temporality.

This expanded edition of the fall 1994 special issue of October includes new essays by Sarat Maharaj and by Molly Nesbit and Naomi Sawelson-Gorse. It also includes the transcript of an exchange between T. J. Clark and Benjamin Buchloh which presents new responses to the problems raised by this immediately popular (and now out of print) issue of the journal.

The Duchamp Effect is an investigation of the historical reception of the work of Marcel Duchamp from the 1950s to the present, including interviews by Benjamin Buchloh (with Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Robert Morris), Elizabeth Armstrong (with Ed Ruscha and Bruce Conner), and Martha Buskirk (with Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, and Fred Wilson) and a round-table discussion of the Duchamp effect on conceptual art.


Introduction · Benjamin H. D. Buchloh
What's Neo about the Neo-Avant-Garde? · Hal Foster
Typotranslating the Green Box · Sarat Maharaj
Three Conversations in 1985: Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Robert Morris · Benjamin H. D. Buchloh
Interviews with Ed Ruscha and Bruce Conner · Elizabeth Armstrong
Echoes of the Readymade: Critique of Pure Modernism · Thierry de Duve
Concept of Nothing: New Notes by Marcel Duchamp and Walter Arensberg · Molly Nesbit and Naomi Sawelson-Gorse
Interviews with Sherrie Levine, Louis Lawler, and Fred Wilson · Martha Buskirk
Thoroughly Modern Marcel ·, Martha Buskirk
Conceptual Art and the Reception of Duchamp · October Round Table
All the Things I Said about Duchamp: A Response to Benjamin Buchloh · T. J. Clark
Response to T. J. Clark · Benjamin Buchloh