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Michael Archer

Michael Archer is an art critic and Reader in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. The author of Art Since 1960, he has published essays on contemporary art in Artforum, Parkett, Art Monthly, and other journals.

Titles by This Author

One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank

In Jeff Koons’s One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985), a Spalding basketball floats in the center of a glass tank that stands on a four-legged black metal structure. It has been called one of the defining works of the 1980s--but also described (by such critics as Craig Owens, Rosalind Krauss, and Hal Foster) as “an endgame,” “misleading,” and “repulsive.” The work presents what the artist called “the ultimate state of being”--neither death nor life but the absence of change. It captured a spirit of the time, characterized by commodification, seduction, and political inactivity.