Situation—a unique set of conditions produced in both space and time and ranging across material, social, political, and economic relations—has become a key concept in twenty-first-century art. Rooted in artistic practices of the 1960s and 1970s, the idea of situation has evolved and transcended these in the current context of globalization. This anthology offers key writings on areas of art practice and theory related to situation, including notions of the site specific, the artist as ethnographer or fieldworker, the relation between action and public space, the meaning of place and locality, and the crucial role of the curator in recent situation specific art.
In North America and Europe, the site-specific is often viewed in terms of resistance to art's commoditization, while elsewhere situation-specific practices have defied institutions of authority. The contributors discuss these recent tendencies in the context of proliferating international biennial exhibitions, curatorial place-bound projects, and strategies by which artists increasingly unsettle the definition and legitimation of situation-based art.
Artists surveyed include: Vito Acconci, Allora & Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Carl Andre, Artist Placement Group, Michael Asher, Amy Balkin, Ursula Biemann, Bik Van der Pol, Daniel Buren, Victor Burgin, Janet Cardiff, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Adam Chodzko, Tacita Dean, Elmgreen & Dragset, Andrea Fraser, Hamish Fulton, Dan Graham, Liam Gillick, Renée Green, Group Material, Douglas Huebler, Bethan Huws, Pierre Huyghe, Robert Irwin, Emily Jacir, Ilya Kabakov, Július Koller, Langlands & Bell, Ligna, Richard Long, Gordon Matta-Clark, Cildo Meireles, Jonathan Monk, Robert Morris, Gabriel Orozco, Adrian Piper, Walid Ra’ad, Raqs Media Collective, Paul Rooney, Martha Rosler, Richard Serra, Situationist International, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Vivan Sundaram, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lawrence Weiner, Rachel Whiteread, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Qiu Zhijie
Writers include: Arjun Appadurai, Hannah Arendt, Marc Augé, Wim Beeren, Josephine Berry Slater, Daniel Birnbaum, Ava Bromberg, Markus Brüderlin, Susan Buck-Morss, Jon Bywater, Michel de Certeau, Douglas Crimp, Gilles Deleuze, T. J. Demos, Rosalyn Deutsche, Charles Esche, Graeme Evans, Patricia Falguières, Hal Foster, Hou Hanru, Mark Hutchinson, Mary Jane Jacob, Vasif Kortun, Hari Kunzru, Miwon Kwon, Lu Jie, George E. Marcus, Doreen Massey, James Meyer, Ivo Mesquita, Brian O’Doherty, Craig Owens, Jane Rendell, Simon Sheikh, Jan Verwoert, Peter Weibel
Documents of Contemporary Arts series
Copublished with Whitechapel Gallery, London
About the Editor
Claire Doherty is Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of West England, Bristol, where she established Situations (www.situations.org.uk), a research and international commissioning program. She is Visiting Lecturer in Curating at the Royal College of Art, London, and Curatorial Director of the One Day Sculpture series, New Zealand. She is the editor of Contemporary Art: From Studio to Situation.
"Claire Doherty's Situation offers a scholarly yet accessible cross-disciplinary mapping out of the complex discursive interpenetrations of notions of site, public sphere, social space, location-driven research processes and related issues, from the perspectives of artists, curators, art historians, critics, theorists and other cultural producers. The five sections comprising the book propose useful ideational constellations, generating a trans-historical (i.e. non-linear/anti-chronological) interplay of excerpted artist writings, critical texts, curatorial frameworks and theoretical discourses from the start of the 1960s to the present, enlivening the conversation about what it means to be situational."
Joshua Decter, Critic and Curator, Director of the Master of Public Art Studies Program (Art in the Public Sphere), USC Roski School of Fine Arts, Los Angeles
"This excellent and stimulating book revisits the notions of site and space to underline the increasing importance of situations, opening and thinking about new ways of making and curating art."
—Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London