Sabeth Buchmann

Sabeth Buchmann, an art historian and critic, is Professor of Modern and Postmodern Art and Head of the Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

  • Putting Rehearsals to the Test

    Putting Rehearsals to the Test

    Practices of Rehearsal in Fine Arts, Film, Theater, Theory, and Politics

    Sabeth Buchmann, Ilse Lafer, and Constanze Ruhm

    Although the format of the rehearsal is used across a number of disciplines—film and theater as well as fine arts—it has been scarcely considered in historical and contemporary art discourses. With this in mind, Putting Rehearsals to the Test investigates the role and function of the rehearsal as a methodology, modus operandi, medium, site of representation, and reflection on processes of artistic production. As the contributions in this book show, practices of rehearsal put those procedures—sometimes joyful, sometimes troublesome but structurally productive—into the foreground to replace given conventions and regulations with new forms and rules. Shaping working processes (the in-the-making) and products (the making-of) without defined aims and ends, artists, activists, and theorists working with strategies of rehearsal focus on moments of contingency, interruption, recommencement, irregular repetition, uncertainty, and failure within existing systems. Practices of rehearsal, in attempting to transform asymmetric labor divisions, appear as links between aesthetic judgment and social or institutional critique. This book is a critical and timely reappraisal of the methodologies of the rehearsal, and makes a claim for the aesthetic and political potential in the unfinished project.

    Contributors Rainer Bellenbaum, Vincent Bonin, Sabeth Buchmann, José M. Bueso, Kathrin Busch, Stefanie Diekmann, Kai van Eikels, Stephan Geene, Richard Ibghy, Ekkehard Knörer, Eva Könnemann, Ilse Lafer, Christine Lang, Susanne Leeb, Marilou Lemmens, Achim Lengerer, Annemarie Matzke, Jenny Nachtigall, Silke Otto-Knapp, Avital Ronell, Constanze Ruhm, Martin Jörg Schäfer, Dorothea Walzer

    Publication Series of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, vol. 19

    • Paperback $27.00
  • Hélio Oiticica and Neville D'Almeida

    Hélio Oiticica and Neville D'Almeida

    Block-Experiments in Cosmococa—Program in Progress

    Sabeth Buchmann and Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

    An illustrated study that casts a new light on Oiticica's most important work of “quasi-cinema” on its fortieth anniversary.

    Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980) occupies a central position in the Latin American avant-garde of the postwar era. Associated with the Rio de Janeiro-based neo-concretist movement at the beginning of his career, Oiticica moved from object production to the creation of chromatically opulent and sensually engulfing large-scale installations or wearable garments. Building on the idea for a film by Brazilian underground filmmaker Neville D'Almeida, Oiticica developed the concept for Block-Experiments in Cosmococa—Program in Progress (1973–1974) as an “open program”: a series of nine proposals for environments, each consisting of slide projections, soundtracks, leisure facilities, drawings (with cocaine used as pigment), and instructions for visitors. It is the epitome of what the artist called his “quasi-cinema” work—his most controversial production, and perhaps his most direct effort to merge art and life. Presented publicly for the first time in 1992, these works have been included in major international exhibitions in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and New York.

    Drawing on unpublished primary sources, letters, and writings by Oiticica himself, this illustrated examination of Oiticica's work considers the vast catalog of theoretical references the artist's work relies on, from anticolonial materialism to French phenomenology and postmodern media theory to the work of Jean-Luc Godard, Andy Warhol, and Brazilian avant-garde filmmakers. It discusses Oiticica's work in relation to the diaspora of Brazilian intellectuals during the military dictatorship, the politics of media circulation, the commercialization of New York's queer underground, the explicit use of cocaine as means of production, and possible future reappraisals of Oiticica's work.

    • Hardcover $35.00 £28.00
    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • Art After Conceptual Art

    Art After Conceptual Art

    Alexander Alberro and Sabeth Buchmann

    Well-known art historians from Europe and the Americas discuss the influence of conceptualism on art since the 1970s.

    Art After Conceptual Art tracks the various legacies of conceptualist practice over the past three decades. This collection of essays by art historians from Europe and the Americas introduces and develops the idea that conceptual art generated several different, and even contradictory, forms of art practice. Some of these contested commonplace assumptions of what art is; others served to buttress those assumptions. The bulk of the volume features newly written and highly innovative essays challenging standard interpretations of the legacy of conceptualism and discussing the influence of conceptualism's varied practices on art since the 1970s. The essays explore topics as diverse as the interrelationships between conceptualism and institutional critique, neoexpressionist painting and conceptualist paradigms, conceptual art's often-ignored complicity with design and commodity culture, the specific forms of identity politics taken up by the reception of conceptual art, and conceptualism's North/South and East/West dynamics. A few texts that continue to be crucial for critical debates within the fields of conceptual and postconceptual art practice, history, and theory have been reprinted in order to convey the vibrant and ongoing discussion on the status of art after conceptual art. Taken together, the essays will inspire an exploration of the relationship between postconceptualist practices and the beginnings of contemporary art.

    Distributed for the Generali Foundation, Vienna.

    • Paperback $36.95 £30.00

Contributor

  • Painting beyond Itself

    Painting beyond Itself

    The Medium in the Post-Medium Condition

    Isabelle Graw and Ewa Lajer-Burcharth

    In response to recent developments in pictorial practice and critical discourse, Painting beyond Itself: The Medium in the Post-medium Condition seeks new ways to approach and historicize the question of the medium. Reaching back to the earliest theoretical and institutional definitions of painting, this book—based on a conference at Harvard University in 2013—focuses on the changing role of materiality in establishing painting as the privileged practice, discourse, and institution of modernity. Myriad conceptions of the medium and its specificity are explored by an international group of scholars, critics, and artists. Painting beyond Itself is a forum for rich historical, theoretical, and practice-grounded conversation.

    Contributors Carol Armstrong, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Sabeth Buchmann, René Démoris, Isabelle Graw, David Joselit, Jutta Koether, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Jacqueline Lichtenstein, Julie Mehretu, Matt Saunders, Amy Sillman

    Institut für Kunstkritik Series

    • Paperback $19.95
  • The Aspen Complex

    The Aspen Complex

    Martin Beck

    Martin Beck's exhibition “Panel 2—'Nothing better than a touch of ecology and catastrophe to unite the social classes…'” draws on the events of the 1970 International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA) and the development of the Aspen Movie Map to form a visual environment that reflects the interrelations between art, architecture, design, ecology, and social movements.

    The 1970 IDCA marked a turning point in design thinking. The conference's theme, “Environment by Design,” brought together venerable figures of modern design in the United States, including Eliot Noyes, George Nelson, and Saul Bass; environmental collectives and activist architects from Berkeley such as the Environmental Action Group, Sim Van der Ryn, and Ant Farm; as well as a group of French designers and sociologists, among them Jean Aubert, Lionel Schein, and Jean Baudrillard. The conference quickly escalated into a site of unresolvable conflict about communication formats and the potential role of design for environmental practices in a rapidly changing society.

    The ensuing decade heralded the development of an interactive navigation system, which used the same Colorado resort town as its test site. The Aspen Movie Map—initiated by MIT's Architecture Machine Group (the predecessor to the Media Lab) and partially funded by the US Department of Defense—is an image-based surrogate travel system using footage filmed in Aspen. Meant to prepare users for quick orientation in places they have never been to, the Aspen Movie Map was a seminal prototype for today's military and consumer navigation systems.

    The Aspen Complex documents two versions of Beck's exhibition—at London's Gasworks and Columbia University's Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery—and brings together yet unpublished archival material and new research on the 1970 IDCA and the Aspen Movie Map.

    • Hardcover $32.00