The activities of Art & Language have been marked from the outset by practical variety, by resistance to easy categorisation and by a tendency to provoke open and reflexive enquiry. Art & Language’s earliest works date from before 1968, when the name was first adopted as the name of an artistic practice. In the following year, the first issue of the journal Art-Language was published in England. Then and over the next few years Art & Language provided a common identity for a number of people already involved in various types of collaboration. The mid 1960s had seen widespread collapse in the authority of those individualistic cultural protocols which go under the name of Modernism, and the coming together of the two terms ‘Art’ and ‘Language’ served to recognise a range of intellectual concerns and artistic expedients which that collapse had occasioned. For a variety of activities which bore practically and critically upon the concept of art, but which were at home neither in the studio nor in the gallery, Art & Language promised a social base in shared conversation. That conversation in turn transformed the practice of those involved and generated other kinds of work.Read More
Experimental and sceptical, perhaps their most famous work is Index 01, exhibited at documenta 5, Kassel, Germany, 1972, a catalogue of their writings in eight filing cabinets presented on four plinths at eye level. Art & Language participated in documenta 7 and 10 (1997, 1982), the Xème Biennale Internationale d’Art, Palais de L’Europe, Menton, France (1974) and they were nominated for the Turner Prize, Tate Gallery, London in 1986. Solo exhibitions include Migrosmuseum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, 2012, Centro De Arte Contemporáneo (CAC) Málaga, 2004; MoMA PS1, New York, 1999; ICA, London, 1991; Tate Gallery, London, 1985; Musée d’Art Moderne, Toulon, 1982, and Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1974. Art & Language has a major exhibition at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) forthcoming in 2014.
Text courtesy Lisson Gallery.
In May 2016, a group of 16 graduating black female cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point (New York) partook of a tradition dating back to the 19th century. They produced what’s known as ‘Old Corps’ photographs, a reenactment of a historical genre of military portraiture, which they then posted on social media....