Wednesday, June 07, 2006


This is a mirror.

You are a written sentence

Luis Camnitzer issued the above statement as a work of art in 1966: one of nine statements on sticky labels that he sent out by post.

In Chronology Camnitzer explains why he had stopped making pictures and prints and started producing these statements. He had been looking for ways in which his art could escape from the trap that once someone bought the art object it was lost to the rest of the world.

He discovered the answer staring out at him from his local newstand. He states:

The ideal was the newspaper headline: a simple reading allowed appropriation which then unleashed imagery within the viewer. Material possession of art would lose its meaning since possession would take place through reading

I love this quote about the later development of his art:

I discovered (1971) that if I made a minimal mark on a piece of paper, I irrevocably altered the order of the universe. Any new order would have to include my mark. My action conditioned any new definition of order. Thus, to change the universe wasn't that difficult and anybody could do it. It was more difficult to convince the art market of the fact that the alteration had taken place.

Thank you to the Lehman College Art Gallery for making the full catalogue of their Camnitzer retrospective available online, including articles by and about Camnitzer.

1 comment:

Soo said...