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The Synthetic PropositionConceptualism and the Political Referent in Contemporary Art$
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Nizan Shaked

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992750

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992750.001.0001

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Adrian Piper: the body after conceptualism

Adrian Piper: the body after conceptualism

(p.60) 2 Adrian Piper: the body after conceptualism
The Synthetic Proposition

Nizan Shaked

Manchester University Press

This chapter takes a close look at Adrian Piper’s transition from Conceptual Art to conceptualism, in the context of Conceptual Art’s canonical interpretations. I observe that her contribution was focused specifically on questions of mediation—the mediation of content by materials, forms, and language—later considering the mediating power of race, gender and other forms of apparent difference. From the application of analytic thinking to the work of art, she extended her enquiries to the dynamic relationship between the various elements of the artwork, such as object, author, body, self, circulation, and audience reception. Piper’s use of the autobiographical tone and the body arrived chronologically after an extended period of preoccupation with the context of the art object, its circulation and reception, and general inquiries into the nature of time and space through a focus on media and mediation. In accordance with this sequence of development, I propose to read her later work in the same way, always first as Conceptual, onto which we can then apply the political question. To enter the work through its analytic base is to read it on the terms of its making, not the subject position of its maker.

Keywords:   Contemporary Art, Conceptual Art, Conceptualism, Identity Politics, Analytic Proposition, Synthetic Proposition, Adrian Piper

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