Today I have been engrossed in an article by Doug Ashford called ‘Group Material: Abstraction as the onset of the real’. The article is an adaption of a paper given in Barcelona, and discusses Ashford’s own and Group Material’s (the collective of artists he worked within) work. To quickly explain Group Material, it is a social and at times political collective of artists who were working together exploring the exhibiting context, and the role art played in relation to society, politics and the everyday. Through this Group Material explored alternate ways to form a basis for discussion and dialogue.
Ashford explains that the effort or purpose of Group Material ‘ was to directly engage with the critique of institutions through remaking the presentational context of existing art: a question about the genealogies of values that art creates when exhibited and promoted, a question of the curatorial and what it could create. But it was a question that came from art and artistic problems – from the formal, symbolic and vibrant rethinking of visual language. In other words, when we asked what could change if the exhibiting context for art was transformed into a forum of displacement and dialogue – we were demanding that art’s rediscovery of the self through strangeness and juxtaposition be applied to an entire room, a complete relation, a set of habits and traditions’.
It’s a great Article. HERE is the link.