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IN CONVERSATION: DAN GRAHAM AND MICHAEL SMITH

IF ONE STORY OF ART DURING THE 1990s was the ever-increasing awareness of its relationship to entertainment—and a corollary interest in social and participatory models of artmaking—then a compelling shadow figure in this narrative is Michael Smith, who joins artist Dan Graham in the second installment of Artforum’s series “In Conversation.”

Based in New York during the 1970s and ’80s, Smith began his career in video and performance alongside the artists of the Pictures generation. Like them, he pursued appropriation, but rather than static media such as magazine photography, his source material was television. In the early video It Starts at Home, 1982, for example, the artist (working in collaboration with Mark Fischer) adopts all the formal hallmarks of situation comedy—the anonymous domestic setting, the instantly recognizable (i.e., barely developed) character types who regularly enter

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