PRINT November 2009


Matthew Ritchie’s The Morning Line

Matthew Ritchie in collaboration with Aranda\Lasch and Arup AGU, The Morning Line, 2008, mixed media. Installation view, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville. Photo: Benjamin Aranda.

AMONG THE PROMINENT DEVELOPMENTS that have marked recent art has been the incursion of “method” into the heart of what has long appeared as an array of miscellaneous, even random art practices. By method, I mean nothing more than an approach in which a certain discipline is sustained over a range of executions, sustained, that is, long enough both to leave a trace of “system” in the deposited production and for that systematic quality to serve as a principal rhetorical feature of the work. In contrast to the more circumscribed and puritanical routines we saw set in motion by the American Minimalists of the 1960s and ’70s, much current work remains rooted in identity production—the inward, capricious, ego-particular idiosyncrasies of slacker-generated and decidedly untestable “theories.” While there remain practices of enormous power at the cool end of this spectrum (the

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