New York

Stephen Prina

American Fine Arts

As Stephen Prina’s newest project, Dom-Hotel, Zimmer 101, Köln, 1994, suggests, analyzing the institutional context of art and artmaking can be fun. Earlier works such as Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Oeuvre of Manet, 1988, and Monochrome Painting, 1988–89, addressed the way in which our insatiable appetite for constructing elaborate architectures of classification inevitably leads to a perverse privileging of the naming/coding system over the objects themselves, thereby reducing cultural artifacts to the status of pitiable signs to be exchanged like commodities.

Like Sherrie Levine, Prina repudiates the notion that the terms of originality have remained constant, particularly in an era in which speaking through the appropriated voice(s) of history is no longer tantamount to original sin, but, rather, understood as a productive use of the anxiety of influence. For example, Prina has

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