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“On Being an Exhibition”

Artists Space Exhibitions

“On Being an Exhibition” took artist Michael Asher’s formulation of situational aesthetics as its point of departure. In focusing on the contribution made by contextual circumstances to the meaning of an artwork, Asher helped to establish institutional critique as a recognized artistic and curatorial strategy. “On Being an Exhibition,” which included work by artists including Laurel Woodcock, BGL, Isola and Norzi Conrad Bakker, and Valerie Hegarty, featured a number of objects that pointed to the gallery itself as ultimate referent but was arguably an oversimplification or dilution of Asher’s ideas, given that his original ambition was to dismantle the entire complex infrastructure of reception. The show positioned objects as props in a narrative about a show rather than as pointers toward an examination of exhibition practices themselves. Unfortunately, it also failed even to pay sufficient

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