L'arte è una parola
Vincenzo Agnetti, Art & Language, Robert Barry, Gianfranco Baruchello, Mel Bochner, Alighiero Boetti, Sophie Calle, Giuseppe Chiari, Philip Corner, Hanne Darboven, Robert Filliou, Pierluigi Fresia, Joseph Kosuth, Hans Haacke, Jenny Holzer, Emilio Isgrò, Ketty La Rocca, Mario Merz, Maurizio Nannucci, Bruce Nauman, Giulio Paolini, Gianni Pettena, Ed Ruscha, Salvo, Paolo Scheggi, Ben Vautier, Bernar Venet
ANDREA ALIBRANDI, MAURO PANZERA, ENRICO PEDRINI
12 December 2009 - 26 March 2010
Galleria Il Ponte presents a small exhibition investigating the use of words as a significant factor in art. Works from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s are displayed side by side, made by artists who reflected on the visual and expressive power of language as a new medium of artwork.
“[…] a particular work of art is art, which means that it is a definition of art”. Thus in Art after Philosophy (1969) Joseph Kosuth underlines the need to consider art above all a language: it is made up of signifiers that transmit meanings or ideas that can be understood by all those who share the same linguistic code as the artist.
Indeed, in the second half of the 1960s, the objective of art began to shift from the shape of language to its contents, from a problem of morphology to function, from shape to concept. Hence the term “conceptual art” denoting the movement that has touched on this subject more than any other.
While words were already being used in the collages of Cubists and Futurists, and by the Dadaists, in Magritte and in Duchamp, it was only in the 1960s, with the movement of conceptual art itself, that there began to be reflection on the actual structure of language. Therefore, art as a language also started to make a visual analysis of the problems that have always been connected with its use: from the word games and combinations investigated by Boetti, to the differences between iconic and linguistic signs present in Kosuth, from the evocative and visual power of cancelled words re-revealed by Isgrò, to enunciations used as a means to upset and deconstruct the parameters of language by Vincenzo Agnetti.
The aim of the exhibition is to provide a brief excursus into a trend that is still ongoing today. While at first sight this movement seems to shift the attention from art to language, in truth all its reflection is concentrated on the statute of art. Its claim is that art only exists for itself, or rather, that art is a definition of art, “art is a word” (quotation taken from the work by Ben Vautier, l’arte è una parola, 2007).