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Art and Objecthood

  • Date Submitted: 03/31/2010 05:23 AM
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William Clift   Contemporary Arts 1

Week 4 Critique “Art and Objecthood” Michael Fried

Objecthood in minimal or “Literalist” art is achieved in various ways, The shape and form are one, they are singularly the object as Fried says on page 119 “The shape is the object”. The object cannot contain any allusions. It is viewed as a whole, a singularity without relating parts. ” when you start relating parts , in the first place, you’re assuming you have a vague whole-the rectangle of the canvas-and definite parts, which is all screwed up, because you should have a definite whole and maybe no parts or very few.”[1]. There are no two things within the object relating to each other, instead the object relates to the space it occupies. There is no subject within the work. Instead the subject is the beholder and his experience of sharing a space with the object and existing in its presence. On page 125 Fried says “the experience of literalist art is of an object in a situation –one that, virtually by definition ,includes the beholder” It “takes relationships out of the work and makes them a function of space, light , and the viewer’s field of vision”. The object has a presence demanding that the viewer take notice, and be aware not only of the object, but also of the situation he occupies with the object. It demands the viewer become subject. But as Fried says on page 127 “the object, not the beholder must remain the centre or focus of the situation; but the situation itself belongs to the beholder”
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[1] Donald Judd “Questions to Stella and Judd” Art News Vol LXV, No 5 September 1966 Edited by Lucy R Lippard

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