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Joseph Kosuth

  • Date recorded: 5 Oct 2017

  • Duration: 01:39:31

'I think art should oblige people to be engaged to think not only about what that artwork says but also about the thinking behind that message, the reasons why one would present a particular text.'

– Joseph Kosuth

About this video

Watch this video to gain insights into the mind, philosophy, theory and practice of the internationally renowned conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth.

A leading pioneer of the 1960s conceptual art movement, Joseph Kosuth takes us on a discursive journey through the 50-plus years of his career, from temporary installations to permanent exhibitions across the globe.

He discusses his use of readymade text, central to his work and often presented in neon, and reveals his sources of inspiration, from Freud to Darwin, Wittgenstein to Dickens, Beckett to Nietzsche.

For Kosuth, 'art is the constructing of meaning made visible'. His textual tautologies explore the essence of meaning, both how it is created and perceived, by questioning the nature of art and culture.

Another important theme in his discussion is the nature of creating site-specific public artworks, where context becomes content, be it architectural, social or psychological, bound by the site's historical terrain and viewed as a part of the whole urban experience.

This talk was presented at the State Library on 5 October 2017, in partnership with Anna Schwartz Gallery and the Melbourne Festival.

About Joseph Kosuth

Joseph Kosuth is a leading pioneer of the 1960s conceptual art movement that altered the trajectory of modern art. Freeing the form of art from its reliance on the purely visual, his introduction of language into site-specific installations opened up new channels through which to explore the relationship between ideas and their physical expression, with the result of augmenting our understanding of how meaning is constructed.