Installation Art

Understanding Installation Art

Q What is installation art?

A Installation art is often created specifically for one location, has three-dimensional components, and is intended to transform perceptions of the space in which it is located.

Q How is the installation experience different from the traditional art museum experience?

A The visitor cannot view the same work at a later time in a different location. Once the installation is taken down, it will never again be re-constructed in exactly the same way. Why? Because installations are site specific; that is, they are conceived and created for a specific exhibition space. Another exhibition space would require the artist to re-think the materials, configuration, and even the message of the installation.  They are often interactive, engaging the viewer as part of the work. Also, unlike more traditional art displays, many installations undergo changes that alter their future installations.

Q Do artists know exactly what their installations are going to look like before they arrive at the exhibition site?

A They usually have a general idea, but often the pieces evolve as the artist begins to work within the actual exhibition space. Often, the nature of the space itself will prompt changes and revisions in the artist’s original conception.

Q Where do artists obtain their materials?

A Contemporary installation artists frequently use every-day, ordinary objects as the basis of their works – things such as string, soda bottles, balloons, to-go containers, etc. If the artists do not already possess the objects, they often purchase them or find them in nature.

Q Do installation artists assemble their work by themselves, or do they have assistance?

A Installations are sometimes so multifaceted and complex, they require a fabrication team to assist the artist.

Q What happens to the installation art after the exhibition is over?

A Unlike traditional works of art, installations are disassembled when their time is done. Some of the materials are thrown away. Others are recycled. Yet other materials are re-used in future installations. Some museums have purchased them for permanent display.
IB 11 Assignment to download: Installation Art                                            Modernism & Post Modernism, Installation & Performance Art: installationandperf2012ModPM
PDF on selected installations, historical precedents: InstallationArt-s

Artists to see- you can add to this list

  1. Jenny Holzer,
  2. Kara Walker –
  3. Sarah Sze will represent USA in Venice Biennale 2013 – Small ordinary objects/materials in quantity, papers, tape, string, trash, books, anything!
  4. Ann Hamilton, Indigo Blue (and others) –
  5. Mark Dion –
  6. Karla Black – Turner Prize shortlist – the paper, plastic, powder and soap installation
  7. Marcel Duchamp (Readymades – Fountain)- The Godfather of all conceptual art, precursor of Postmodernism, ahead of his time.
  8. Cornelia Parker (30 pieces of silver)
  9. Christian Boltanski (photograph’s + lightbulbs)
  10. Rachel Whiteread (inside cast of house)
  11. Tara Donovan (everyday objects)
  12. Andy Goldsworthy – found in nature – See the documentary on Resource – Rivers & Tides
  13. Annette Messager – found and manipulated objects
  14. Mona Hatoum – socio-political issues
  15. Alfredo Jaar –
  16. Richard Long –
  17. Andrea Zittel – architectural spaces
  18. Tony Oursler – psychological
  19. Ai Wei Wei – social commentary
  20. Yayoi Kusama – the dot lady
  21. Judy Pfaff – room installations
  22. Nam June Paik – video installations
  23. Do Ho Suh – the diaspora

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