Symposium and 25th anniversary publication

Symposium and 25th anniversary publication

Generali Foundation

Left: Publication on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Generali Foundation. Foto: Dario Punales. Right: Joachim Koester, Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes (still), 2011. Film. © Joachim Koester.

December 4, 2013

A Book about Collecting and Exhibiting Conceptual Art after Conceptual Art
Publication on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Generali Foundation 

“Conceptual art is a bunk… It’s a felt, it’s feeling, it’s felt” (Robert Smithson)
Symposium on occasion of the 3rd anniversary exhibition in 2013, Against Method
December 12, 2013, 5–8pm 

Generali Foundation
Wiedner Hauptstrasse 15
1040 Vienna, Austria
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday and public holidays 11am–6pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm

T +43 1 504 98 80
foundation [​at​]

A Book about Collecting and Exhibiting Conceptual Art after Conceptual Art
Eds. Sabine Folie, Georgia Holz, Ilse Lafer
With texts by Sabeth Buchmann, Juli Carson, Guillaume Désanges, Helmut Draxler, Sabine Folie, Christian Höller, Eve Meltzer, Gertrud Sandqvist, Luke Skrebowski, Ian Wallace, Camiel van Winkel, and a conversation between Hal Foster and Helmut Draxler
German/English, 530 pages, 430 color- and b&w-illustrations, hardcover
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne


“Conceptual art is a bunk… It’s a felt, it’s feeling, it’s felt” (Robert Smithson)

The symposium takes up themes and motifs in Gertrud Sandqvist’s exhibition Against Method—the curator chose the title as a reference to Paul Feyerabend’s widely read book Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge (1975), in which he turns against the rationalist methodology of a theory of science aiming for universal validity and casts doubt on the scientific ambition to attain knowledge through the application of exact and systematic methods. He instead proposes “irrational means” as the basis for experimental research. Scientists, he argues, should adapt approaches from the arts. Feyerabend’s critique came during the heyday of conceptual art, when artists, for their part, sought to integrate structuralism and scientific methodology into their work. The various contributions to the symposium address the interrelations between structuralism and conceptual art and elaborate on the question: to which extent did the appropriation of structuralist theories bring conceptual art to the limits of its attempts at rationalization? Eve Meltzer’s lecture investigates the reintegration of the human subject into conceptual works and examines how affect and system condition and complement each other. The artist Joachim Koester, meanwhile, explores the analysis of the non-rational in Sol LeWitt’s writings and minimalist objects. Elisabeth von Samsonow and the artist Ida-Marie Corell collaborate to stage a performance-lecture, a critical dialogue on the question of method and the production of knowledge.

“Systems We Have Loved”: Lecture by Eve Meltzer, art historian

“Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists”: Lecture by Joachim Koester, artist

“Hybrid Knowledge”: Lecture-performance by Elisabeth von Samsonow, philosopher, and Ida-Marie Corell, artist 

Round-table discussion with all panelists
Moderator: Gertrud Sandqvist, curator

Preview: 2014 program

Were I made of matter, I would color. Retrospective Ulrike Grossarth
January 24–June 29, 2014

Textiles: Open Letter 
September 19, 2014–February 1, 2015


Generali Foundation: symposium and 25th anniversary publication
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December 4, 2013

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