April 29, 2013 - Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) - Radically Uncompleted, Radically Inconclusive
April 29, 2013

Radically Uncompleted, Radically Inconclusive

Art & Language, Shouting Men, 1974. Col·lecció MACBA. Consorci MACBA. Dipòsit Philippe Méaille

Radically Uncompleted, Radically Inconclusive. Introducing the Philippe Méaille Collection of Art & Language works

Friday 17–Saturday 18 May 2013

MACBA Auditorium

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona


The MACBA has organised this seminar so as to introduce its holdings of documents from the Philippe Méaille Collection of Art & Language, an important art collective that was founded in the United Kingdom in 1968 and played a crucial role in the birth of Conceptual Art. The seminar launches a critical inquiry into a particularly significant aspect of the collection—what is usually called ‘an early Conceptual Art practice’ and its subsequent mythologization. During this two-day seminar, the legacy of Art & Language—often regarded as radically uncompleted and radically inconclusive—will be the object of discussion and evaluation by artists and critics, including Matthew Jesse Jackson (Associate Professor of Art History, University of Chicago), The Jackson Pollock Bar (performance group), Elena Crippa (curator and researcher), Manuel Asensi (Professor, Philology Department, University of Valencia), Mel Ramsden and Michael Baldwin (members of Art & Language), and Carles Guerra (Chief Curator, MACBA).

The Philippe Méaille Collection of Art & Language works includes the most variegated categories of art: written notes, typescripts, documents, essays, photostats, periodicals, publications of all sorts, books, drawings and paintings, and also the fragments of an ongoing conversation. The sheer heterogeneity of this production is an essential characteristic of the history of Art & Language, quite often mistaken as a history of Conceptual Art that went awry. The theory, art objects and the narrative that embraces them suggests that the practice of Art & Language is somehow self-sufficient—indeed, separate and distinct from Conceptual Art. Now all these materials must find their way through the museum.

The seminar is the first in a series of public events organised by MACBA, which will culminate in an exhibition to be held in October 2014.

Detailed programme available at www.macba.cat
Online bookings from 24 April
MACBA Auditorium. Limited places
Simultaneous translation

*A reading group based around Art & Language will meet each Wednesday from 22 May to 12 June. Online bookings at www.macba.cat from 29 April. Limited places.

Art & Language
The name Art & Language was first adopted in 1968, to refer to a collaborative practice developed by Michael Baldwin and Terry Atkinson, in association with David Bainbridge and Harold Hurrell. Over the next several years it stood for a growing and changing group linked to the journal Art-Language, first published in May 1969, and subsequently with a second journal The Fox, which was published in New York in 1975–6. Joseph Kosuth was appointed American editor of Art-Language in 1969. In 1970, Mel Ramsden and Ian Burn merged their separate collaboration with Art & Language. By the mid-seventies some twenty people were associated with the name, divided between England and New York. From 1976, however, the Art & Language project was taken solely into the hands of Baldwin and Ramsden, with the theoretical and critical collaboration of Charles Harrison, who died in 2009.


Friday 17May
4:30pm Carles Guerra
“Somewhere to Start Over. The Philippe Méaille Collection of Art & Language Works”

5:30pm Matthew Jesse Jackson
“If You Were Art & Language, Then You’d Be A Fucking Decent Contemporary Artist”

6:30pm Questions and discussion

7pm Break

7:30pm The Jackson Pollock Bar
“Confession: Art & Language Interviewed by Carles Guerra”

Saturday 18 May
10:30am Introduction by Carles Guerra

11am Manuel Asensi
“The Sabotage of Critique, or Why Art Became Conceptual”

12pm Elena Crippa
“Art & Language: The Coventry Forum: Teaching and Practicing as Forms of Conversation”

1pm Questions and discussion

1:30pm Lunch

4:30pm Jef Cornelis
Documenta 5, 1972. Projection, 53:19 minutes.

6pm Break

6:30pm Art & Language
“Letters to the Jackson Pollock Bar in the Style of The Red Krayola”

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Share - Radically Uncompleted, Radically Inconclusive
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York