Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

The emergent ‘artistic object’ in the post-conceptual condition

Where in the model of contemporary art, which can be described as a hybrid and joint undertaking between artists, institutions, curators, theory and discursivity, is the actual 'object' of art located and generated? Where and by whom and in what configuration of positions is it produced? Who or what (if any) can be considered the author?


In his research project Jack Segbars investigates the question of where the ‘object’ of art finds itself. Segbars researches the fabric of the art object’s configuration in the contemporary art field through his own artistic practice, as well as through theoretical means.

The production of art not only depends on artists. It’s meaning is generated in a process of selection and integration
into the formal platforms on which it is made public: the museum, the cultural canon and the extended infrastructure of art that produces the artistic discourse and reception.
This process of making public is a joint and reciprocal undertaking between the different positions at play in the
production of art: of the artist, the curator, of theoretical discourse and the institution. In this, it is unclear to determine the moment or place where or by whom the 'object' of art is constituted.
The core idea of the project is to research the fabric of this configuration, from the position of the artist. It addresses
the role that the separate elements may play and the question how they interact in regard to their respective ideas of function. The research especially addresses the effects of what is called the Post-Conceptual condition, in which the dominance of the conceptual as qualitative frame of evaluation and as institutional medium, governs artistic mediation (Peter Osborne). And from the perspective of the artist: what is the role of the artist in the set-up of production of meaning through art in a thoroughly technocratic society? A special focus will be on the intrinsic relations between artist, curator
and institution in the process of artistic production.

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