Talk “Understanding Site-Specific Art” at the Philosophy of Art Conference, Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia

I am participating into the Philosophy of Art Conference in Dubrovnik (more info here),  giving a talk on site-specific art on April 9th 2019.

Here’s a provisional abstract:

Scholars call ‘site-specific’ a wide variety of artworks: for instance, Carl Andre’s metal plates installations, Andrea Fraser’s gallery talks, works of community art, and also works such as Michelangelo’s Last Judgement fresco in the Sistine Chapel and Pietà Vaticana. As a result, we get a quite confused picture of what it means for a work to be site-specific. This paper develops a strategy for looking deeper into site-specific art, filling a void in the literature. In the first section, assuming that ‘site-specific art’ designates an art genre, I make some preliminary remarks on what conception of art genres guides my investigation of site-specific art. In the second section, I identify some key features usually possessed by site-specific works: (1) being sited; (2) being such that their artistic content emerges from the artist’s manipulation of the site, among other things; (3) being site-concerned. In the third section, I make some remarks on the historical span of site-specific art. In the fourth section, I illustrate the peculiarity of site-specific works of installation art.

Robert Smithson, Broken Circle (1971)



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