M. Minujin Conceptual Art: Roll Around in Bed under Neon Lights

 

You say you want a revolution

Well, you know

We all want to change the world

You tell me that it’s evolution

Well, you know

We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction

Don’t you know that you can count me out?

 

” Conceptual art, then, is an inquiry by artists that understand that artistic activity is not solely limited to the framing of art propositions, but further the investigation of the function, meaning, and use of any and all (art) propositions, and their consideration within the concept of the general term ‘art’. And as well, that an artist’s dependence on the critic or writer to cultivate the conceptual implications of his art propositions, and argue their explication, is either intellectual irresponsibility or the naivest kind of mysticism”– January 1980 sketch book, Joseph Kosuth

Tony Godfrey, author of Conceptual Art (Art & Ideas) (1998), asserts that conceptual art questions the nature of art, a notion that Joseph Kosuth elevated to a definition of art itself in his seminal, early manifesto of conceptual art, “Art after Philosophy” (1969).

“Work of art is the moment in which the individual lives, not the object Marta Minujin – 1963

 

Marta Minujín (born January 30, 1943 – San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires)

is an Argentine Conceptual artist.

 

 As student in the National University Art Institute, she first exhibited her work in a 1959 show at the Teatro Agón. A scholarship from the National Arts Foundation allowed her to travel to Paris as one of the young Argentine artists featured in Pablo Curatella Manes and Thirty Argentines of the New Generation, a 1960 exhibit organized by the prominent sculptor and Paris Biennale judge

 Her time in Paris inspired her to create “livable sculptures,” notably La Destrucción, in which she assembled mattresses along the Impasse Roussin, only to invite other avant-garde artists in her entourage, including Christo and Paul-Armand Gette, to destroy the display. This 1963 creation would be the first of her “Happenings” – events as works of arts in themselves; among her hosts during her stay was Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (later President of France).

 “Art in a constantly changing society should not be, by any means, a static image” Marta Minujin – 1963

 

 

Minujín at her minuphone, where 581-4570 was the number for one of her best-known happenings.

 She earned a National Award in 1964 at Buenos Aires’ Torcuato di Tella Institute, where she prepared two happenings: Eróticos en technicolor and the interactive Revuélquese y viva (Roll Around in Bed and Live). Her Cabalgata (Cavalcade) aired on Public Television that year, and involved horses with paint buckets tied to their tails. These displays took her to nearby Montevideo, where she organized Sucesos (Events) at the Uruguayan capital’s Tróccoli Stadium with 500 chickens, artists of contrasting physical shape, motorcycles, and other elements

“The ‘value’ of particular artists after Duchamp can be weighed according to how much they questioned the nature of art.” Joseph Kosuth

 She joined Rubén Santantonín at the di Tella Institute in 1965 to create La Menesunda (Mayhem), where participants were asked to go through sixteen chambers, each separated by a human-shaped entry. Led by neon lights, groups of eight visitors would encounter rooms with television sets at full blast, couples making love in bed, a cosmetics counter (complete with an attendant), a dental office from which dialing an oversized rotary phone was required to leave, a walk-in freezer with dangling fabrics (suggesting sides of beef), and a mirrored room with black lighting, falling confetti, and the scent of frying food. The use of advertising throughout suggested the influence of pop art in Minujín’s “mayhem.”

 

 You know life can be long

And you got to be so strong

And the world is so tough

Sometimes I feel I’ve had enough

 

Marta Minujín. La Torre de pan de James Joyce, Dublin, 1980

 

“Popular.., Pop Art that everyone can understand, happy art, fun art, comic artMarta Minujin – 1963


 Let’s  Roll Around

 

 

 

 

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