Fleeting "Structure of Feeling:" Group Material's Underground Public, 1983

Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 7:00pm
CFA Hall


Lecture by Claire Grace, Assistant Professor of Art History
For the month of September 1983, New York-based artist collaborative Group Material leased 1,400 overhead advertising spaces in subway cars across the numbered train lines connecting Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Here they presented a site-specific, disseminated exhibition of handmade posters by over one hundred artists. The project intervened at the crosshairs of artistic debates and historical conditions fundamental to the period: polarizing transformations in painting and public art, poststructural critiques of the subject, and the consolidation of neoliberal urban economics, including a comprehensive graffiti eradication program. With an eye to 1960s conceptual art, the project’s trajectory through this particular set of coordinates arrived at the central question of the exhibition form: under what conditions can exhibitions serve as spaces of the public or counterpublic sphere?

Sponsored by the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.