Dec 10 | David Joselit | Untranslatable: Conceptual Art since the 90s

Rachel Harrison Sculpture with Boots, 2017 Wood, polystyrene, chicken wire, cardboard, burlap, cement, acrylic, steel, and framed pigmented inkjet print 93 x 60 x 46 inches (236.2 x 152.4 x 116.8 cm) Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

Monday, December 10, 2018
6pm – 7:30pm
ACT Cube

David Joselit, Untranslatable: Conceptual Art since the ’90s

It is often assumed that Conceptual Art pivots on bureaucratic means of communication such as text and documentary photography, and that it performs a dematerialization of traditional media such as painting and sculpture.  In this lecture, I will argue that since the ’90s, artists have focused more on Conceptual Art’s legacy of remediation, rather than its capacity to de-materialize, making it possible to develop Conceptual practices pivoting on such media as painting (as in the work of R.H. Quaytman), sculpture (exemplified by Rachel Harrison), and performance (in the oeuvre of Andrea Fraser).

David Joselit is Distinguished Professor in the Art History PhD Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He has taught at the University of California, Irvine, and Yale University where he was Department Chair from 2006-09.  Joselit is author of Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910-1941 (MIT, 1998), American Art Since 1945 (Thames and Hudson, 2003), Feedback: Television Against Democracy (MIT, 2007), and After Art (Princeton University Press, 2012). He co-organized the exhibition, “Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age,” which opened at the Brandhorst Museum in Munich in 2015. He is an editor of the journal OCTOBER and writes regularly on contemporary art and culture.   His current book project is titled:  “Heritage and Debt: Art in Globalization.”

Caroline A. Jones, Professor in the History, Theory, and Criticism section, Department of Architecture, MIT.  She studies modern and contemporary art, focusing on its technological modes of production, distribution, and reception, and on its interface with science.

Part of the Fall 2018 Lecture Series: Vibrant Signs and Indeterminant Matter(s)


This lecture is made possible with the generous support of The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) 


  • act cube
    Wiesner Building
    20 Ames Street
    Cambridge, MA 02142


  • date Dec 10 2018
  • time 6:00pm - 7:30pm
  • cost
    Free and Open to the Public