the medium and the tedium


AS AN ARTIST, I HAVE NEVER had an allegiance to any specific medium. In the 1960s, so-called medium-specific art prescribed the limits of what was permissible to express. This was the “repressive face of modernism.” My desire was to find a way to expand the range of philosophical, psychological, political, and visual ideas that my work could engage. New ideas evolved into new mediums. But these new mediums did not arise as mere acts of will. First, they were always contextual, based in actual situations and immediate needs. Second, they were oppositional, intended as an attack on the dominant aesthetic and critical hierarchy. For me, the medium was never transparent, never something to be seen through, never a neutral delivery system. No matter how reduced the means, they always remained something material, something to be taken apart and put back together, something to be confronted.

more from Mel Bochner at Triple Canopy here.