What do the Jardin d’hiver by Dubuffet, the ‘pénétrables’ by Soto, the artificial fogs by Olafur Eliasson or the invasions by branches by Ludwika Ogorzelec have in common? They are all installations, that is hybrid works of art, that request various meanings, that often invite the viewer to be interactive, mixing up the traditional points of reference between what is proper to the world of museums and what is not. The book traces the genesis of a concept tat is proper to the XXth century, that is nourished by pioneer creations just like the first Merzbau (a house-object full of found objects and of fetishes, evolving permanently between 1919 and 1933) by Kurt Schwitters or Duchamp’s Boîte en valise (1938), before the apotheosis of the years 1950-70 in which the names of Beuys, Tinguely, Kienholz, Nam June Paik, Walter de Maria imposed themselves… An interesting case study winds up the panorama: the installations linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, of which Touching the Border by Pinchas Cohen Gan in 1974 is emblematic, which questions the notion of border. We of course regret there is no index in order to orient ourselves in such a luxuriant domaine.
Review published in the newsletter #338 - from 20 March 2014 to 26 March 2014