CURA.

SETH SIEGELAUB: BEYOND CONCEPTUAL ART

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Seth Siegelaub: Beyond Conceptual Art, on view at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam until April 17, is an exhibition devoted to the life and work of American gallerist, independent curator, publisher, researcher, archivist, collector and bibliographer (New York, 1941-Basel, 2013). Best known for his decisive role in the emergence and establishment of Conceptual Art in the late 1960s Siegelaub, through revolutionary projects such as January 5–31, 1969, the Xerox Book and July, August, September 1969, set the blueprint for the presentation and dissemination of conceptual practices. In the process, he redefined the exhibition space, which could now be a book, a poster, an announcement – or reality at large, in keeping with his statement that “my gallery is the world now”. Turning his back on the art scene, Siegelaub settled in Paris, where he cultivated an interest in mass media from a leftwing perspective. In line with the political mood of the times, he eventually redirected his publishing activities to scholarly research and critical essays on communication. At the same time he pursued a lesser-known occupation as a collector of hand-woven textiles and bibliographer of books on the social history of textiles, activity which culminated in his authoritative Bibliographica Textilia Historiæ: Towards a General Bibliography on the History of Textiles Based on the Library and Archives of the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles (1997). Occupying the lower floor of the museum’s new wing, the exhibition – curated by Leontine Coelewij and Sara Martinetti – unfolds as several chapters exploring the various facets of Siegelaub’s work. The survey also reflects on current practices through contributions by contemporary artists; Mario Garcia Torres and writer Alan Page, as instance, have co-created for the show the video work The Causality of Hesitance (2015), in which they establish a relationship between Siegelaub’s research on time and causality, and the interest of artists in the 1960s for this subject.

Seth Siegelaub: Beyond Conceptual Art
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Through April 17

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Seth Siegelaub, organiser and publisher of the exhibition, "January 5-31, 1969" 1969. New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Gelatin silver print, 8 1/16 x 10" (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Seth Siegelaub Papers. Gift of Seth Siegelaub and the Stichting Egress Foundation, Amsterdam, I.A.120. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York (copyright unknown). Cat.no.: MA2178).© 2015. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence 
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Joseph Kosuth (left) and Seth Siegelaub; "entitled (Art as Idea as Idea) The Word 'Definition,'" 1966-1968, by Joseph Kosuth installed above sofa, c. 1960s-1970s. New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Photograph, resin-coated print 5 x 7" (12.7 x 17.7 cm). Seth Siegelaub Papers. Gift of Seth Siegelaub and the Stichting Egress Foundation, Amsterdam, I.A.119. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York (copyright unknown). Cat.no.: MA2177).© 2015. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence 
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Lawrence Weiner, Gloss white lacquer, sprayed for 2 minutes at 40lb pressure directly, 1968. Coll. Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2015. Digital image, Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence 
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Armand Mattelart and Ariel Dorfman, How to Read Donald Duck, Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic, second edition, New York, International General, 1979 
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“Ashetu” Prestige ceremonial knitted head piece with porcupine quills, shells, tassels – Cameroon (Western Grassfield, Bamiléké peoples), mid-20th Century, coll. Stichting Egress Foundation 
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