Sunday, 17 May 2009

Mel Bochner

Mel Bochner is another great conceptual artist whose perceptual conveyances of critical, philosophical theory inspire me greatly. 

"Mel Bochner is considered a pioneer of the Post-Minimal and Conceptual art movements. He began making prints in the early 70's and printmaking has remained for him an essential medium for experimentation.

"Thought about systems, procedures, language -- about how we are able to know anything...cognitive strategies -- counting, measuring, stacking, or ordering" "He gradually moves on to equally basic investigations of the language of relationships: prepositions, verbs, and simple logical propositions. The questions he deals with in his conceptual works, like the materials he uses, are familiar to everyone - fundamental givens in our culture. But their surface simplicity masks a serious questioning of all systems of representation, both visual and verbal." 

(Two Palms Press)

"Language is Not Transparent (1970), a text written out in chalk on a painted section of wall, and Bochner’s prepositional sculpture works from the same year are ambitious attempts to give visual form to Wittgensteinian logic. The difficulty with much of these works runs parallel to that of Wittgenstein’s statement that ‘It is difficult to know something and to act as if you did not know it.’ 

Bochner regularly asks the viewer to act as if they didn’t understand his logistic inquiries into objective truths. Much of his work comes across as pretentious and impenetrable when it is often obvious and simple."

Michelle Grabner

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