Still image of Rethinking Spectacle - 7 parts

A collection of video recordings from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle

Rethinking Spectacle – Part 1: Welcome and Introduction

Video recordings from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle and this part features welcome from Marko Daniel and introduction from Claire Bishop and Mark Godfrey

Rethinking Spectacle – Part 2: Frances Morris on The Unilever Series

A video recording from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle and part 2 features Frances Morris on The Unilever Series

Frances Morris presents a personal account of the Unilever Series, an annual art commission for the Turbine Hall sponsored by Unilever.

Frances Morris is Head of Collections (International Art) at Tate. Formerly Head of Displays at Tate Modern, she curated the first major re-hang of the collection in 2006 as well as overseeing the opening display in 2000. She is currently working on a major retrospective of Louise Bourgeois for October 2007.

Rethinking Spectacle – Part 3: Ina Blom: Rethinking the Spectacle

A video recording from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle and part 3 features Ina Blom

This paper discusses changes in relation to spectacle that can be traced in artistic practices of the last 10-15 years. Where situationist and conceptualist art practices instigated critiques of, or interventions in, the big institutions of spectacular culture (from hegemonic media to the museum), a number of recent works seem to take a different approach. In these works, the spectacle appears less as a theatrical presentation that may be viewed from the outside than as an increasingly intimate disciplining function that produces new types of subjectivities, and that has to be traced through new artistic methods.

Ina Blom is Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo. A former music critic, she has also worked extensively as an art critic and curator. Recent publications include ‘Avant-garde Art and Populist Imagination’, in The Populism Reader (Sternberg, 2005) and ‘Visual/Televisual’, in The Expanded Eye (Hatje Cantz, 2006). Her forthcoming book On the Style Site: Art, Sociality and Video Culture will be published by Sternberg this year.

Rethinking Spectacle – Part 4: Mark Godfrey: The Spectacularisation of Contemporary Art

A video recording from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle and part 4 is Mark Godfrey: The Spectacularisation of Contemporary Art

Mark Godfrey looks at three artistic positions in response to ‘the spectacularisation of contemporary art’. First, he examines artists who describe and critique this condition concentrating on Christopher Williams. Then, he will look at Pierre Huyghe’s work to see how an artist might deploy spectacular forms to combat the workings of the spectacle. Finally, turning to Fischli and Weiss, he will consider what one might make of their often luscious work in the light of these debates.

Mark Godfrey is Lecturer in Art History at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. He writes for Artforum, Frieze and October, and is currently organising an exhibition of new work by Matthew Buckingham for Camden Arts Centre. His book Abstraction and the Holocaust will be published this year by Yale.

Rethinking Spectacle – Part 5: Claire Bishop: Spectacle and Participation

A video recording from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle and part 5 features Claire Bishop

Marxist critiques of spectacle present it as a force of fragmentation, pacification and stasis, in response to which the artistic solution has tended to be a call for participation (seen as active, collective and dynamic). This binary, in which spectacle is posited as irremediably negative, is a legacy of the FrankfurtSchool – but are alternative positions available? Claire Bishop discusses the recent collapse of this dialectical opposition and its implications for contemporary art.

Claire Bishop is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Warwick. She is the author of Installation Art (Tate, 2005), editor of Participation (Whitechapel/MIT, 2006), and a regular contributor to Artforum.

Rethinking Spectacle – Part 6: Andrea Fraser: Spectacle and Museums

A video recording from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle and part 6 features Andrea Fraser

Andrea Fraser traces the development of the museum as spectacle through the presentation of three works. A Visit to the Sistine Chapel (2007) looks at the museum as the inheritor of pre-modern spectacles of power performed by the church and crown. Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk (1989) considers the transformation of spectacle in the late 19th century art museum from an aesthetics of awe to an institution of disinterest as a social discipline. Finally, Little Frank and His Carp (2001), examines the desublimation of spectacle in contemporary art museums.

Andrea Fraser is an artist and Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Art at University of California Los Angeles. Her work has been identified with performance, video, context art and institutional critique.

Rethinking Spectacle – Part 7: Panel discussion chaired by Sven Lütticken

A video recording from the Tate Modern conference Rethinking Spectacle and this part is a panel discussion chaired by Sven Lütticken

This symposium addresses recent claims that contemporary art is ‘spectacularised’ and increasingly inseparable from the marketing of large-scale museums. But what do we really mean by ‘spectacle’ today? And how useful are Guy Debord’s ideas (Society of the Spectacle, 1967) for analysing new conditions of the display of contemporary art? Are The Unilever Series commissions such as Carsten Höller’s Test Site really comparable to other forms of mass entertainment?