Retrospective exhibition: 1989
Since Duchamp the metamorphosis of the object has been one of the main themes of modern art. After Dadaism and Surrealism, Constructivism and Bauhaus, or Pop Art and New Realism, a time seems to have dawned in which the object is central to art. But is it not inevitable? The ideal 'object of art' has never been on such strained relations with a completely materialistic, utilitarian environment. Never before has the 'pièce unique' been so dramatically opposed to a world which is dominated by by standardisation, mass production and mass consumption. And the world of art itself is today after a period of introspection and thinking in terms of 'art for art's sake' showing more than ever before the inclination to integrate itself socially as a 'useful' economic system, with characteristics such as marketing, 'mediatisation' and distribution systems.
The work that Allan McCollum has been developing for years is thus acquiring an extraordinary topicality; yet, to date, it has only been shown fragmentarily or under the distorting denominator of larger group presentations. That is why this moment seems to have come to raise the matter of his work's importance in a more extensive and thorough fashion: by including the Plaster Surrogates, the Perfect Vehicles, the Perpetual Photos and the Individual Works in a single exhibition the opportunity is being offered to consider and penetrate that work in all it's versatility and complexity.
director, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
assistant director, Serpentine Gallery, London
Carmen Alborch Bataller,
director IVAM, Centre del Carme,
Texts by Anne Rorimer, Lynne Cooke,
and Selma Klein Essink. 64 pages.
Published by Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum