Created by curator Mathieu Copeland and artist Balthazar Lovay, together with a stellar list of contributors, The Anti-Museum presents the first extensive exploration of the radical and paradoxical concept that is ‘the anti-museum’ – a term so present in Art History and yet that has never been the object of an investigation and definition.
The museum is constantly a target for criticism, whether it comes from artists, thinkers, curators, or even the public. From the avant-gardes of the twentieth century up to present day, the museumʼs suspect position has generated countless gestures, iconoclastic actions, scathing attacks, utopias, and alternative exhibition spaces.
For the first time, this anthology is devoted to the anti-museum, through anti-art, the anti-artist, anti-exhibition, as well as anti-architecture, anti-philosophy, anti-religion, anti-cinema and anti-music. This notion (unpatented but regularly reappropriated) traces the erratic and sometimes paradoxical counter-history of the contestation of artistic institutions.
From the first anti-exhibition to the first catalogue retracing the history of Closed Exhibitions, from Dada to Noise music, from ‘Everything is Art’ to NO!art, the Japanese avant-gardes to Lettrist cinema, and not forgetting such major protest figures as Gustav Metzger, Henry Flynt, Graciela Carnevale, and Lydia Lunch, The Anti-Museum sketches a polyphonic panorama where negation is accompanied by a powerful breath of life.
This encyclopedic tome includes the work of over 80 artists and writers including Marcel Broodthaers, Maurizio Cattelan, Maria Eichhorn, Robert Smithson, Jean Tinguely, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Yvonne Rainer, Guillaume Apollinaire, Kenneth Goldsmith, George Maciunas, and Bob Nickas.