2006 Residency : Stephen Wright

Art practices with impaired coefficients of artistic visibility

Invited as researcher-in-residence at Artexte Information Centre, Stephen Wright’s writing and research focuses on art practices with low coefficients of artistic visibility, raising the possibility of a new status for art – in the absence of artworks, authorship or spectatorship. Envisaging art in terms of competence rather than performance, process rather than outcome, poses a distinct challenge for the artworld because in losing its visibility as such, art has only its history to fall back on. For practices whose self-understanding stems from the visual arts tradition, not to mention for the normative institutions that govern it, the problem cannot be merely wished away for if it is not visible, art eludes all control, all prescription, in short, all “policing”. If ever more artists seem prepared to deliberately impair their work’s coefficient of artistic visibility, is it not in order to give teeth to the sort of consensus-busting power to which art often lays claim?

Stephen Wright is an art critic and programme director at the Collège international de philosophie (Paris). He is currently curating “Rumour as Media” (Aksanat, Istanbul), following “In Absentia” (Passerelle, Brest) and “The Future of the Reciprocal Readymade” (Apexart, NYC), as part of a series of exhibitions examining art practices with low coefficients of artistic visibility, which raise the prospect of art without artworks, authorship or spectatorship.