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Volatility, liquidity and malleability: Replicating the art of the 1960s

Bery, BR; (2016) Volatility, liquidity and malleability: Replicating the art of the 1960s. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Reviewing Robert Morris’ 9 at Leo Castelli exhibition of December 1968, Max Kozloff used the terms volatility, liquidity and malleability. These physical characteristics suggest the precarious nature of the objects exhibited and are deployed throughout this thesis to explore the material, theoretical and ethical implications of sculpture replication in the twentieth century. A methodological approach that bridges art history and conservation-based perspectives will allow many of the current concerns surrounding replication to be expanded upon. The 1960s is seen as a key moment for the types of art objects being produced but also reproduced and a shift in practices and attitudes is traced. Issues of authenticity, materiality, authorship, historical narrative, conceptual intention and the various meanings ascribed to the term replica are considered. The purpose and status of the original or replica is scrutinised in the context of a history of replication. As a museum and artistic strategy, there are various motives for creating replicas. Here, a series of carefully selected historical case studies are used as test cases to draw attention to the acute problems posed when works are made from ephemeral or vulnerable materials, works that have to be performed, works that perform a process or behave naturally and works within a replicated exhibition enterprise. Concentrating on artworks produced in America and Europe, the thesis recasts artists and their works to highlight the precariousness of materials and meanings, documentation and actions, performativity and duration. A work’s inherent vice is seen in terms of what will be termed its ‘ephe-materiality’ and its replica as a re-action in the continuous present. The relationship of surface to support, materials that act out or perform their own instability, provides a platform from which to readdress the idea of a single, finished work and its exhibitable life and afterlife within a museum today.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Volatility, liquidity and malleability: Replicating the art of the 1960s
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
Keywords: Replica, Replication, 1960s, technical art history, sculpture conservation, Richard Hamilton, Richard Serra, Barry Flanagan, Gilberto Zorio, Rafael Ferrer, Robert Morris, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Keith Sonnier, Eva Hesse, When Attitudes Become Form, 9 at Leo Castelli, Ephemeral, Ephe-materiality, Remake, Reconstruction
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474178
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