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Joseph Kosuth



Born 1945 in Toledo, Ohio, Joseph Kosuth is one of the first Conceptual artists, concerned with the mechanics of meaning in language, especially words used in various contexts. He has done installations with text, quotes, and definitions sometimes combined with photographs and objects.

ONE AND THREE CHAIRS (1965)



A chair sits alongside a photograph of a chair and a dictionary definition of the word chair. Perhaps all three are chairs, or codes for one: a visual code, a verbal code, and a code in the language of objects, that is, a chair of wood. But isn't this last chair simply . . . a chair? Or, as Marcel Duchamp asked in his Bicycle Wheel of 1913, does the inclusion of an object in an artwork somehow change it? If both photograph and words describe a chair, how is their functioning different from that of the real chair, and what is Kosuth's artwork doing by adding these functions together? Prodded to ask such questions, the viewer embarks on the basic processes demanded by Conceptual art.

"The art I call conceptual is such because it is based on an inquiry into the nature of art," Kosuth has written. "Thus, it is . . . a working out, a thinking out, of all the implications of all aspects of the concept 'art,' . . . Fundamental to this idea of art is the understanding of the linguistic nature of all art propositions, be they past or present, and regardless of the elements used in their construction." Chasing a chair through three different registers, Kosuth asks us to try to decipher the subliminal sentences in which we phrase our experience of art.

Source Obtained From :http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A3228&page_number=1&template_id=1&sort_order=1

My point of view:

I find that the chair in this installation is not the main focus of the whole work, it is the idea and the concept that Kosuth wanted to deliver to the audience.He presented 3 different kinds of ways to picture a chair, firstly a chair in our mind when we read a dictionary definition of the word chair.secondly a real chair which we could actually sit,feel,smell and lastly we can picture a chair by looking at a photograph of a chair.3 good ways to present a similar object to teach us that there are allot more different ways to show 1 idea.

Lifespan is another thing that I saw in this installation compare the real 3d chair to the photograph of a chair, I think that kosuth wanted to capture or save the best moment of the element.As time goes by the real chair will eventually be damaged by any nature reason,thou the photograph might be damage but the object in the photograph remains the same condition when it was taken.

I am going to conclude this installation by saying that there is no definite answers to the purpose of kosuth one and three chairs, it all depends on how people look at it in different perspective.
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