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One Place after Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (MIT Press) 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262612029
ISBN-10: 026261202X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

You are familiar with art history. Welcome to art geography, a new subdiscipline launched by Miwon Kwon's lustrous commentary on thirty-five years of artists' engagement with physical and political environments.

(Andrew Ross, New York University)

What makes this book so strong is the steady course it plots through the inevitable polemical rapids.

(ARTFORUM)

...will be valuable for practitioners in the field.

(Timothy P. Brown Afterimage)

The concept of site specificity has been used to cover a wide and often ill-defined range of art practices. Kwon's important book clarifies the issues at stake and cogently lays out a number of analytical paths down which others will surely follow. One Place After Another will re-define the way we think about public art.

(Russell Ferguson, Chief Curator, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles)

A compelling theoretical analysis that never loses sight of the 'here and now' of artistic practice and aesthetic experience. Miwon Kwon's exploration of the social and political dimensions of site specificity succeeds in being both original and provocative; it will provide a valuable foundation for all future studies.

(Judith Russi Kirshner, critic, curator, and Dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago)

One Place After Another discusses how artists from the 60s to the 90s have engaged with specific sites and their contexts, whether in art institutions or public places. Here, sites bring to the surface what is intrinsic to a locality but often overlooked or not yet visible. This book provides an important and critical overview of discourses about site specificity that will interest artists, commissioners, curators, institutions, critics, and the broader public.

(Uta Meta Bauer, Professor of Theory, Practice, and Mediation of Contemporary Art, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)

From the Inside Flap

"You are familiar with art history. Welcome to art geography, a new subdiscipline launched by Miwon Kwon's lustrous commentary on thirty-five years of artists' engagement with physical and political environments."
--Andrew Ross, Professor and Director, Graduate Program in American Studies, New York University

"The concept of site specificity has been used to cover a wide and often ill-defined range of art practices. Kwon's important book clarifies the issues at stake and cogently lays out a number of analytical paths down which others will surely follow. One Place After Another will re-define the way we think about public art."
--Russell Ferguson, Chief Curator, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

"A compelling theoretical analysis that never loses sight of the ‘here and now’ of artistic practice and aesthetic experience. Miwon Kwon's exploration of the social and political dimensions of site specificity succeeds in being both original and provocative; it will provide a valuable foundation for all future studies."
--Judith Russi Kirshner, critic, curator, and Dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago

"One Place After Another discusses how artists from the 60s to the 90s have engaged with specific sites and their contexts, whether in art institutions or public places. Here, sites bring to the surface what is intrinsic to a locality but often overlooked or not yet visible. This book provides an important and critical overview of discourses about site specificity that will interest artists, commissioners, curators, institutions, critics, and the broader public."
--Uta Meta Bauer, Professor of Theory, Practice, and Mediation of Contemporary Art, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1st edition (February 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 026261202X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262612029
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a useful addition to the literature--a more comprehensive book that also looked at practices outside the USA is what is really needed. That's one of the major drawbacks of this book, it doesn't clearly indicate that it is tracing an American history of the idea of site-specificity.

The first chapter provides a short history of site specificity from an American point of view (minimalism, conceptual art's critique of institutions) and draws heavily on James Meyer's idea of the functional site to think about the present, after that the book is a series of case studies. A better book for considering the range and history of site specific practices (which includes this book's first chapter and Meyer's essay) is Erika Suderburg's Space Site Intervention. Also useful is Site-Specificity: The Ethnographic Turn.
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Format: Paperback
I was waiting eagerly for the Kwon to arrive after I purchased it, perhaps this heightened expectation is to blame for the slight sense of deflation as I read it.

The text has a fairly useful historical overview of the history of 'site' as an artistic idea, with a specifically American focus. One of my disappointments was that Kwon appears to be relying on secondary research, drawing from public art examples already extensively discussed in other public art texts, most notably those of Tom Finklepearl and Grant Kester. The book raises some interesting questions about the relationships between comissioning agents and artists in relation to the thorny problem of what constitutes an identifiable 'community.' These questions are however limited to a narrow interpretation of what public art practice is, remaining close to issues found in what has been called New Genre.

All in all useful as an introduction to the subject, a teaching tool for undergraduate students, but perhaps better as a companion text rather than a definitive source. If you have the Finklepearl already you may not need this one.
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Format: Paperback
This is a helpful survey of the related issues of site specificity and institutional critique. My students find it accessible, and find that it ties together major themes and artists of the 1970s. Highly recommended for those teaching/studying art since 1970.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has helped me tremendously with interior design. I never knew where to put things before and my house was a mess because of it. I knew something was amiss, I just couldn't figure out how to correct it. Miwon Kwon's book has helped me to understand the locationality and site-specificity of objects. I now see that you're supposed to have a reason for putting the coat rack in the oven or the oven in the driveway. This book has really allowed me to take control of my life. I used to just fumble around with stuff--everyday objects would look like big question marks to me, but now all I see is intentional locationality and and site-specificity.
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