“How Is Art History Made?” A project by Seth Siegelaub

Towards A Possible Theory Of Art History

How Is Art History Made? is an open-ended critical research project organized by the Stichting Egress Foundation, Amsterdam, in association with the Kunsthalle Basel. It is to be launched as a city-wide distribution with multi-language posters in Basel during the Basel Art Fair 2011 and Liste from 13-22 June 2011 with a press conference on Wednesday 15, 2011 at 12pm in the entrance hall of Kunsthalle Basell.

The purpose of the project is to attempt to develop an understanding of the mechanisms behind the determination of quality in art, especially during the 20th and 21th century, but also in the earlier historical periods. Although almost everyone involved in the world of art has wondered privately from time-to-time about these questions, “why is artist X considered more important than artist Y”, it continues to remain a hidden obscure subject, often taken for granted, and is hardly ever addressed in a public forum. With this project it is our intention to try to provoke an open discussion by raising the question of artistic power publicly by harvesting the opinions from different participants in the art community, initially via feedback through the websites of the Stichting Egress Foundation to eventually bring together a range of thoughts dealing with this issue which could eventually lead to a synthesis of ideas and perhaps a formal theory or, at least, a working hypothesis.

A discussion will be held at the “Art Salon” talk series in the Basel Art Fair (Hall 1, Auditorium) on Sunday, 19 June 2011 at 1pm with the participation of Seth Siegelaub (art dealer, curator and author), Adam Szymczyk (director of Kunsthalle Basel) and Monika Szewczyk (writer and curator, head of publications at Witte de With, Rotterdam and tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam).

Find video of the talk here

Gratis copies of the poster will be available at Kunsthalle Basel.