Last week I had a rough day at work which resulted in me not getting a chance to attend an artists talk that I had been looking forward to. I decided to go home and do something to make myself feel better, which in this case, was to listen to a lecture by Claire Bishop I’d been meaning to get to for a while.
The lecture was delivered at the University of Chicago in 2008 and was titled “Pedagogy as Art.” Listening to that lecture, which I’ll post later, was so exciting. Bishop’s work is totally new to me, but she has been publishing really useful thoughts about relational art practices for at least six or seven years. Now I’m on a bit of a mission to read as much of her work as I can.
Instead of posting the lecture or one of her essays, I am posting a short, easily digestible letter she published in October back in 2006. The letter is a response to a Liam Gillick’s reaction to (I am assuming here) Bishop’s pivotal essay Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics, published in October in the fall of 2004. (I can help you track down a copy if you don’t have access to jstor or a library with October.)
I picked this letter because it sort of falls in the middle of a lot of her work. Reading the one page letter, you get a sense of the work she has done previously and the reaction it garnered. She also clearly states her intentions for the original essay and her goals for work as she moves forward. Consider it a starting point for those like me, who have somehow been unaware of Bishop’s work until now, to begin exploring her ideas.