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Vito Acconci’s Mur Island: A Challenge to deterritorialization of Art and design

Jin Whui Yeon 1

1성신여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

As the recent trend that the well-known artists work as designers of everyday commodities has increased, and the design has expanded its’ realm into that of fine art, Hal Foster, one of the leading art historians raised a strong criticism towards the art/design conflation. His disapproval against design which allegedly prevails the entire world today, evolves another fear that this could impair the art criticism. In order to support his idea, Foster cites Adolf Loos’ remarks on ‘Art Nouveau,’ in which Loos states that ‘decoration is a crime and it should be eliminated.’Foster, replacing decoration with design, wants art to maintain its’ own purity in order to restore ‘autonomy.’ His assertion, very much likely of modernist, conflicts to his beliefs in previous studies. Consisted of a critic’s prejudice with elitism of ‘high-brow,’ Foster loses proper stance towards the evaluation of design. In particular, Foster’s arguments deeply depend upon the binarism, which post-structuralism is to deconstruct. Vito Acconci, ex-poet, performance artist, made himself as an architect, and designer. His <Mur Island> is an artificial island/path/public place in the Mur river, Graz, Austria. With its’ unique form, scholars criticizes it as mis-designed architecture. However, Acconci continued to attempt to reverse the typical relationship between the subject and the object in art making and receiving. Acconci regards the viewers as the commander of the space and the creator of the experience within a specific environment. No clear boundary, no distinct functional purpose, yet expanding the chances of the artistic experiences, <Mur island> suggests the real unification of art and design.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.