This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
Early in his landmark essay Dispersion, from 2002, Seth Price makes the following remark, "More than anyone else, artists of the last one-hundred years have wrestled with [the] trauma of context, but theirs is a struggle which fundamentally takes place within the art system." It's a wonderful turn of phrase, 'the trauma of context,' begging a whole host of questions about the fate of the conceptual project, which Price proceeds to unpack in his own insightful, scattershot way over the course of the text. Price's point in the above quote is relatively straightforward: context is only traumatic within the artworld, and, following, the various avant-ist spasms and denunciations rely on that system's clear demarcation to scan as such in the first place, less they simply disperse into nothing. He recalls Duchamp's failed attempts to sell toys of his own designing at an amateur inventor's fair, his objects rendered uninteresting outside of their oppositional orbit.
Price's own artistic practice has spanned many contexts. Tomorrow, Light Industry will screen three of his video works, spanning twelve years of his career. The first, Sub Accident, is an investigation of images and their fraught relations with history. The second, Redistribution being screened for only the second time, takes up Price's concern with disciplinary fidelity and supplementation explored in Dispersion. Acting as a sort of ongoing, open-ended document, of the kind favored by conceptual artistic practice, Redistribution was initially designed to be view in the context of Price's own art exhibitions. The third film highlights another thread from Dispersion, namely that, despite working through many of the same problems and issues, conceptual film has often not been privy to conversations taking place within conceptual art.