Zsolt Bátori: The Single Artwork Theory of Conceptual Art

The Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association, 2013 Joint Session, University of Exeter, UK, July 12-14, 2013.

 

ABSTRACT. In this paper I consider the account of conceptual art that regards such works as being unique and singular pieces of artworks that belong to a specific art form. I argue that The Art Form Theory of Conceptual Art is mistaken, for it fails to provide a sufficient explanation of the role of the specific contents (ideas) of what the theory considers to be unique and singular works belonging to the art form (conceptual art). After the explication and criticism of The Art Form Theory of Conceptual Art I will suggest a different account. The Single Artwork Theory of Conceptual Art I propose denies that conceptual art is and art form; instead, it considers conceptual art to be a single work of art with numerous token executions (performances) of the work as a type. The advantage of my proposal over The Art Form Theory will be that both the contents of specific execution tokens and the relation of these tokens to the unique and singular work as a type will be adequately explained, without the disadvantages of The Art Form Theory of Conceptual Art.

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