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Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck

When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes takes as its starting point the 1969 exhibition Live In Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (Works – Concepts – Processes – Situations – Information) presented at the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland and curated by Harald Szeemann. When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes includes over 80 international contemporary artists across both the exhibition and catalogue that work within the lineage and language of Conceptual art practices.

Mostly known by its short title, When Attitudes Become Form was an exhibition that brought together new tendencies in the art of its time, known today as post-Minimalism, Arte Povera, Land art and Conceptual art. Although the artists and works included came from diverse points of view, the exhibition did not attempt to assimilate these varying approaches into a singular narrative; rather it allowed the disparities and differences in the artists that were selected to hold and approached these works in terms of a shifting relationship between the artist and artwork, one in which the activity and process of the artist was now prioritized above that of the medium. Szeemann’s own summary of the show’s content was itself lengthy, but it signaled this shift in the relationship of artist, studio and museum: ‘the obvious opposition to form; the high degree of personal and emotional engagement; the pronouncement that certain objects are art, although they have not previously been defined as such; the shift of interest away from the result towards the artistic process; the use of mundane objects; the interaction of work and material; Mother Earth as medium, workplace, the desert as concept.’

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