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Stephen Wright has written: ‘What is more unusual, and far more interesting, is when artists don’t do art; or at any rate, when they don’t claim that whatever it is they are doing is, in fact, art.’ Indeed by not pursuing postconceptualism-as-art, this work, he contests actually ‘live[s] up to art’s promises.’ That is, it refuses the melancholic disposition of those institution-focused practices which, irrespective of their critique of the institution, end up legitimatizing the institution. Wright bases his defense of the new constructivism on Duchamp’s theory of the reciprocal readymade: the inversion of the art object into a functional object (Duchamp had famously quipped about wanting to transform a Rembrandt into an ironing board). Following this logic Wright argues for the symbolic and critical potential of recycling artistic skills and competences into the general symbolic economy of everyday life, as opposed to recycling the real into art and then art into the real.

John Roberts on Stephen Wright 
Added 5 years ago by Karly Wildenhaus
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John Roberts on Stephen Wright 
John Roberts, “Art, Immaterial Labor and the Critique of Value,” in *The Intangibilities of Form* (London: Verso, 2007), 215–6.
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