Insert
How conceptual is experience? How can public
engage itself with radicality?

These questions were running through our minds
when, at the beginning of 2001, we were asked
by BüroFriedrich in Berlin to prepare a
presentation with text pieces by the conceptual
artist Lee Lozano, who died in 1999.

The presentation became an ‘exhibition as
tool’: an exhibition grasped as the starting
point for research into the similarities and
differences between the artistic practices of
the 1960’s and today. Within the framework of
the presentation at BüroFriedrich, interviews
with artists, critics and theorists took place.
Some of them had been directly involved in the
art scene Lee Lorenzo had been a part of.
Others related to the tradition of conceptual
art and their practices address similar
subjects. Yet another group uses concepts from
artistic practice to bring about (political)
change.

Many artists from the early days of conceptual
art were acutely aware of the art system within






 
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which they wanted to operate. Lee Lozano was
no exception. However, she adopted a far more
personal approach than many others and allowed
herself to be led by her own, personal
circumstances. Her experiments with drugs
(Grass Piece and No-Grass Piece) or actions
such as the Boycott Women Project and the
Dialogue Pieces, which were both condemned as
politically incorrect, reflect these other
intentions. With her General Strike Piece and
finally Drop-Out Piece, Lee Lozano definitively
stepped outside the art world. The consequence
of this artistic and radical act is that her
work has as good as vanished from the annals of
art history and her oeuvre has remained
anonymous.

While researching this project for
BüroFriedrich it became painfully apparent how
little of Lozano‘ s life, work and thought has
survived; a couple of lines in the catalogue
Global Conceptualism, Lucy Lippard’ s Six
Years: the Dematerialization of the Art Object,
Dan Graham’ s Rock My Religion, and a couple of
articles in Art in America and Artforum were
all we could find on her ten-year art career.



 
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< Bik Van der Pol

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