Feature, 12.04.2017

The Anti-Museum
An anthology devoted to a radical artistic engagement

book cover and Marcel Broodthaers with camel in front of Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles © Maria Gilissen

book cover and Marcel Broodthaers with camel in front of Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles © Maria Gilissen

“Museums should be invisible. With an imaginary museum you can do whatever you want.” –
Maurizio Cattelan

What does the term anti-art encompass? It’s shaped by an array of concepts that reject prior definitions of art and question the art system and how it functions. “The Anti-Museum“, an extensive anthology by Mathieu Copeland and Balthazar Lovay, addresses the idea of anti-art through numerous contributions by renowned artists and writers. From interviews and historical reprints to manifestos and commissioned essays, the 794-page encyclopaedic tome presents the first comprehensive exploration of the radical and paradoxical concept that is the ‘anti-museum’ – a term so present in art history and yet one that has never been the object of detailed investigation. The museum has always been a target for criticism, whether it comes from artists, thinkers, curators, or even the public. Dedicated to all forms of “anti” such as Anti-Art, Anti-Technology, Anti-Design and Anti-Philosophy, the publication features numerous texts from the 60s until today – including newly commissioned as well as never-before-translated pieces – to define the idea of anti-art in a broad sense, evoking attempts to disrupt rules and customs in artistic disciplines.