Art & Language International: Conceptual Art between Art Worlds
A Model of a Possible Art World
This chapter considers the origins of Art & Language’s internationality by focusing on how the establishment of two sections of the collective, one in England and another in New York, proceeded from transatlantic debates about what conceptual art is and ought to be. To this end, it examines a sequence of works by Art & Language that takes up the theme of language use in art. The chapter argues that Art & Language’s linguistic orientation is most responsible for inaugurating a line of thinking about art worlds that leads, through essays and artworks heavily indebted to readings in the philosophy of science, to a project called Comparative Models, in which specific concepts—modernism, individualism, and empiricism—are identified as constitutive for art worlds and occlusive of art’s societal dimensions. In setting up this alternate genealogy for Art & Language’s work, the chapter reveals the foundations for the collective’s further international collaborations as a search for mutually beneficial exchanges between art worlds.