Conceptual Art, Ideas, and Ontology

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (3):235-245 (2014)
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Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens have recently articulated the Idea Idea, the thesis that “in conceptual art, there is no physical medium: the medium is the idea.” But what is an idea, and in the case of works such as Duchamp's Fountain, how does the idea relate to the urinal? In answering these questions, it becomes apparent that the Idea Idea should be rejected. After showing this, I offer a new ontology of conceptual art, according to which such artworks are not ideas but artifacts imbued with ideas. After defending this view from objections, I briefly discuss some implications it has for the ontology of art in general



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Wesley Cray
Texas Christian University

Citations of this work

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