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Art & Art History

Voices: Robert Pfaller

Robert Pfaller.

Tuesday, February 09, 1999–Wednesday, February 10, 1999
Gallery 400 Lecture Room
400 South Peoria Street

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Dr. Robert Pfaller proposes a new term: interpassivity. The concept deals with not only installations that transfer parts of the artistic activity to the side of the spectators but also works that relieve spectators of the “passivity” of just watching. Spectators, then, neither have to engage artistically nor have to watch or consume passively since the artwork already presents itself as both produced and consumed. The concept outlines a fundamental paradox: Why is it such a pleasure to be relieved from one’s pleasure?

Pfaller studied philosophy in Vienna and Berlin and teaches at the University for Art and Industrial Design in Linz, Austria and is a Visiting Professor at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Wei ensee, Germany. His recent publications include The Work of Art that Observes Itself. Eleven Steps towards an Aesthetics of Interpassivity (Centro de studiis por la scultura publica ambiental) and Negation and its Reliabilities. An Empty Subject for Ideology? (Duke University Press).