The Function of the Posthumous Studio
Contemporary thinking about artists’ studios encompasses a broad range of contexts that challenge the studio’s traditional function, location, definition and relevance. In his essay ‘The Function of the Studio’ (1971), Daniel Buren claimed, ‘it is in the studio, and only in the studio, that… [the work of art] is closest to its own reality… It is therefore only in the studio that the work may be said to belong.’ According to Buren, works of art removed from the studio were ‘torn from their context, their “environment”, they had lost their meaning and died, to be reborn as forgeries.’ If the studio can be thought of as a vital missing context, can some aspect of the ‘reality of the work, its “truth”’, as Buren put it, be discovered within the studio?
The late-20th century discourse around post-studio practices coincides with the proliferation of a museological genre: the posthumously reconstructed studio. The aim of this paper is to consider the posthumously reconstructed studio as a phenomenon for contemporary art practice to engage with and investigate. Such studios are to be examined for their potential as “virtual” or “prosthetic” studios to be “re-activated” through practice-based research.Download The Function of the Posthumous Studio (2.84 MB)