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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

process they have challenged the Modernist characterisation of "art for art's sake" adopted by most presenting institutions."1 8

Group Material organised and curated the exhibitions in a gallery space they rented. As they admit, they knew that in order for the work to be considered art, , they had to resemble a "real" organised gallery. 1 9

What role does the notion of a "gallery" space play in the creation of the art object? What are the particular discourses involved in the exhibition of art objects? How do the demands of the art market affect the form and content of art? Group Material's production addressed these questions in many ways. For example, to challenge the notion of the artist as "star", or as the sole repository and enabler of art, the exhibitions produced never show artists as singular entities. The themes focus on social issues, from Alienation to Gender. Artists and non-artists work was always shown together, a point in case being The People's Choice, an exhibition that combined artists' work with art produced by members from the households in the block where the gallery space was located."2 0

How successful has Group Material been in creating art objects of relevance can perhaps be judged by their ability to act as catalysts in raising social consciousness, as well as by their subsequent ascent within the hierarchies of the Artworld. For example, the group has shown and worked in such art-sanctioned spaces as the Dia Art Foundation galleries in New York City. In 1995 former member Felix González- Torres was granted a retrospective exhibition the Guggenheim Museum of modern art.

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The actions of the artist are carried out with the help of diverse tools. These latter may be of a tangible nature, as the brushes, pigments and canvas used in a medium like painting. They can also be of a immaterial nature, such as is the case with methods that

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p., 894.

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