Joseph Kosuth: '(Waiting for-) Texts for Nothing' Samuel Beckett, in play

Joseph Kosuth
'(Waiting for-) Texts for Nothing' Samuel Beckett, in play

21 December 2010 - 27 February 2011

ACCA is proud to present a new commission by renowned artist Joseph Kosuth.

On this occasion Kosuth will present a new body of work titled '(Waiting for—) Texts for Nothing,' Samuel Beckett, in play based on a play on Samuel Beckett writings, with particular focus on ‘Waiting for Godot’ and ‘Texts for Nothing’. The installation works runs throughout the perimeter of the main gallery space and is fabricated in blacked out warm white neon installed in a matte black space.

Beckett’s project as an artist was in one important way parallel to that of Kosuth: both practices manifest a concern with meaning. Beckett approaches the question of meaning from the absence of meaning rather than, as Kosuth does, from questions concerned with the production of meaning. Beckett for Kosuth reflects some of the origins of his own practice. There can’t be much doubt as to how this work has come about and its reverberation in Kosuth’s intentions.

The present exhibition will also include three historic installation works. Beginning with the artist’s first gallery exhibition held in Los Angeles in 1969 and titled ‘Nothing,’ showing his seminal dictionary definition works, as well as ‘Zero & Not’, an installation from Kosuth’s 1980’s series of installation works comprised of wall papered rooms based on the writing of Sigmund Freud, and a neon installation work based on James Joyce’s Ulysses, from 1998, exhibited on the ceiling of the Royal Hiberian Academy in Dublin in occasion of James Joyce Bloomsday Anniversary exhibition in 2004.

Joseph Kosuth is one of the pioneers of Conceptual art and installation art, initiating language based works and appropriation strategies in the 1960’s. His work has consistently explored the production and role of language and meaning within art. His nearly forty year inquiry into the relation of language to art has taken the form of installations, museum exhibitions, public commissions and publications throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia, including five Documenta(s) and seven Venice Biennale(s). Awards include the Brandeis Award, 1990, the Frederick Weisman Award, 1991, the Venice Biennale Menzione d'Onore, 1993, and the Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government in 1993. Kosuth was awarded a Cassandra Foundation Grant in 1968, as the choice of Marcel Duchamp one week before he died. In 1999, a 3.00 franc postage stamp was issued by the French Government in honour of his work in Figeac. In 2001, he received the Laurea Honoris Causa, doctorate in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Bologna. In 2003, Kosuth received the Austrian Republic’s highest honor for accomplishments in science and culture, the Decoration of Honour in Gold. In 2009, Kosuth’s exhibition 'ni apparence ni illusion,' an installation work throughout the 12th century walls of the Louvre palace, opened at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, and will become a permanent work in October 2012.

Recent exhibitions include: ‘An Interpretation of This Title’ Nietzsche, Darwin and the Paradox of Content, in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Georgian Gallery at Talbot Rice curated by Juliana Engberg, that travelled to Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (13 February – 10 April 2010); 'Texts for Nothing' Samuel Becket, in play, at Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan (12th of December 2010).

PLEASE NOTE: Joseph Kosuth will be in Melbourne from mid-December and available for interviews.

Joseph Kosuth: 21st December, 2010 - 27th February, 2011
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am–5pm. Weekends 11am-6pm. Mondays by appointment. Tel: 03 9697 9999. Admission: Free.
ACCA is closed Christmas Day.

Supporting partner:

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Weekends 11am–6pm. Mondays by appointment.
Tel: 03 9697 9999. Admission: Free.

For further media information:
Katrina Hall on 03 9697 9999,
mobile 0421 153 046
or email