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Installation view of Tony Conrad's Come To, 1979, in Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s

Tony Conrad (American, 1940–2016). Installation view of Come To, 1979, in Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s. Installation, painting with slide, drawings, and bed, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Remembering Tony Conrad in Wish You Were Here

April 13, 2016

In 2012, Tony Conrad re-created a version of his exhibition Come To—first on view at Hallwalls in 1979—for Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s (March 30–July 8, 2012), organized by former Albright-Knox Curator Heather Pesanti. 

On August 10, 2011, Conrad discussed the Hallwalls installation of Come To with Pesanti:

“To some extent the thoughts I had were related to my exposure to the artists at Hallwalls, and perhaps Robert Longo in particular, because of his interest in monumentalizing ideas about cinema. I began to think of sculpture more generally as a monumentalizing activity; something is being put “up above,” on top of a base, elevated in every respect—elevated socially, elevated physically, elevated intellectually or artistically. And this elevation was unattractive to me . . . Instead of elevating, it seemed to me that I should look at what that had to do with authority relationships, particularly with the father figure. So I became interested in a scheme of outlooks that took a variety of forms, but in the end had to do with the notion that it would be more interesting to see things taken from below, rather than above; to monumentalize the antihero, rather than the hero; to look at the conditions of manufacture of authority, and maybe contravene them or examine them more closely.”

The full interview is available in the Wish You Were Here exhibition catalogue.

 

Former Albright-Knox Curator Heather Pesanti and Tony Conrad
Former Albright-Knox Curator Heather Pesanti and Tony Conrad in the artist’s Come To, 1979, as part of Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

 

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