Sentences on Art
Artist: Philip Monk
Date: March 18, 1983
Phillip Monk, who lives and works in Toronto, is well-known for reviews and articles that have appeared an all major Canadian and international art magazines. His writings have been published in several books on contemporary art as well as in catalogues accompanying exhibitions of Canadian artists.
The lecture Sentences on Art examined the art strategy of "inhabitation", a strategy whose aim is to "inhabit" popular formats—mass media, for example—in order to work a critical disruption. This strategy and its formal basis in semiotics and so-called "deconstruction" was examined and its critical device questioned—whether it was a critique of capitalism or a ruse of capitalism. General Idea have used and talked about this strategy in their work and they have been influential in its use here in Canada. Their work served as an example for the critique: a critique of the construction of a theoretical model (structuralism, semiotics, deconstruction) and the construction of The Miss General Idea Pavilion, both of which substituted themselves for the real on an ideological level.