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Michael Corris papers of the Art & Language New York group, 1965-2002

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finding aid for the Michael Corris papers of the Art & Language New York group, 1965-2002

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection documents the activities of Art & Language New York. It contains correspondence, original circulated photocopies with remarks, transcripts, typescripts, audio cassette tapes, LP records, one videotape, photographic materials, announcements, publications, and artworks. Artworks include prints, drawings, and mock-ups. All materials in the collection were collated by key group member, Michael Corris. Circulating projects and texts among group members was a common practice which fostered discussion and garnered one of Art & Language's core principles of collaboration. Similarly, the many transcripts in the collection reflect the group's discursive nature and serve as documents and summaries of their many discussions.

Series I of the collection focuses on the work of Art & Language New York's group activities from 1970 to 1976, including projects relating to indexing and mapping systems. Art & Language's indexing pieces were originally developed for Documenta V in 1972. Indexing and mapping projects were manifested in installations, art pieces, and publications. They comprise: Index 001, Index 002, Index 003, Blurting in Art & Language: An Index of Blurts, and Map of Annotations. Other significant work in this series includes the group's materials associated with Art & Language New York's own publication, The Fox. Original issues, illustrations and texts have been compiled. Art & Language New York's development of projects associated with artistic cultural-political movements in the national and international sphere included programs in Washington 1975-1976, Yugoslavia 1975-1976, Australia 1975-1976, and Venice, 1976. Letters, typescripts, photography and prints document their national and international initiatives.

Series II and III contain materials related to Art & Language New York's involvement with other cultural-political groups. Art & Language New York participated in projects with the Artists Meeting for Cultural Change (AMCC), the Anti-Imperialist Cultural Union (AICU), and the art group Red-Herring. Significant items relating to the AMCC and the AICU are the broadsheets Boycott this museum, 1976, Boycott this show, 1976, and several transcripts of public speeches.

Series IV comprises materials related to Art & Language following the dissolution of Art & Language New York in early 1977. Group members both from the UK and New York continued to be active within Art & Language. They produced the retrospective exhibition, The artist out of work: Art & Language, 1972-1981. The series contains photographs, manuscripts and files documenting the exhibition. This series also includes illustrative contributions to Art & Language's journal, Art-Language.

The remaining collection materials are from key artist members of Art & Language New York with files representing work by Terry Atkinson, Ian Burn, Michael Corris, Joseph Kosuth and Bernar Venet.


The collection is arranged in five series:
Series I. Art & Language New York, 1971-1977;
Series II. Materials relating to political/cultural organizations, 1968-1979;
Series III. Red-Herring, 1975-1981;
Series IV. Art & Language, 1977-2002;
Series V. Individual artists, 1965-2002.

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