The institutional situation of so-called sound art: A curatorial reading of Bruce Nauman’s sound installation “Für Kinder” calling for a post-medium approach to sound art.

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The article presents a curatorial reading of Bruce Nauman’s sound installation Für Kinder (2011) in the context of its presentation at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe during the Sound Art – Klang als Medium der Kunst exhibition in 2012. It uncovers and critiques ideas of pure sound or sound-in-itself, some of which have become internalised truisms that seem to haunt the field of sound art curating.

Departing from critiques of the white cube within the visual arts and the audio-visual litany within sound studies, this article argues that sound art studies have largely neglected the historical, social, and cultural contexts, and especially the situatedness of its listeners, artworks, and exhibitions in favour of a one-to-one, unmediated relation between artwork and listener that is seldom contextualised. A post-medium approach that evaluates and presents sound art in a broader cultural and contextual field has thus become necessary for the term to have relevance as other than an art historical category.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020


ID: 246201304