Blood, Milk, and Oil

Aug 28, 2012 8:28pm
John Latham – “Art and Culture”, 1966-69. 
In 1966 Latham withdrew a copy of Clement Greenberg’s collection of essays Art and Culture from the library of St Martin’s School of Art, London, where he taught. This widely used text epitomized the formalist principles of late modernist painting. He organized a festive event at his home, titled Still and Chew, where he invited guests to tear and chew the pages of Greenberg’s book and, when necessary, to spit out the product into a flask provided. Greenberg’s text was thus reconstituted as indigestible matter. Latham transformed the product into a brew by adding chemicals and yeast and, when the library requested the book the following year, decanted the distilled mass into a glass jar, labelled it ‘Art and Culture’ and returned it. The following day he was dismissed from his teaching post. Latham’s artwork titled Art and Culture is a leather briefcase containing the elements that went into Still and Chew – powders, liquids, letters, photostats – and the invitation he sent for the event. It includes a copy of Greenberg’s book and Latham’s letter of dismissal, among other relics of the event.
— Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art

John Latham – “Art and Culture”, 1966-69. 

In 1966 Latham withdrew a copy of Clement Greenberg’s collection of essays Art and Culture from the library of St Martin’s School of Art, London, where he taught. This widely used text epitomized the formalist principles of late modernist painting. He organized a festive event at his home, titled Still and Chew, where he invited guests to tear and chew the pages of Greenberg’s book and, when necessary, to spit out the product into a flask provided. Greenberg’s text was thus reconstituted as indigestible matter. Latham transformed the product into a brew by adding chemicals and yeast and, when the library requested the book the following year, decanted the distilled mass into a glass jar, labelled it ‘Art and Culture’ and returned it. The following day he was dismissed from his teaching post. Latham’s artwork titled Art and Culture is a leather briefcase containing the elements that went into Still and Chew – powders, liquids, letters, photostats – and the invitation he sent for the event. It includes a copy of Greenberg’s book and Latham’s letter of dismissal, among other relics of the event.

— Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art

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