Realism, theatricality, ritual: Aspects of the aesthetics of the installation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


The ambition of this article is to define what characterises installation art in general: It proposes that basically installations organise the work of art as a space and activate this space, that they extend the work temporally so that it acquires a situational aspect, and that they are characterised by a heightened awareness as to the physical, subjective and temporal aspects of the viewer's experience.  Moreover, it argues that the elements mentioned in the title "Realism, theatricality, ritual" are key characteristics of this genre. It demonstrates this by using a range of different works by Mike Kelley, Guillaume Bijl, Anette Messager, Carsten Höller and other artists as examples.

The book is published in two editions, one in English and one in Danish.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReality Check
EditorsSven Bjerkof
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
PublisherStatens Museum for Kunst
Publication date2008
ISBN (Print)978-87-92023-21-6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - installation art, realism, theatricality, contemporary art, video installation art

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