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Leaving Skull City. Selected Writings on Art


Leaving Skull City. Selected Writings on Art

Now Available from Les Presses du Réel

An illustrated compilation of insightful, first-hand accounts of art making, art criticism, and exhibition organising from the early-1970s to the present.

Beginning with his work as a participant in the collective Art & Language, Michael Corris’s texts include critical surveys of conceptual art, the Artist Placement Group, Ad Reinhardt, “Young British Art” of the 1990s, and a mordant satire of management in art education. Leaving Skull City is filled with theoretical reflections on the social, philosophical, and political dimensions of contemporary art. Many of these concepts will seem familiar, as they drift in art’s contemporary discourse. Yet, these ideas were hardly uncontroversial when first formulated in the context of conversations throughout the New York art world of the 1970s.

The book is part of the New York series, created conjunctively by Les Presses du Réel and the French Cultural Services in New York to publish theoretical texts in English on contemporary art.

The series is inspired by a simple assumption: that contemporary culture is a public good that offers perspective on the questions of our time. Today, contemporary art is increasingly merchandised and yet undervalued in its capacity to give new perspective on the globalised world in which we live. Keeping up with international debates, this series attempts to support that budding perspective (

Michael Corris is an artist and writer who lives and works in Dallas, Texas.

Table of Contents

Introductory Essays

• Generative Paradoxes (by Gloria Sutton, 2016)

• Write Your Own Too (by Blake Stimson, 2015)

Part I. Artist Out of Work

1 The Fine Structure of Collaboration (1973)

2 Blurting in Art & Language: Introduction (1973)

3 Cross-Talk (1974)

4 Now About This Storefront? (1976)

5 Inside a New York Art Gang: Selected Documents of Art & Language New York (1995)

6 The Artist Out of Work: An Attempt at a Textual Analogue of a Possible Art & Language Exhibition (1999)

7 An Invisible College in an Anglo-American World? (2004)

Part II. Critical Hostages

1 Review Schema (1975)

2 From the Pandemonium of the Studio to the Order of the Showroom: The Dangers of Tourism (1988)

3 Blasted Situations: British? Young? Invisible? and With Attitude? (1992)

4 Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man: Concrete Poetry as Essayistic Practice: You Are There:

Melanie Counsell in London at the Coronet Theatre (1994)

5 From Black Holes to Boardrooms: John Latham, Barbara Steveni and the Order of Undivided Wholeness (1994)

6 Versatility Bites: Corris v. Estate of Ad Reinhardt: Interview with Joan Waltemath (2008)

7 Managing the Unmanageable: The Wind of the Interim Position (2013)

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