Act 1/Scene 13

Claire Nichols

The Unfinished Artwork

Location: Anywhere and everywhere
Date: Immediately
Time: Ditto
Price: Free


How can art become matter for education, and education a matter of art making?

In Robert Morris’s Box with the Sound of its Own Making, there is something both daunting and comic about the very prospect of ‘opening the lid’ on the art making process. But, of course, this has to remain a prospect: a horizon into and out of which other actors and ideas can emerge and disappear.

This is a proposal for an ongoing, accumulative and divergent educational practice – taking to a particular extreme the idea of the unfinished artwork, where artworks are actively unfinished, diversified and transformed:

– Trail Chris Burden’s guitar a little further along the ground.

– Take all of your chairs outside and let them find a use or disuse for themselves. Go back and document them (or not). Try this in different cities and report back with your findings.

– Try to sell a piece of the river in 2012: how would someone pay, and what, in turn, would fill our rivers?


Thank you Robert Morris, Chris Burden, Allan Kaprow and Yves Klein; providers of matter for the first of many expanded case studies as part of The Unfinished Artwork.

Claire Nichols is an artist and an educator. She has recently exhibited at David Roberts Art Foundation; Art on the Underground; SPACE; Banner Repeater; Torna, Istanbul and PS1, New York. She teaches at Central Saint Martins and the London College of Fashion.

Image: Allan Kaprow, Pose (1969)


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