Cross-examinations #1

Anarchism Without Adjectives: On the Work of Christopher d'Arcangelo, 1975-1979

14.09 — 30.09.12

Group exhibition

Curated by Dean Inkster and Sébastien Pluot, in collaboration with Mihnea Mircan

Participating artists Christopher d'Arcangelo

The Cross-examination series is inaugurated with Anarchism Without Adjectives: On the Work of Christopher D’Arcangelo (1975-79), the first posthumous exhibition to be devoted to the US artist Christopher D’Arcangelo (1955-1979) and the work he produced over a five-year period in the mid- to late 1970s.

Inspired by his contact with artists such as Daniel Buren, Ian Wilson and Lawrence Weiner, whom he met as an assistant at the John Weber Gallery in the early to mid-1970s, D’Arcangelo enlisted Conceptual Art’s language-based production and dematerialization in order to further its institutional critique and egalitarian promise.

The present iteration is curated by Dean Inkster and Sébastien Pluot, in collaboration with Mihnea Mircan, and will consist of a a series of discussions on the artistic and theoretical ramifications of D’Arcangelo’s work and practice, an exhibition of existing and commisioned works by artists invited to respond to issues raised in D’Arangelo’s work, as well as a series of video interviews with people who either knew and worked with D’Arcangelo or who have been instrumental in maintaining his legacy.

Anarchism Without Adjectives

From 1975 to 1979, D’Arcangelo developed an artistic practice notable for its radicality and critical import concerning the role of the artist, the status of the art object and the institutionalization of art. A desire for a radical democratization of the production and reception of art, motivated his practice. His position as an artist was voiced in a statement on anarchism that accompanied, in various stenciled and typewritten forms, the majority of his actions and interventions: “WHEN I STATE THAT I AM AN ANARCHIST I MUST ALSO STATE THAT I AM NOT AN ANARCHIST IN ORDER TO BE IN KEEPING WITH THE [….] IDEA OF ANARCHISM. LONG LIVE ANARCHISM.” The statement, with its ellipsis in the place of an adjectival definition of anarchism, recalls the historical expression, coined in Spain at the height of the international anarchist movement in the late-nineteenth century, anarquismo sin adjetivos (anarchism without adjectives).

An Oral History

Although interest in D’Arcangelo has not been entirely absent over the last thirty years, to date no posthumous exhibition or critical evaluation of his work has been undertaken. The written and visual documents which D’Arcangelo compiled over a five year period in order to chronicle his practice have only recently been made available in 2009 at the Fales Library & Special Collections, New York University. Given the paucity of existing commentary on D’Arcangelo’s work, and the lapse of time since it was produced, the exhibition expands on a series of ongoing video interviews that are intented to form an oral history of the artist’s work and practice. Interviewees include: artists Stephen Antonakos, Daniel Buren, Ben Kinmont, Peter Nadin, and Lawrence Weiner, historian Benjamin H. D. Buchloh and critic Naomi Spector.

Participating Artists and Critics

The exhibition and symposium will converge during a weekend in which artists, critics, and the exhibition’s curators will be present to share their thoughts and discuss what has until recently been a little-known, but influential moment in the history of recent art – on that has existed almost entirely by word of mouth.

With contributions by Pierre Bal-Blanc, Martin Beck, Céline Condorelli, Corinne Diserens, Andreas M. Fohr, Mario Garcia Torres, Group Material, Nicoline van Harskamp, Ben Kinmont, Jiri Kovanda, Pierre Leguillon, Rainer Oldendorf, Uriel Orlow, Emilie Parendeau, Alejandra Riera and Isidoro Valcarcel Medina.

This exhibition debuted in June 2011 at the CAC Brétigny (France), before travelling to Artists Space (New York), and the Montehermoso Cultural Center (Spain).

Video Credits

The video interviews are co-produced by Solang production paris brussels, Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Centre d’art contemporain de Brétigny. The project received initial funding from the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Ministère de la Culture et de la communication (France): allocation de recherche aux auteurs/théorie et critique d’art.

The Christopher D’Arcangelo Papers can be viewed by appointment at the Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University. For more information visit

Location Extra City - Antwerpen-Noord, Tulpstraat 79, 2060 Antwerpen