Joseph Kosuth: ‘Fort! Da!’ (Old Work)
Castelli Gallery is pleased to present Joseph Kosuth: ‘Fort! Da!’ (Old Work). The exhibition will run January 10th to February 25th, 2023 at the gallery location on 24 W 40th Street.
Joseph Kosuth first exhibited ‘Fort! Da!’ in 1985 at Castelli’s 420 West Broadway location. The upcoming exhibition consists of two works included in the historical exhibition and an additional work conceived at the time but never realized until now.
‘Fort! Da!’ references a game Sigmund Freud recounts in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 1920, in which Freud describes his grandson throwing a toy and retrieving it while exclaiming Fort! (Gone!) and Da! (Here!). In Kosuth’s exhibition, the viewers face large scale photographs reproducing the gallery space. The photographs have black frames, incorporate elements of text and various colored crosses, and they are installed on the opposite wall they depict. Therefore, the viewers are invited to participate in a variation of the game Freud describes, in which the space seems to appear and disappear in front of them. As Kosuth states: “I have always considered the ‘spectator’ to be an important part of the making process. My work never, I believe, pandered to the presumptions of the viewer–in fact, I feel that the ‘making process’ hinges on rupturing those presumptions.”
‘Fort! Da!’ revisits what Kosuth refers to as the ‘form of presentation’ in his early works. The large-scale photographs, like the photograph of the chair in Kosuth’s iconic ‘One and Three Chairs’, 1965, are intended to be taken with each new installation, as they reproduce the space in which the artwork is installed. This ultimately disrupts the expectation of permanence which has traditionally been attached to objects of art. In ‘Fort! Da!’ this is further emphasized through the use of the heavy black wooden frames. While these “frames” may give the impression that the artworks can be simply taken down from the wall, in reality, they are affixed to the wall and do not serve any practical function beyond that of creating an illusion of a conventional work of art.
Joseph Kosuth has been strongly influenced by the narrative and discourse of psychoanalysis. During the 80s he produced several series of works referencing Sigmund Freud. In addition to ‘Fort! Da!’,‘Zero & Not’, ‘Cathexis’, ‘Hypercathexis’, and ‘Intentio’ reside, as Kosuth said, “within the Freudian landscape.” In addition, Kosuth has appropriated and re-worked several of Freud’s texts in installations, special projects and site-specific works.
Joseph Kosuth was born in 1945 in Toledo, Ohio. He had his first exhibition at Castelli Gallery in 1969 and has since maintained a working relationship with the gallery. He currently lives and works between New York and Venice, Italy.
For further information, please contact Chloe Greisman at email@example.com.