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Eduardo Costa

The artist Eduardo Costa was born in Buenos Aires in 1940.  He studied painting and literature and was an active participant in the multimedia experiments in the arts that centered on the Instituto...

Conceptualism and Other Fictions: The Collected Writings of Eduardo Costa, 1965–2015

Eduardo Costa

Edited by Patrick Greaney
Translations by Jen Hofer and John Pluecker
Art, Literature | $17.00
In Other Words, Translation Series, Vol. 2
ISBN 13:978-1-934254-63-9
Size: 9″x 5.875″
Pages: 150
Binding: Softcover, Perfect
Published: May 31, 2016


Conceptualism and Other Fictions reveals the aesthetic range, critical wit, and literary sensibility of Argentine artist Eduardo Costa. This collection brings together essays, letters, interviews, reviews, scripts, and other texts published in Spanish and English over the past fifty-five years.

Costa is a painter, also known for his sound, video, and textual works. But more than anything else, he is a “creator of genres,” as art historian María José Herrera has called him. Fashion fictions, street works, tape poems, talking paintings, volumetric paintings: these are just a few of the art forms that he has invented or helped invent over the past half century. Costa’s innovative works have emerged from an intense reflection on the forms and materials of modern and contemporary art, as shown in his essays on Duchamp and on his friends Scott Burton, Ana Mendieta, and Hélio Oiticica.

The writings collected here reconstruct Costa’s creative development from the early 1960s until the present, and they show the importance of dialogue, collaboration, and history for this key figure in global conceptualism.

Praise for Conceptualism and Other Fictions

“Eduardo Costa is a leading conceptual artist, the co-author of the very first manifesto of conceptualism. He is someone who thinks through art. The ultimate goal of his actions and words is to think, analytically and ironically. Costa is both serious and witty, and his work possesses gravitas and lightness. Conceptualism and Other Fictions is more than a brilliant title: it’s a true and daring proposition and an urgent read. Like Duchamp, who might be Eduardo Costa’s alter ego, and whose work can’t be understood without Duchamp du signe, Costa’s work is oeuvre and writing, action and language. This book stands well as Costa du signe. I imagine Eduardo Costa like Pierre Menard, authoring time and again Conceptualism, and Duchamp, as Fictions.”

– Luis Pérez-Oramas, Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Modern Art

“A valuable anthology that makes clear the historical importance of Eduardo Costa’s art.”

– Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity

“Eduardo Costa, a member of the first generation of Latin American conceptualists, gives us first hand insights into the artistic and political moment in Latin America that preceded hegemonic conceptual art. He offers us an invaluable personal document about a time that only recently has become the subject of academic study.”

– Luis Camnitzer, author of Conceptualism in Latin American Art: Didactics of Liberation

“Eduardo Costa has long been interested, as Patrick Greaney writes in his introduction, in “rethinking materials and concepts of materiality.” This is where Costa joins in with the extraordinary vitality of the intellectual scene in Buenos Aires in the 1960s, its marriage of the questioning of received ideas and the liberty of experimentation. It was a scene in which friendships and collaborations were an essential element of thought, as Costa’s many co-authorships with other artists attest. Costa’s curiosity and thoughtfulness have been a feature of his writing right up to today, which makes this generous compilation so delightful.”

– Guy Brett, author of Carnival of Perception: Selected Writings on Art

Links relating to Conceptualism and Other Fictions:

Full text of the first conceptual art manifesto “An Art of Communications Media” (1966): http://post.at.moma.org/sources/8/publications/131

Listen to “Tape Poems” (1969), edited by Costa and John Perreault, with contributions by Anne Waldman, Hannah Weiner, Vito Acconci, Costa, and others: http://www.ubu.com/sound/tape_poems.html

Video of 2004 performance “The Biology of Painting #2: The Anatomy Lesson”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfOnYhqDgeQ

Miguel A. López, “How Do We Know What Latin American Conceptualism Looks Like,” from the journal Afterallhttp://www.afterall.org/journal/issue.23/how.do.we.know.what.latin.american.conceptualism.looks.likemiguela.lopez