You Just Have to Experience It combines citations culled from the book Beyond Objecthood: The Exhibition as a Critical Form since 1968 to trace a history of the changing role of the spectator in art and exhibitions from Minimalism to Relational Art, and New Institutionalism to the present.
Produced on the occasion of the launch of Beyond Objecthood, this public talk in the shape of a performance reading presents a brief history of the exhibition as a critical form from the 1960s to the present, a form that inherently solicits spectators into temporal and spatial experiences and situations as indispensable components of the work.
The title refers to a statement by the American artist Tony Smith who recounts in a 1966 Artforum interview a ride on the newly minted New Jersey Turnpike, recalling a transformative nighttime experience of moving through space and time on the unmarked highway. This experience caused him to question the viability of art to represent something like that. You Just Have to Experience It uses this moment as a point of departure to explore how the criticality once posed by figures like Smith who solicited spectators into durational experiences in their work faces many challenges, not least of which is competing with the institutions that give it voice in an era when the differences between art and entertainment increasingly blur.
Written by James Voorhies
Published by Bureau for Open Culture, 2017
Designed by Nate Padavick
8.25 x 5 inches
edition of 200