|Catalogue. Documenta11_Platform 5: Ansstellung/Exhibition Kurzführer/Short Guide, Cantz, , pp. 138-39.|
Perhaps one of the keys to Ben Kinmont's work is to be found in the Joseph Beuys's concept of Social Sulpture. Kinmont has been working systematically on the fringes of traditional art institutions to question the meaning of the very category of art. He has washed dishes in a museum cafeteria, receive strangers at his home, asked passers-by on the street about the possibility of considering a casual conversation a form of art, all as part of his work. Recently, he has organized unconventional exhibitions about the contractual relationships artists submit themselves to and about the various parallel economies their works set in motion, voluntarily or not. Thus, Kinmont recovers and reinterprets the postware conceptual tradition, basing his practis in the ethical and aesthetic potential of interpersonal relationships.
Following the example of Ian Wilson, who defined conversation as an art form, Kinmont always structures his projects around dialogue with the viewer. For Moveable Type, the work developed specifically for Documenta11, a series of publications are printed, originating in several conversations between the artist and a broad sample of Kassel citizens. Kinmont intends to visit homes, community organizations, and a number of business to ask people about the possibility of thinking about their activities as an art form. The resulting conversations will be published and made available to visitors to Documenta11.
These records of the everyday, produced by Kinmont like a chance map of everyday life in various neighborhoods of Kassel, allude to the discovery of the printing press and its transformative potential. They also constitute a veiled reference to the history of conceptual Art in the United States, especially the work of a group of artists and curators like Mel Bochner and Seth Siegelaub, whose exhibitions in the late 1960s took the form of printed publications. Kinmont's practice appeals simultaneousl to the history of art and to daily experience and tries to place the viewer in an atctive, leading role. C.B.