Songs on Conceptual Art
Saturday, 1 December, 2012

Kadist Art Foundation and THE THING Quarterly present the San Francisco album release for Songs on Conceptual Art, a project organized by artists Crystal Baxley and Stefan Ransom. The album is comprised of original songs inspired by John Baldessari’s 1972 video, Baldessari Sings LeWitt, and by Sol LeWitt's seminal document, Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969). The event is a one-night concert featuring performances by Sun Foot, Dragging an Ox Through Water, SAFE, Jib  Kidder, and Boron, and features a limited edition poster for the show, made in collaboration with MacFadden & Thorpe.

In 1969, at a time during intense philosophical change in the art world, Sol LeWitt assembled a series of 35 statements that crystallized his work as a conceptual artist and reflected a radical shift in thinking for artists, expanding notions of what art could be. Many of the statements give supremacy to the idea in the conception of an artwork, taking Sentence #10 for instance:“Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.”

With the intent to circulate LeWitt’s thinking to a larger public three years later, John Baldessari wittingly improvised melodies to each proclamation in front of the video camera. Inspired by Baldessari’s video intervention, Baxley and Ransom asked different musicians to create a song for each Sentence, opening again LeWitt’s Sentences to contemporary audiences, some using the text verbatim, others altering it, and some not using the words in their songs at all.

Songs on Conceptual Art is available as a run of 350 limited-edition double vinyl LPs from labels Awesome Vistas, Teenage Teardrops and Marriage Records. Each record comes with a letter-pressed poster of LeWitt’s Sentences on Conceptual Art and all of the jackets are hand silk-screened. Additionally, the album can be downloaded for free online at Songs on Conceptual Art has been exhibited at The Henry Art Gallery, and Pacific Northwest College of Art, and events for the record have been held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and at Holocene in Portland.

Admission to the San Francisco album release event is free taking place at Kadist and THE THING at 3285 - 3299 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, at the intersection of 20th & Folsom in the Mission District.


San Francisco