The Provocation Column

Instructions for interpreting instructions in a work of art

By Regina De Con Cossio

Drill a hole in a canvas and put your
hand out from behind.
Receive your guests in that position.
Shake hands and converse with hands.

The text belongs to one of the instructions that, in the sixties, Yoko Ono made as part of an artistic process that was recorded in the book Grapefruit. The instructions for use in art were born around that decade, with Yoko Ono, but also with Sol Lewitt. And they are fundamentally associated with conceptual art, a movement in which we can also mention other names such as Marcel Duchamp or Man Ray.

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