Joseph Kosuth, one of the pioneers of Conceptual art and installation art, has initiated language-based works and appropriation strategies since the 1960s. His work has consistently explored the production and role of language and meaning within art. His reflection on time stems from both a personal and philosophical concern with finding meaning within the various contexts and narratives life provides. It is thus also an investigation into the process of making meaning in artistic practice. Kosuth anchors and provides the tempo for the viewer/reader’s fluid experience of the exhibition through the use of the analogue clock. Time is thus referenced both literally and figuratively.
Kosuth removes the necessity of an objective shared truth while experiencing the work and highlights the freedom, choice, and responsibility inherent in everyday experience as well as in an artistic practice in general. The exhibition as a whole is a reflection on the gap that holds together beginnings and ends. Kosuth’s ‘Existential Time’ endeavors to punctuate the lack, limits, and surplus of meaning surrounding the narrative experience of time and life, while exploring the powerful and finite territory of the present. Kosuth states, “As artists we all begin to construct with what is given. We appropriate fragments of meaning from the detritus of culture and construct other meanings, which are our own.”