Statement of Lawrence Weiner


I do not mind objects, but I do not care to make them.
The object – by virtue of being a unique commodity – becomes something that might make it impossible for people to see the art for the forest.
People, buying my stuff, can take it wherever they go and can rebuild it if they choose. If they keep it in their heads, that’s fine too. They don’t have to buy it to have it –
they can have it just by knowing it. Anyone making a reproduction of my art is making art just as valid as art as if I had made it.
Industrial and socioeconomic machinery pollutes the environment and the day the artist feels obligated to muck it up further art should cease being made.
If you can’t make art without making a permanent imprint on the physical aspects of the world, then maybe art is not worth making. In this sense,
any permanent damage to ecological factors in nature not necessary for the furtherance of human existence, but only necessary for the illustration of an art concept,
is a crime against humanity. For art being made by artists for other human beings should never be utilized against human beings,
unless the artist is willing to renounce his position as an artist and take on the position of a god. Being an artist means doing a minimum of harm to other human beings.
Big egocentric expensive works become very imposing. You can’t put twenty-four tons of steel in the closet.
If art has a general aspect to it and if someone receives a work in 1968 and chooses to have it built, then either tires of looking at it or needs the space for a new television set,
he can erase it. If – in 1975 – he chooses to have it built again – he has a piece of 1975 art. As materials change, the person who may think about the art,
as well as the person who has it built, approach the material itself in a contemporary sense and help to negate the preciousness of 1968 materials …
I personally am more interested in the idea of the material than in the material itself.

Art that imposes conditions – human or otherwise – on the receiver for its appreciation in my eyes constitutes aesthetic fascism.
My own art never gives directions, only states the work as an accomplished fact.

1 The artist may construct the work
2 The work may be fabricated
3 The work need not to be built

Each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artist the decision as to condition rests with the receiver upon the occasion of receivership.
If for to exist within a cultural context

1 An art may be constructed by an artist
2 An art may be fabricated
3 An art need not to be built
A reasonable assumption would be that all are equal and consistent with the condition of art and the relevant decisions as to condition upon receivership are not.

The statement of 12 October 1969 is based on a conversation with Ursula Meyer
and was originally published in Meyer (ed.), Conceptual Art, New York, 1972