In 1966, John Latham borrowed a copy of Clement Greenberg’s Art and Culture — a work held in the highest regard at the time — from the library of Saint Martin’s School of Art, where Latham was employed as a part-time lecturer. At a party Latham invited students to chew pages from the book, and then distilled the resulting pulp into a clear liquid. This process took several months, and Latham began to receive letters from the library demanding its return. Latham presented a vial of the fermented book-pulp to the library, but this was rejected and his teaching contract was not renewed. The vial and correspondence became an artwork of its own, displayed in a leather case; the piece is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Over the past eight years Berlin based British artist Tino Sehgal has been
“rethinking the notion of a product as a transformation of actions not as a
transformation of materials.” and has become known for making art without actually making any objects.
Direct experience is an essential component in the work and his working
methods involve organizing and instructing people (adults; often posing as
museum guards; teenagers or children) to use their body and/or voice to
construct “situations” that can be observed and experienced.