Baldessari Sings LeWitt

This fifteen-minute video shows John Baldessari sitting at a table facing the viewer with a pile of paper in front of him. At the beginning, the artist speaks directly to his audience and describes the work as a sort of hommage to Sol LeWitt, whose texts have been hidden away too long in exhibition catalogs and could reach a larger audience if sung. Then Baldessari starts singing each of the 45 statements from LeWitt’s treatise Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967) to popular tunes such as the national anthem of the United States. This whimsical combination of two systems—theoretical discourse and popular music—on the one hand reveals Baldessari’s skepticism towards artistic manifestos and overly rigid sets of rules. On the other hand, it can be seen as an ironic commentary on the utopian hope of the video community of that time to be able to reach a mass audience.


  • original Title: Baldessari Sings LeWitt
  • Date: 1972
  • Duration: 15′
  • Genre: Video

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