Richard Serra: Sculpture, television, and the status quo


While he is appreciated primarily as a sculptor, Richard Serra also made several films and videos in the 1960s and 1970s which have a pivotal role in both the history of avant-garde film and the development of early video art. This article takes into account this ‘collateral’ production, suggesting that Serra’s work is not merely formalist or materialist. Rather, as his video work suggests, his larger sculptural works and conceptual approach require a re-interpretation as commentaries on social and political issues. This essay focuses on the artist’s videos, reading them as an extension of both his films and his sculptural production, but which takes a more explicit stance than either. The essay will also take into account the similarities between Serra’s stance and that of the contemporary Guerrilla Television movement, trying to position them within the articulated history of the relationships between contemporary art and mass media.

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Preferred Citation
Spampinato, Francesco: Richard Serra: Sculpture, television, and the status quo. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 4 (2015), Nr. 2, S. 31-49. DOI:
 author = {Spampinato, Francesco},
 title = {Richard Serra: Sculpture, television, and the status quo},
 year = 2015,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 4,
 address = {Amsterdam},
 journal = {NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies},
 number = 2,
 pages = {31--49},
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