0247 Installation: Genre, Medium, or What?

  • Svetlana Makeeva (Author)

    Svetlana Makeeva is a PhD fellow at Lomonossov State University of Moscow, Faculty of History, Department of International Art History, working on a dissertation entitled "The Coming-of-Age of Installation Art in the Western and Russian Art of the Second Half of the 20th Century". Her research interests include Western and Russian installational practices, the avant-garde spatial experiments and the evolution of painting as a medium throughout the 20th century.

Identifiers (Article)


Since its emergence at the international scene in the 1970s, installation has been one of the artforms central to the contemporary art system. Yet at the theoretical level the issue of its categorial framework remains unresolved, which in turn reflects the situation within contemporary art’s categoriality in general. Concepts and terms such as "genre", "medium", "intermediality", "post-medium" and "postconceptual" condition have all been applied to installation art. This article attempts to analyze whether these labels are appropriate to the installation art phenomenon, especially with regard to the recent developments within genre, literary and media studies. Hence, the article provides the historical and modern definitions of the terms, while special attention is paid to their usage within art history and installation art discourse. The resulting conclusions are intended to situate installation art within a viable categorial framework and to shed light on several areas of contemporary art categoriality at large.


contemporary art, installation art, medium, genre, categorisation