Qui Pourra, 2008

Art & Language began in the late 1960s as an amorphous, more-or-less anonymous gathering of like-minded artists and thinkers who tested art’s limits and possibilities, with loosely connected chapters in England and the US. Now defined as a collaboration between Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden (born 1945 and 1944, UK) this video work, Qui Pourra (8 mins 39 secs), depicts the artists’ studio as a space of collaboration, conversation, reverie, industry and conversely, inactivity – with the work only revealing itself and any possible meaning incrementally over time, through a steady accretion of ideas.

Mapping text over their place of work and further superimposing their voices at work over this static image, Qui Pourra (which roughly translates as ‘who can?’) not only depicts the artistic process – of thought, action, discussion – but represents many areas of Art & Language’s conceptual practice, combining as it does text, performance, painting, criticism and publishing.