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The term is used to describe a construction conceived for a specific space occupying an entire gallery or room. It can be either temporary or permanent varying in scale and can be constructed in exhibition spaces of public or private spaces inviting the viewer to physically enter with an almost theatrical immersion, as it appeals not only to the sense of sight but also to those of hearing and smell. Installation art therefore differs from traditional media like painting and sculpture as it addresses the viewer directly as an embodied presence in the space. Its influences have been diverse: architecture, cinema, performance art, sculpture along with various art movements due to which a chronological approach to installation art becomes difficult. In 1917, Marcel Duchamp signed a urinal and placed it in the gallery as the Fountain. By the 60s it was a recognisable art form, and the 70s and 80s saw the rise of the art form proper when artists challenged notions of high art, exhibition space and quality, limitations of making and viewing such art, and the collectable art object.  

Further Reading

Installation Art: A Critical History, Claire Bishop
Space, Site, Intervention: Situating Installation Art, Erika Suderburg

Subodh Gupta, Dada, 2013, stainless steel and stainless steel utensils, variable dimensions