The complex interactions that define the relationship of a work of art to its viewer are the object of study of art historian Claire Bishop, known for her important contributions to the ongoing debate on the role of Relational Eesthetics. Her book, Installation Art: A Critical History (2005), is a historical and theoretical overview offering a number of clarifying examples that attempt to define several types of Installation Art.
Bishop argues that, as a result of being physically inside an art installation, the viewer’s visual experience is changed. The decentralization of the viewer, implies the immediate abolition of a single and central point of view that had been introduced with the Renaissance perspective. “Activation” and “decentralization” of the spectatorship are primary components of installation art. These concepts, Bishop argues, are connected to the post structuralist theories which proliferated in the 1970s. The rise of a new ‘multiple perspective’ in contemporary art has accompanied the ideology critical of the hierarchical model of the past.