8951528 On power and politics: Dan Graham, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Marjetica Potrč | e-flux

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Art Agenda on power and politics: Dan Graham, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Marjetica Potrč and more

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, “The Hand,” 2009.

Art Agenda on power and politics: Dan Graham, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Marjetica Potrč and more

 

Now more than ever, contemporary art should be a tool with which to propose alternate tactics. But the hammer’s handle is worn, warmed-over. Far from boastful of their political origins, the artworks being made today are much less aggressive in the presentation of their ideas than those created in the 60s and 70s. Indeed, it seems that contemporary artists, on the whole, actively reject the spotlight. Hence, the critics, so reason follows, are left to bathe in lukewarm waters. And while reactions to recent political events across the world appear vague, even diluted, the desire for further discussion is palpable. Reviews of Alicja Kwade, Andrea Büttner, Dan Graham, the Kabakovs, and Marjetica Potrč address work that plays with various forms of architectural power and manipulation. These artists have built up their own internal power structures in the work, which move beyond trends, situating themselves outside strategies altogether, new or old. Disobedience (albeit civil more so than not) is ever present. The discussion of how contemporary art can propose radically new ontologies of “political art” will continue in upcoming reviews by Stephen Squibb on the Whitney Biennial 2012 and Arnaud Gerspacher on The New Museum Triennial, “The Ungovernables.”

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Coming soon: Karen Archey on Superflex at Peter Blum, New York; JJ Charlesworth on Raqs Media Collective, Frith Street Gallery, London; Judith Schwarzbart on “Abstract Possible: The Stockholm Synergies” Tensta Konsthall; Sarah Rifky on Art Dubai; Emily Cormack on Angela De La Cruz, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne; Sohrab Mohebbi on Stanya Kahn, Sussane Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, LA; Alan Gilbert on Hans Peter Feldmann, 303 Gallery, New York; Catalina Lozano on Aleksandra Domanović & Sharon Hayes, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City; Marina Fokidis on Dirk Bell with Frederic Detjens and Marcus Steinweg, Helena Papadopoulos, Athens; and Media Farzin on Mounir Fatmi, Lombard-Freid Projects, New York.

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