e-flux journal books

What Is Contemporary Art?

June 2010, English

10.8 x 17.8 cm, 216 pages, 24 b/w illustrations, softcover

ISBN 978-1-934105-10-8

Design by Jeff Ramsey, cover design by Liam Gillick

What is contemporary art? First, and most obviously: why is this question not asked? That is to say, why do we simply leave it to hover in the shadow of attempts at critical summation in the grand tradition of twentieth-century artistic movements? The contemporary delineates its border invisibly: no one is proud to be “contemporary,” and no one is ashamed. Indeed, the question of where artistic movements have gone seems embedded in this question, if only because “the contemporary” has become a single hegemonic “ism” that absorbs all proposals for others. When there are no longer any artistic movements, it seems that we are all working under the auspices of this singular ism that is deliberately (and literally) not one at all…

Edited by Julieta Aranda, Anton Vidokle, and Brian Kuan Wood





Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, What Is Contemporary Art?

Cuauhtémoc Medina, Contemp(t)orary: Eleven Theses

Boris Groys, Comrades of Time

Raqs Media Collective, Now and Elsewhere

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Manifestos for the Future

Hu Fang, New Species of Spaces

Jörg Heiser, Torture and Remedy: The End of -isms and the Beginning Hegemony of the Impure

Martha Rosler, Take the Money and Run? Can Political and Socio-Critical Art “Survive”?

Hal Foster, Contemporary Extracts

Zdenka Badinovac, Contemporaneity as Points of Connection

Carol Yinghua Lu, Back to Contemporary: One Contemporary Ambition, Many Worlds

Dieter Roelstraete, What Is Not Contemporary Art?: The View from Jena

Jan Verwoert, Standing on the Gates of Hell, My Services Are Found Wanting

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