Issues
Issue #04
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Michael Baers, Elena Filipovic, Boris Groys, Silvia Kolbowski, Dieter Lesage, and Dieter Roelstraete
Much of the tension within the sphere of contemporary art is generated by the insularity of the art context, which often prompts artists to be on the lookout for other situations. The museum is too exclusive, the artwork overly framed, the discourse too removed from everyday life. And yet, attempts to liberate artworks from their conditioning often finds them still connected to the art context by a rigid tether. Boris Groys has suggested that in order for art to be shown in public spaces and...
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7 Essays March 2009
A Museum That is Not
Elena Filipovic
One could say that everything begins and ends in Marcel Duchamp’s studio. His first New York studio is perhaps best known from a series of small and grainy photos, some of them out of focus. They were taken sometime between 1916 and 1918 by a certain Henri-Pierre Roché, a good friend of Duchamp. Roché was a writer, not a professional photographer, clearly. He was the same guy who would go on to write Jules et Jim , arguably a far better novel than these are photographs. But their aesthetic...
The general consensus of the contemporary mass media is that the return of religion has emerged as the most important factor in global politics and culture today. Now, those who currently refer to a revival of religion clearly do not mean anything like the second coming of the Messiah or the appearance of new gods and prophets. What they are referring to rather is that religious attitudes have moved from culturally marginal zones into the mainstream. If this is the case, and statistics would...
Two in One
Silvia Kolbowski
The following is President Obama’s inaugural speech, edited to remove references to religion, the celebration of militarism, delusions of national power, the phantasmatic projection of enemies, the glorification of the struggles of the poor, the puritanical elevation of suffering, the erasure of difference, etc. ***** My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by...
A Biennial plans to take the form of an art school on Cyprus and ends up as a series of seminars in Berlin. An artistic director of Documenta tosses up the word Bildung and one hundred magazines try to catch it. Uninteresting art fairs actually organize interesting public debates. According to Tom Holert, “Within the art world today, the discursive formats of the extended library-cum-seminar-cum-workshop-cum-symposium-cum-exhibition have become preeminent modes of address and forms of...
He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging. —Walter Benjamin 1 [ Preliminary admonition: there is no disgrace in seeking to define either the essence or the attributes of art. For... ] ...art is, or at least can be, many things at many different points in time and space. Throughout its history—which is either long or short, depending on the definition agreed upon—it has assumed many different roles and been called upon to...
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