Issue #13
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Bernardo Ortiz Campo, Adam Kleinman, Élisabeth Lebovici, Sven Lütticken, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, and Monika Szewczyk
Repeated attempts to dismantle the aura of value and rarity surrounding art objects have been, for the most part, unsuccessful. Why is that? The majority of these attempts throughout the twentieth century have consisted of infiltrating the economy of care, custodianship, conservation, and considered attention granted to art objects upon entry into the art establishment. While the introduction of impostors into this ecosystem in the form of real-world doubles (such as Duchampian readymades)…
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7 Essays February 2010
Criticism and Experience
Bernardo Ortiz Campo
By Way of an Introduction This text is an essay, and as such, it is also an exercise in speculation. To speculate here means to take the following question seriously: why would an art magazine only publish photographs in black and white? Insofar as this question implies the possibility of critically interpreting a design decision, this essay can speak about graphic design—but in an oblique way. What is really at stake here concerns the relationship between art and writing—a…
Tempus Edax Rerum?
Adam Kleinman
Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough. —Noah Cross in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown In the most banal sense, something that stands the “test of time” is simply an object that has endured. This could be as simple as a matter of fact. Take the Parthenon, which has stood the “test of time” to the extent that it still quite literally stands in its original place, not only because of its material durability, but also because it…
Elisabeth Lebovici: I would like to begin with the title of the exhibition you curated at the Secession in Vienna in summer 2009, as it was what first enticed me to conduct this conversation with you: “The Death of the Audience.” I sense that such a title is in line with much recent research by artists and theoreticians, for instance Hito Steyerl’s essay in the June 2009 issue of e-flux journal , “Is a Museum a Factory?” 1 At the end of her essay, she mentions the viewer’s loss of…
In modern art, the increasing resemblance of art objects to everyday objects raised the threat of eroding of any real difference between works of art and other things. Barnett Newman railed against both Duchamp’s readymades and “Bauhaus screwdriver designers” who were elevated to the ranks of artists by the Museum of Modern Art’s doctrine of “Good Design.” 1 The danger for art was the same in both cases: the dissolving of the dividing line between works of art and everyday objects. Just as…
Increasing interest in organizing, structuring, documenting, and revealing the art history of the former Eastern Bloc is in large part attributable to artists who have participated actively in changing orders and elements within the visible, sayable, and thinkable, as Jacques Rancière’s definition of political art has it. 1 Although heterogeneous in terms of formal proposals, the artistic projects that will be dealt with in this coming series have in common discursive aspects or forms of…
I. The Question of Work Since the 1970s, a quiet cultural revolution has taken place that has restructured the desires of many people involved in art production, especially in relation to ideas of work and the working class. Increasingly, art production is distanced from the notion of work or the working life of wage earners. Who doesn’t want to earn a living performing leisure, for example? But the line is fine between such an attitude and the negation of value for what is…

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