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BORIS GROYS: The Topology of Contemporary Art PART 2: MULTIPLE MODERNITIES. 5. MONICA AMOR: On the Contingency of. Contemporary Art in Time” considers some examples, and conse- quences, of .. Cf. Boris Groys, “The Topology of Contemporary Art,” in Antinomies of Art. Synopsis: To understand the qualitative properties of “Contemporary Art”, the Author examines the interplay between Modern & Post-modern.

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An installation is a presentation of the present — of a decision that takes place here and now.

And this decision is always a contemporary decision — a decision that belongs not to the past and not to the future but to the present. The installation thus demonstrates the material boriw of civilization that would otherwise go unnoticed behind the surface of image circulation in the mass media.

The installation topolpgy a certain selection, a certain chain of choices, a certain logic of inclusions and exclusions. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The recognition of the iconoclastic, of the creative, of the new requires a permanent comparison with the traditional, with the old. More important the installation is in itself, as it was already said, a space of decision making — and first of all of decisions concerning the differentiation between old and new, traditional and innovative.

This movement of the spectator in the exhibition space cannot be arbitrarily stopped because it has toploogy essential function in the perception of the installation.

Therefore, never the same even if the ideal is the same. But if the difference between original and copy is only a topological one — that means if it is only a difference between a closed, fixed, marked, auratic context and an open, unmarked, profane space of anonymous mass circulation — then not only the operation of dislocation and deterritorialisation aart the original is borris, but also the operation of relocation and reterritorialisation of the copy.

But at the same time an installation can not be truly new — simply because it can not be immediately compared to other, earlier, older installations. Email required Address never made public. And that means that we have no outside position in relationship to the installation practice. Being often enough characterized as “formalistic” Modernist art can hardly be defined in formal terms: This paradoxical character of the Modern project was recognized and described by a number of the theoreticians and reflected on by many artists in the 60s and 70s.


The Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys

Notify me of new comments via email. And the original has an aura because it has a fixed context, a well defined place in space, and through that particular place it is inscribed also in history as a singular, original object.

All of them may be turned into a site of installation by documenting the selection process, whether private or institutional. Clearly a situation arises here in which the contradictory expectations of a visit to a movie theatre and a visit to an exhibition space create a conflict for the visitor: But if an installation is a space where the differentiation between original and copy, innovation and repetition, past and future takes place, could we speak of an individual installation itself as being original or new?

The growing importance of the installation as an art form is in a very obvious way connected to the re-politisation of art that we could experience in the recent years. The contemporary artistic installation has a goal to present the scene, the context, the strategy of this differentiation as it takes place here and now — that is why it can be called genuinely contemporary, indeed.

And that means that all the objects placed in an installation are originals, even when — or precisely when — they circulate outside of the installation as copies. The time of contemplation must be continually renegotiated between artist and spectator. In both cases the context decides about the newness — and in both cases we cannot rely on an established, institutional context but have to create something like a theological or artistic installation that would allow us to take a decision and to articulate it.


Taken separately these images and objects do not raise the claim to be unconcealed and true. These images and objects present themselves in a very immediate way. Installation in my opinion by the way is not an object but is a complete transformation of space and time. Thus, the differentiation between old and new, repetitive and original, conservative and progressive, traditional and liberal is not just a differentiation among many others.

On a seperate note, I have a hard time commenting on the blog. The contrary is the case. You are commenting using your WordPress. An by doing so an installation manifests here and now certain decisions about what is old and what is new, what is an original and what is a copy.

It remains maybe the same copy — but it becomes different originals.

So to rightly characterize the nature of contemporary art it seems to be necessary to situate it in its relationship to the Modern project and to its post-modern reevaluation. The central notion of Modern art was the notion of creativity.

The Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys | alfredcrucible

The copy is, on the contrary, without a place and ahistorical -being right from the beginning a potential multiplicity. The artwork that is conceived as a machine of infinite expansion and inclusion is not an open artwork but an artistic counterpart of an imperial hybris.

To compare one installation to another installation we have to create a new installation that would be a place of such a comparison.

But to recognize a certain image as a truly iconoclastic one we have to be able to compare it with the traditional images, with the icons of the past.