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Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper). 1. Art—Political aspects. 2. Art and state. 3. Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper) 1. Art — Political aspects. 2. Art and state. In his essay (), Groys defends the role of art as political propaganda and calls for politically motivated art to be included in the discourse of.

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The axes of aesthetic life would, in other words. In order to challenge these claims critically, we again require some form of comparative framework. Modern artists working after the emergence of the modern museum groyd in spite of all their protests and resentments that they are working primarily for the museums’ collections — at least if they are working in the context of so-called high art.

The paradoxical task of judging art in the name of the public while criticizing society in the name of art opens a deep rift within the discourse of contemporary criticism. Here we are also dealing with difference beyond difference — now understood as difference between the artwork and the ordinary, profane object.

Gryos modern museum is capable of introducing a new difference between collected and noncollected things. They are not only presenting groy selves but also act as pointers to the inexhaustible mass of images, of which they are delegates of equal standing.

“Art Power – Introduction” by Boris Groys – A summary

Life looks truly alive only if we see it from the perspective of the museum, because, again, only in the museum are we able to produce new differences — differ- ences beyond differences — differences that are emerging here and now. It is also char- acteristic of this mindset that not only the official but also the unofficial, dissident art of the Socialist countries tends to be neglected by the dominating art theory. This makes under- standable why the notion of the new was somehow suppressed in art theoreti- cal discourse of later decades, even if the notion kept its relevance for artistic practice.


The market merely incorporates any criticising work and while some attributes may change, the concept remains unchallenged. But for Kierkegaard the new is a difference without difference, or a difference beyond differ- ence — a difference that we are unable to recognize because it is not related to any pregiven structural code. The official as well as unofficial art of the Soviet Union and of other former Socialist states remains almost completely out of focus for the contemporary art history and museum system.

When some artists and art critics found the true source of art in the subjective self-expression of an individual artist, other artists and art critics required that art thematize the objective, material condi- tions of its production and distribution. This oppor- tunity is denied to the curator. Later, Malevich gives a concrete example of what he means: This art is also made and exhibited for the masses, for those who do not necessarily wish to purchase it — indeed, the nonbuyers constitute the overwhelming and ever-increasing audience for art as it is regularly shown at the well-known Introduction international biennials, triennials, and so on.

But what is, actually, this goal itself? In Art PowerGroys examines modern and contemporary art according to its ideological function. The need then emerges to replace the old new with the new new, in order to restore the romantic feeling of the infinite real. The representation of this politically motivated art inside the art world has nothing to do with the question of whether one finds this art morally or even aesthetically good or 4 5 Introduction bad — just as nobody would ask whether Duchamp’s Fountain is morally or aesthetically good or bad.

Art Power by Boris Groys

Sacred objects were once devalued to bori art; today, in contrast, profane objects are valorized to become art. Notions of originality, authenticity and presence, essential to the ordered discourse of the museum, are undermined. This, Groys concedes, is an old idea, with its origins as with so much else in Art Power in the work of Marcel Duchamp. If Rubens’ works really were burned, as Malevich suggested, it would in fact open the way for artists to paint the fat ass of Venus once again.

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This kind of art is not a commodity. Art objects are destroyed regularly by wars, catastrophes, acci- dents, time.

Moreover, one can interpret the ready- made technique of Duchamp in Hegelian terms as an act of the self- reflection of the universal museum which puts an end to its further historical development.

In the best case booris could be used merely for designing, for aestheticizing the already existent oppositional, emancipatory political movements — that is, it boeis be at best merely a sup- plement to politics. Selected pages Title Page. Ever- changing museum presentations compel us to imagine the Heraclitean flux On the New that deconstructs all identities and undermines all historical orders and taxonomies, ultimately destroying all borks archives from within.

As much as the behavior of dinosaurs was — at least in a certain sense — unaffected by their future representation in the modern museum, the behavior of the modern artist is affected by the knowledge of such a possibility, and in a very substantial way.

Avant-garde art is elitist simply because it originates under a constraint to which the general public is not subjected. A critique of the existing art market rules and art institutions is, of course, legitimate and necessary, but this critique makes sense only if its goal is poweer draw our attention to interesting or relevant art that is overlooked by these institutions.

Return to Book Page. Such art was made in the former Socialist countries. He or she can interrupt contem- plation at any time, return, and go away again.