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Art, argues the distinguished theoretician Boris Groys, is hardly a powerless commodity subject to the art market’s fiats of inclusion and exclusion. In Art Power . Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper) 1. Art — Political aspects. 2. Art and state. Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper). 1. Art—Political aspects. 2. Art and state. 3.

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A new book by Boris Groys acknowledges the problem and potential of art’s complex relationship to power. When people today speak of “real life,” what they usually mean is the global media market. We are also confronted with artworks that aim to be both documentary and fictional, and with artistic interventions that want to be political, in the sense of transcending the borders of the art system — while at the same time remaining within these borders.

Adolf Hitlers Art Theory. The second half of the book was very exciting to me in its exploration of politics and art; specifically, art and Hitler, art and the Soviet Union, and art and Europe today. This kind of opening allows the artists to 18 19 Equal Aesthetic Rights address and seduce a much larger audience; it is also a decent way of earning money — which the artist previously had to beg for from the state or private sponsors.

Now I must confess that my own essays collected in this book are also motivated by a wish to contribute to a certain balance of power in today’s art world — namely, to find more space in it for art functioning as political propaganda. This strategy has often been called elitist, but it suggests an elite equally open to anyone in so far as it excludes everyone to the same degree.

This suspicion of commercially exploiting media attention by means of political commitment thwarts even the most ambitious endeavors to politicize art. The good artwork is precisely that work which affirms the formal equality of all images under the conditions of their factual inequality.

This is what differentiates the curator from the artist, as the artist has the privilege to exhibit objects which have not already been elevated to the status of artworks. So one can say that every modern artwork was conceived with the goal of contradicting all other modern artworks in one way or another.

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

But this is by no means the case: That is, media-driven politics operates on the terrain of art. At the same time, other artists transplant mass-media-produced images into the context of their own regional cultures as a means of escaping the provincial and folkloric dimensions of ;ower imme- diate milieus. We can safely say: But this also means that the new is still possible, because the museum is still there even after the alleged end of art history, of the subject, and so on.


But what is, actually, this goal itself? This excess both stabilizes and desta- bilizes the democratic balance of taste and power at the same time.

And this means that by serving any political or religious ideology an artist ultimately serves art. But some really interesting essays about modernity, postmodernity, the constantly evolving nature of the city, urban life, and art as politics. But opening up to the big world outside the closed spaces of the art system produces, on the contrary, a certain blind- ness to what is contemporary and present. In life, on the other hand, only the extraordinary is presented to us as a possible object of our admiration.

It would need a bit more of editing to avoid repeating same concepts more than twice as it’s shown as a series of essays but are outlined like chapters. But this appearance of infinite plurality is, of course, only an illusion.

Duchamp simply took this turn to its final conclusion when he laid bare the iconophilic mechanism of glorification of mere things by labeling them works of art. The copying or repetition of well- known artworks brings the whole order of historical memory into disarray.

Full text of “Boris Groys Art Power ( )”

Video installations bring the “great night” into the museum — it may be their most grogs function. Being new is, in fact, often understood as a combination of being different and being recently produced. If I move a certain groya thing as a readymade from outside of the museum boriz its inner space, I don’t change the form of this thing but I do change its life expectancy and assign to it a certain historical date.

Without doubt, each reference to this infinity needs to be scrutinized and wielded strategically if its use in any specific representational context is to be effective. Both artistic strategies initially appear artt oppose each other: The relationship of the museum to what is outside is not primarily temporal, but spatial. Significantly, this understanding of art is also shared by the majority of those artists and art theoreticians who aim to be critical of the commodifica- tion of art — and who want art itself to be critical of its own commodification.

They are making advertisements for a certain ideological goal — and they subordinate their art to this goal.

Popular culture too, can be viewed as an ideological tool of capitalism, in that all members of society are inevitably exposed to it. Rather, this difference can only be explicitly thematized in the museum as obscure and unrepresentable.

Cultures without museums are the “cold cultures,” as Levi-Strauss defined them, and these cultures try to keep their cultural iden- tity intact by constantly reproducing the past.


From this perspective, the solution seems to be to leave the artwork alone, enabling the viewer to confront it directly.

On the New In recent decades, the discourse on the impossibility of the new in art has become especially widespread and groy.

So one must make a choice, take sides, be committed — and accept the inevi- tability of being accused of one-sidedness, of merely advertising for one’s favorite artists at the expense of poqer with the goal of advancing their com- mercial success on the art market.

From Artwork to Art Documentation. Accordingly, one wonders why anyone at all is needed to decide what is art and what is not. So we can say that at the moment when the universal museum is understood as the gorys origin of the other, because the other of the museum is by definition the object of desire for the museum collector or curator, the museum becomes, let us say, the Absolute Museum, and reaches the end of its possible history.

Those virtual dinosaurs which are merely dead copies of already museographed dinosaurs could be shown, as we know, in the context of Jurassic Park — in the context of amusement, entertainment — but not in the museum.

So it is by no means accidental that the recent discourses proclaiming the end of art point to the advent of the readymade as the endpoint of art history. The aet of the ancien regime was intent on creating a masterpiece, ggroys image that would exist in its own right as the ultimate visualization of the abstract ideas of truth and beauty.

Contemporary art, Groys argues, demonstrates its power by appropriating the iconoclastic gestures directed against itself — by positioning itself simultaneously as an image and as a critique of the image. Notions of originality, authenticity and presence, essential to the ordered discourse of the museum, are undermined.

It is, of course, a completely legitimate desire.

Art Power – Boris Groys – Google Books

The autonomy of art has been denied in many recent art-theoretical discussions. But it seems to me that this question, though tempting, is nevertheless wrong-headed. In his essayGroys defends the role of art as political propaganda and calls for politically motivated art to be included in the discourse of modern art. The market operates by an “invisible hand,” it is merely a dark suspicion; it circulates images, but it does not have its own image.