Art Power (MIT Press)
Art has its own power in the world, and is as much a force in the power play of global politics today as it once was in the arena of cold war politics. 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, Groys examines modern and contemporary art according to its ideological function. Art, Groys writes, is produced and brought before the public in two ways -- as a commodity and as a tool of political propaganda. In the contemporary art scene, very little attention is paid to the latter function. Arguing for the inclusion of politically motivated art in contemporary art discourse, Groys considers art produced under totalitarianism, Socialism, and post-Communism. He also considers today's mainstream Western art -- which he finds behaving more and more according the norms of ideological propaganda: produced and exhibited for the masses at international exhibitions, biennials, and festivals. 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. In Art Power, Groys examines this fundamental appropriation that produces the paradoxical object of the modern artwork.
The destruction of the museum and by a radical, ecstatic deletion of the past, which stands between us and our present. This vision of the new is powerfully expressed, for example, in a short but important text by Kazimir Malevich: "On the Museum," from 1919. At that time the new Soviet government feared that the old Russian museums and art collections would be destroyed by civil war and the general collapse of state institutions and the economy, and the Communist Party responded by trying to.
"readymade." For Kierkegaard, the difference between God and man is not one that can be established objectively or described in visual terms. We put the figure of Christ into the context of the divine without recognizing Christ as divine-and that is what makes him genuinely new. But the same can be said of the readymades of Duchamp. Here we are also dealing with difference beyond difference-now understood as difference between the artwork and the ordinary, profane object. Accordingly, we can say.
It was iconoclastic because it employed artworks as illustrations, as documents of the search for a social utopia, without emphasizing their autonomous value. It subscribed to the radical iconoclastic approach of the classical Russian avant-garde, which considered art to be documentation of the search for the "new man" and a "new life." Most important, though, "Utopia Station" was a curatorial and not an artistic project. This meant that the iconoclastic gesture could not be accompanied-and thus.
Because television time and again shows images of the enclosed people, the viewer begins to suspect manipulation, constantly asking what might be happening in the space hidden behind these images in which "real" life takes place. By contrast, Holler's performance is not shown but merely documented-specifically, by means of the participants' narratives, which describe precisely that which could not be seen. Here, then, life is understood as something narrated and documented but unable to be shown.
Here it is the proletariat that is the master of these locomotives and machines; this is our content."2 During the 1930s this argument was repeated again and again. The artists and theoreticians of the Russian avant-garde were accused of taking a nihilistic approach toward the art of the past, preventing the proletariat and the Communist Party from using their artistic heritage for their own political goals. Accordingly, Socialist Realism was presented initially as an emergent rescue operation.