ISBN-10:
0262072920
ISBN-13:
9780262072922
Pub. Date:
02/08/2008
Publisher:
MIT Press
Art Power

Art Power

by Boris Groys
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Overview

A new book by Boris Groys acknowledges the problem and potential of art's complex relationship to power.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262072922
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 02/08/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Boris Groys is Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, Senior Research Fellow at the Academy of Design in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Professor at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland. He is the author of Art Power , History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism (both published by the MIT Press), and other books.

What People are Saying About This

Iwona Blazwick

This magisterial overview situates contemporary art - its aesthetic strategies, institutions and drives - within the deeper context of the Modernist revolution, urbanism, new technologies and the post communist era. Groys' combines revelatory analysis with philosophical questions that go tothe heart of cultural production today.

James Elkins

Boris Groys produces more provocations, more paradoxes per page than anyother critic. Here, in one short book, are radical propositions aboutreligion (that it represents perfect 'opinionlessness' and is therefore themedium par excellence), the autonomy of art (that it is guaranteed by the absence of aesthetic judgment), political art (that it does not exist incontemporary art market), communist-era art (that it is invisible to theWest because it lacked a market structure), art theory (that the hope of avoiding it entails a theory of race), and images of war and terror (that they are the new iconophilia, the new visual authority). All these unexpected propositions are made in the hope of a slow, complex, incremental return to authorship, authority, presence, and the sublime.

Endorsement

The writings of Boris Groys create a discursive environment where art can be powerful. His commentaries on artistic activities turn aesthetics from a rhetoric of desire to a rhetoric of thinking. The critique replacing consumerism is finally transformed to a logic of the political, where his writing derives its own power.

Peter Weibel

From the Publisher

The writings of Boris Groys create a discursive environment where art can be powerful. His commentaries on artistic activities turn aesthetics from a rhetoric of desire to a rhetoric of thinking. The critique replacing consumerism is finally transformed to a logic of the political, where his writing derives its own power.

Peter Weibel

Gregg Horowitz

Boris Groys is an extraordinarily gimlet-eyed observer of the impact visual art has on contemporary art-world institutions. Anyone interested in the balance of aesthetic and political power among artists, collectors, curators, and the audience needs to read Groys's lapidary essays.

Peter Weibel

The writings of Boris Groys create a discursive environment where art can be powerful. His commentaries on artistic activities turn aesthetics from a rhetoric of desire to a rhetoric of thinking. The critique replacing consumerism is finally transformed to a logic of the political, where his writing derives its own power.

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