New project examining post autonomy 2009Presentation Transcript
Stage 2 in developing Post Autonomy - an examination in detail of what is implied by post autonomy
Notes for introduction
This new project is intended to revisit the concept of Post Autonomy as initially formulated by Lingner in 1993, to include the subsequent projects and thinking during the past 10 years of thinking about Post Autonomy, plus the new thinking about art, the role of the tradition of exhibitions and the International role of western art and its institutions.
But above all the project is intended to rethink through many of the complex issues that have only been touched or even by passed while thinking about Post Autonomy.
In many respects this is intended to signal the passage from a generalised thinking about Post autonomy which was brought to a conclusion at Your space, to a more detailed and specific thinking. And in doing so function as a reappraisal of thinking into post Autonomy, that includes the responses to and developments by others of the concept of Post Autonomy.
Include the recent developments into thinking about platforms for staging contemporary art.
Break down the core issues
Issues to examine:
How do we situate and act on claims made in theory and text?
Analyse more precisely Lingners claims that the social has entered into the fabric of art itself, along with the other claims he has made, leading onto a call for a different type of Autonomy.
Understand how power functions within the Western art industry.
Understand the relationship between Western art and Globalisation via understanding the function of Documenta.
Analysis of key claims made for Post Autonomy
External factors once determined by art have become internalized
Look at evidence for this claim
Include visual and text evidence for this.
What does Lingner mean by this claim?
If art is not to be overcome by the social controls now within it and to lose its own specific identity
How a socially defined art can regain and re-develop its autonomy..
Art is forced to develop a completely new strategy for autonomy
A complete aesthetic legislation would be the first organ of the aesthetic revolution.
The art of the avant-garde has always sought to break with art history. Up to now this was never actually accomplished, a fact chiefly gone unrecognised by its harshest critics
Text and images to make these claims understandable Work out what material is needed to undertake material research into the issues we are looking at. Where can we locate better information about the Global role of art?
Private / Corporate A discussion about private versus corporate collecting and "art as material" Participants: Dr. Renate Wiehager, director of the DaimlerChrysler Art Collection (RW) Paul Maenz, art dealer and collector (PM) Dr. Gerda Wendermann, curator at the Neues Museum Weimar (GW) Dr. Friederike Nymphius, assistant at the DaimlerChrysler Art Collection (FN) The discussion took place at DaimlerChrysler Contemporary on March 1, 2002 RW : I'd like to start with some questions to former gallery-owner Paul Maenz, as the Paul Maenz Collection essentially grew out of his activities as a gallery owner. Herr Maenz, when your gallery closed in 1990, the DuMont Verlag produced a lavish volume about 20 years of gallery history. It was subtitled "An avant-garde gallery and the art of our times".1 The volume opens with an essay by Donald Kuspit called "Dealing with the avant-garde" and addressing a series of fundamental reflections about how art is perceived today. Kuspit writes that avant-garde art has become a "real-concrete utility article" and a "concrete answer to our desperate prayers for a meaningful existence".2 What does a formulation of this kind sound like to you now, ten years after the book appeared? Was this 'impassioned' assessment right at the time? Is it right for contemporary art?
PM : When I received Kuspit's essay I thought the content was a bit too pompous, and actually the form as well. We persuaded the author to render some of the "fat" down before the essay was published. The idea was not to make the gallery into something heroic. We wanted statements about the art of the day that the book is about, not a eulogy. Even so, Kuspit's essay is interesting. Especially when it looks at the ambivalence, the dialectic arising from the fact that an avant-garde gallery-owner's work, if it is successful, at the same time reduces the energy levels that are his fundamental driving force, in other words it detracts from the avant-garde's revolutionary energy. Kuspit sees the ideal gallery-owner as a kind of "John the Baptist" or as an impresario. At the time he was also particularly concerned with the subject - or possibly we should say the unavoidable dilemma - of how avant-garde art and its naturally critical basis approach is transformed into cult objects or culture fetishes. We might find ideas like this a bit difficult now. Of course all that comes from the spirit of another time, and so does Kuspit's diction. RW : Kuspit says that an avant-garde gallery-owner has to sell art at a profit, but even so "selling is not the essential feature of an avant-garde gallery". Can you say something about that in the light of your own gallery activities? Do you think we still have avant-garde galleries centred around the epistemological thrust of a person's activities, rather than the financial element? How did you deal over the years with decisions about what stays in the gallery as part of a 'private collection', what became 'part of the collection' for you, and why, and what was sold? There's a lot to answer here, but perhaps you can identify a point where you'd say that the start made in the sixties was linked with decisions to buy certain works because they addressed things in a particular and fundamental way, I'm thinking of Peter Roehr's work, for example?
“ Why did the apparent production of knowledge – not give rise to a reflection on the place of Documenta itself within the Imperial organigram, as a global interface between artists and gallerists, collectors, curators and museums worldwide – an interface whose funcyion consists in organizing the global flows of artists, artworks and capital? And the question then is whether Documenta 11 succeeded in generating a regime of flows that could be qualified as anti-imperial?” Cultural resignation today: On over-identification and over statement by Dieter Lesage
… the kind of art theory that is generally produced in the margins of the art industry is a kind of academic creole, a language in which concepts from very different intellectual traditions are mixed. Academics, then, owe their legitimacy within the artistic community to their over-identification with artistic recipes. One could call many of the theoreticians that entertain the discourse parts of arts manifestations TJ’s - theory jokeys.
Between resistance and resignation. The discourse of Documenta 11 was not just any kind of discourse; it was a discourse on resistance. Not only were there many contributions
Marchart describes museums, biennials, and other large-scale art exhibitions such as the documenta as hegemony machines, functioning not unlike the World's Fairs that have contributed significantly to the project of nation-building since the mid-nineteenth century
Following the reflections of Antonio Gramsci in Quaderni del carcere, Marchart defines hegemony as a precarious balance between dominant and subaltern forces that, through the networks of society's institutions (museums, biennials, and large-scale exhibitions), establishes a momentary primacy of certain forces.
These forces can always be overturned, depending on shifts in an ongoing "war of position."
The concept of hegemony can be explained as the way in which consensus is produced as a primordial means of securing the dominance of certain forces. Every institution, which may at some moment seem to consolidate dominant bourgeois culture, may at another point be useful for a counter-hegemonic project ﾑ o ne that could eventually establish another hegemony.
The progressive and emancipatory potentiality of institutions as discourse producers provides the main reason why they should not be abandoned, as a great many leftists have done out of a belief that institutions as such necessarily consolidate petty bourgeois culture.
How do economic processes affect art production by instrumentalizing it and transforming it into consumable forms?
Can there be a place of critique and resistance inside the art world today?
We could say that the dependence of art production on the market has formed biopolitical processes that transform the artist ﾕ s profession into a search for apolitical identities sufficiently compatible with the system to dwell inside it.
What is art for those who finance it?
the spectrum of critical or resistant ideas that contemporary art can produce is so regulated that the market is capable of producing its own self-critique, creating a sense of democratic plurality. it is not possible to produce any real critical discourse within the existing art system simply because most forms of resistance are so quickly converted into consumable forms.
It seems as if art as we know it has become obsolete in its mission to actively intervene in social space. It is for this reason that critical art practices have to inhabit new forms of being: less bound by traditional notions of production and representation and closer to forms of practice that might involve the mixing of critical theory, social sciences, and politics.
art has to re-frame its own position and its role in contemporary society.
Jacques Ranci ere argues that a rt is more and more today about matters of distribution of spaces and issues of redescriptions of situations. It is more and more about matters that traditionally belonged to politics. But it cannot merely occupy the space left by the weakening of political conflict. It has to reshape it, at the risk of testing the limits of its own politics. 3
In order for critical art practice to remain critical it must, in a way, stop being art (in the traditional sense) and attempt to produce its visibility, territories of reception, and history on its own terms and in ways that cannot be reproduced inside the existing art system.
Documenta, the widely publicized mega-exhibition of contemporary art held every five years in Kassel, Germany, has always had a political agenda. The first Documenta, organized by Arnold Bode in 1955, was intended to signal to the international art world that the dark days of Nazi philistinism were definitively over and that Germany ’s demonstrative openness to a vant-garde ﾓ art could be taken as a clear confirmation of the Bonn republic ﾕ s reliability as a partner to its Cold War Western Allies.
With only mild exceptions, this politically strategic cultural model was fostered by the Documentas through the following decades
it in fact announces that these transformations b asically the valorization of criticality h ave been successfully integrated into a new, neo-liberal cultural strategy
Criticality is retained and exhibited, but now in a merely token form. The critique of the institution and its logic has been converted into an asset of the very same institution. The practical result is that critique is in large part pre-empted: since the institution itself is already critical, it can be entrusted with the task of (self-)criticism.
New Institutionalism is alleged to be a pathway for institutional transformation based on principles of participation.
Institutions like Documenta thus tend to become hegemonic, incorporating the efforts of smaller organizations and individuals. Since Documenta incorporates everything, it can simultaneously claim the institutional authority of the museum and also the (formerly external) critical and oppositional position of smaller groups and organizations. Here we recognize the neo-liberal strategy of co-opting conflict and incorporating it into carefully controlled internal management
But, how can we have access to something that never truly materialised? -- Art is quite good in providing us with a cartography of potential historical developments, and this exhibition is about that question.
The role of the artist, or in this case the architect, entails at most the ‘expression’ and visual styling of politics.
The designer does not challenge the constitutional foundations of the territory whose identity he is supposed to define, but to characterize that territory, to give it a name and a face so that it can take its rightful place within the Empire.
Negri and Hardt deny that Empire has an ‘outside’; in other words, they claim that the imperial territory embraces virtually the whole earth.
On the one hand, art is seen as one of democracy’s most essential pillars: it is the space par excellence for the free expression of ideas, the experimentation with new models of society. However, when an artist takes this role too seriously and becomes too straightforwardly political, s/he is accused of demagogy or simply discarded as bad art.
Shut up and give us art!
Artist should stick to what they know. It is clear that art is defined in the most narrow, regressive way possible - as a specialised, politically neutral, regressive way possible - as a specialized, politically neutral discipline focused on the production of beautiful objects
Too far today means that one fundamentally questions the ideological coordinates of the current order such as representative democracy, the free market or the nation state - one is immediately disqualified as a legitimate discussion partner, treated like an incompetent, ignorant imbecile who stepped out of line and should stick to his own field of expertise.