[artinfo] Iaspis: NEW RELATION-ALITIES

e-Flux info at mailer.e-flux.com
Sat Feb 25 18:19:10 CET 2006

New Relation-alities is the first part of

The subsequent seminars will take place in Gothenburg and Umeå in Autumn 2006.

Jakobsgatan 27, Stockholm< http://www.iaspis.com> http://www.iaspis.com

Participants: Gardar Eide Einarsson, artist 
(Oslo/New York), Alex Farquharson, critic and 
curator (London) and Nina Möntmann, critic and 
curator (Hamburg).

A seminar about art focussing on social relations 
and working from a critical and theoretical 
perspective in order to decode and understand 
what types of relations with the viewer an 
artwork produces. What are the relations created 
between art, institutions and the public? What 
linguistic means of expressions are obtainable 
when trying to find adequate terms for all of 
these forms of relations?

One of the recent decades most influential– and 
disputed – trends in contemporary art is the so 
called relational aesthetics. In the book 
Esthétique relationelle (1998), the curator and 
critic Nicolas Bourriaud defines certain 
contemporary artworks as “an attempt to create 
relationships between people over and above 
institutionalised relational forms“, something 
that has been widely discussed, recently in a 
delayed, but intense reception in the UK and US. 
Despite the fact that the notion of relational 
aesthetics was originally coined to discuss works 
by certain artists, it has become a catch phrase 
carelessly used for any artwork with an 
interactive and/or socially related dimension. 
Recent years’ relational tendencies, which often 
depart from the model Bourriaud advanced, include 
interventionist and off-site projects, discursive 
and pedagogical models, neo-activist strategies, 
and increasingly functionalist approaches (e.g. 
art/architecture collaborative groups ).

The seminar aims at comparing and discussing 
several relational and participatory approaches, 
some of which have been largely overlooked such 
as Suzy Gablik’s “connective aesthetics“, Susanne 
Lacy’s “new genre public art“, Grant Kester’s 
”dialogical art” and the so-called 
“Kontextkunst“. What are the similarities? Where 
do they diverge? Is it perhaps necessary to come 
up with new, more appropriate, terms in order to 
be able to discuss a wide variety of practices, 
which nevertheless are related to one another? 
How can an analysis of these approaches serve for 
the art created today? How is the relationality 
of artworks and art institutions to their publics 
affected by the increasing corporatisation of art 
institutions, with the demand for populist 
programming and visitor figures as the prior 
measurement for success?

More information about the Artinfo mailing list