[artinfo] Iaspis: NEW RELATION-ALITIES
info at mailer.e-flux.com
Sat Feb 25 18:19:10 CET 2006
New Relation-alities is the first part of
FRESH HISTORY: A SERIES OF SEMINARS ON HOT TOPICS
IN THE ART OF THE LAST 20 YEARS.
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
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?
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