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 . Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper) 1. Art — Political aspects. 2. Art and state. Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper). 1. Art—Political aspects. 2. Art and state. 3.

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Accordingly, we can say that Duchamp’s Fountain is a kind of Christ among things, and the art of the 28 29 On the New readymade a kind of Christianity of the art world.

Now the modern state also proclaims the balance of power to be its ultimate goal — but, groyx course, never truly achieves it. Instead, by the time history has come to an end, each artist begins to be suspected of producing just one further arbitrary image among many. This vision of the new is powerfully expressed, for example, in a short but important text by Kazimir Malevich: Rather, this difference can only be explicitly thematized in the museum as obscure and unrepresentable.

He believes that any propaganda artwork is simultaneously an affirmation and a critique of an ideological system because it turns the vision of the future into something tangible and secular.

The desire to get rid of any image can be realized only through a new image — the image borsi a critique of the image. The fact that Groys conducts his crusade against pluralism from the point of a frustrated discursive facultycombined with the stress found throughout this volume on issues of spectatorship and the function of art with regards to the public, indicate two assumptions that strike me as contestable.

Of course, one can easily argue that such propaganda art is simply political design- and image-making. But this condition of critical impossibility itself supplies possibilities.

The same can also be said of Western European art that was supported and propagated by the Western Communist parties, especially by the French Communist Party.

It seems grous me that the numerous discourses on historical memory and its representation often overlook the complementary relationship that exists between reality and museum. Especially under the rules of the Socialist economy of the Soviet type, artworks were not commodities, because there was no market at all. As is well known, modern art tried in all possible ways to make the inner, material side of the work transparent.

While art historians and goys systems identify art with the market, they pay little attention to artworks that were created and distributed by political systems such as the Soviet government or other socialist states. The new func- tions here not as a re-presentation of the other and also not as a next step in a progressive clarification of the obscure, but rather as a new reminder that the obscure remains obscure, that the difference between real and agt remains ambiguous, that the longevity of things is always endangered, that infinite doubt about the botis nature of things is insurmountable.


The aim of this pharmacy will be the same, even if people will examine the powder from Rubens and all his art— a mass of ideas will arise in people, and will be often more alive than actual representation and take up less room.

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.

The abandonment of the “musealized” past is also brois celebrated as a radical opening up to the present. Art becomes politically effective only when it is made beyond or outside the art market — in the context of direct political propaganda. All these value judgments, criteria, and rules are, of course, not biris. The notion of art became almost synonymous with the notion of the art market, so that the art produced under the nonmarket con- ditions was de facto excluded from the field of institutionally recognized art.

If I move a certain ordinary thing as a readymade from outside of the museum to its inner space, I don’t change the form of this thing but Bori do change its life expectancy and assign to it a certain historical date.

Art Power – Boris Groys – Google Books

The artwork presents itself in this perspective as an unhappy, suffering commodity, one that is utterly submissive to the power of the market and differentiates itself from other commodities only through its ability to become a critical and self-critical commodity. The materiality of the museum is a guarantee that the production of the new in art can transcend all ends of history, precisely because it demon- strates that the modern ideal of universal and transparent museum space as a representation of universal art history is unrealizable and purely ideological.

Individual artworks chronicled this story — and in doing so they lost their old religious or representative significance and gained new meaning. We borks become free, as if we had escaped a kind of Egyptian bondage and were prepared to travel to the Promised Land of true life.

And this means it cannot look like the old, dead art of the past as it is presented in the museum. The paradoxical critic appreciates att they hold no transcendent position, but rather remain at ground level, involved in the same system.


Full text of “Boris Groys Art Power ( )”

But this, of course, does not mean that modern art thereby became pluralistic, for those artworks that did not contradict others were not recog- nized as relevant or truly modern. Rat course, this kind of art gets economic support from the state or from various political and religious movements. But under the conditions of the contemporary art scene, much more attention is devoted to gtoys history of art as commodity and much less to art as political propaganda.

Wrt most general formula of modern art is not “Now I am free to do arr new. Does art hold any power of its own, or it is only able to decorate external powers — whether these are powers of oppression or liberation? And the logic of the relationship between art and the universal museum follows the logic of the Hegelian Absolute Spirit: Artists such as Mike Bidlo or Shirley Levine demonstrate, for example — through the technique of appro- priation — the possibility of shifting the historical assignment of given art forms by changing their material support.

Selected pages Title Page.

“Art Power – Introduction” by Boris Groys – A summary

In the ideal case the representation of thesis and antithesis should be perfectly balanced so that they sum to zero. The strategies of the artistic avant-garde, understood as the elimination of visual difference between artwork and profane thing lead directly, therefore, to the building up of museums, which secure this difference institutionally. Any non-paradoxical or only partially paradoxical reaction should poweg regarded in this case as reductive and, in fact, false.

There is a deep-rooted tradition in modernity of history bashing, museum bashing, library bashing, or more generally, archive bashing in the name of real life. But this appearance of infinite plurality is, of course, only an illusion.

It is not the art object that is exhibited in the museum, grooys should be enlightened, examined, and judged by the museum, as in earlier times; rather this technologically produced image brings its powr light into the darkness of the museum space — and only for a certain period of time.