You Are Here
Malik, Suhail. 2010. You Are Here. In: Bassam el-Baroni; Jeremy Beaudry and Nav Haq, eds. Manifesta 8: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Region of Murcia (spain) in dialogue with northern Africa. Milan: Manifesta, pp. 58-61. ISBN 97888 3661697 8 [Book Section]
Abstract or Description
The sheer contingency of what contemporary art ‘itself’ may be is constrained and stabilised by a set of interests that the art stands for. These social valuations are however themselves no less contingent since they are only the instantiation of a set of interests circulating at any given moment, shaped entirely by the fortunes of their own formation. Though the contingency of art’s indefinition is distinct from the contingency of social fact, art’s contingency in principle requires its over-determination by the social contingencies of its valuations, which is its primary and only determination, how it is preserved as art. Art is then its (e)valuation, a demand for interests to find sense for its indefinition - not least the sense that it is in fact art. It is then the invitation to demonstrate power, and is in fact always and only a manifestation of power. Specifically, it is the operation of a conventionalism.