When is Contemporary Art?

Malik, Suhail. 2017. When is Contemporary Art? In: Simon Sheikh and Maria Hlavajova, eds. Former West: Art and the Contemporary after 1989. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262533836 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Despite the efforts of much critically motivated contemporary art (CA) to redress the depredations of global neoliberal restructuring, such art systemically contributes in a minor but nonetheless instructive way to the establishment of global neoliberalism—and it does so without distortion to itself. While this claim may now be as self-evident as the proliferation of high-end CA spaces in competing “world cities,” what is less obvious is that it is CA’s countermanding of the now of time that abets the systemic restructuring required to construct neoliberalism at a world scale. That is, CA attenuates any transformation—social, political, artistic—that could be clearly determined to be historical. It is then for intrinsic reasons, rather than accident of circumstance or external limitation, that CA contributes to constructing the posthistorical condition espoused by ideologues of global neoliberalism as its distinctive norm.

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March 2017Published

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01 Oct 2017 18:08

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:37



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