Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Nicholas Bourriaud - Altermodern

'Alter' the other = change/diversity/multiplicity/alternative/modern.
'Modern Times' = a past period - second half of the 19th century, early 20th century style.
'Modernisation' = an economic levelling, more brutal term.

The hypothesis of the exhibition:
1. Finished with Post-modernism
2. Global new modernity - first time in history 'global' is possible. Post colonial studies important to this? The way the world has levelled - Western world not leading the progress any more. Not a one sided vision of time/space. Displacement ability to discover other cultures, most problems coming from problems with culture/origins.

If not an exhibition would be a debate a polyphony of voices - dialogue - way of exploring a notion.

Post-modernism began in the 1970s to define the period after Modernism - Charles Jencks (Architect). Following the petrol shortage in 1973 which came as a huge shock that natural resources shown to be fallible - crisis, different frame of mind and the idea that energy is not infinite - text about this by Peter Sloterdijk? Core ideas of Post-modernism being a spreading out - explosion. The form of the explosion - predominant feature of 20th century art e.g. Dada. Not natural things - a quick liberation of energy - frightening. So at this point the Western world considered how to stop relying on natural resources. Japan began technology revolution.

Ideas about where are we coming from? - loops back to the past. 'Radial' eliminating all the branches to get back to the root, purist expression of the idea radiality in art purifying Clement Greenberg. Pure expression.

Huge link - 1973 to Now, world economic crisis. Culture getting rid of history - considered irrelevant. In 1973 no screenplays no scenarios - what is left? Reacting to context - short pieces.
Used to being in the suburbs of history - after everything - feminism, sexual liberation etc.
'Alter' is a liberation - its not After anything whereas 'Modernity' has a past/future, before/after.
Uprooting from history - cut off from blind following of tradition, uprooting from identity. People from all over the world abandoning their nationality and coming together. Only carrying what they can carry - as in the first modern moment? exodus from Egypt.
Reducing complex thought into a single box. Travelling/migrating is a theme in recent art, one of the main issue of 'Altermodern' - how to define it - dream catching.

Possible start of Post-Colonial Post-Modernism - 1989, Berlin wall after cold war - 75-80s a world which is unmoving melancholy, immobilised. Key show 'Magicians of the Earth' at Pompidou centre in Paris.
'Radicant' e.g. ivy, growing roots all the times. You can cut the original root but it still grows, not energy from the soil - coming from the direction. Not depending on one origin. A more dynamic presentation of energy/identity. Breaking pattern of thought. Artists from the exhibition - starting point is global culture not countries, exploring very highly specific situations/thoughts. Globalisation is a fact, not a one dimensional phenomenon. Theoretical/practical starting point. Positive vision of working/wondering - in the streets. Iconography of the urban drift. Wandering in different realities.

Analogy - Modernism like a train - straightforward. Post-modernism train stops, its bad to go straight, many other ways discovered. Now we are going down the smaller tracks - forget oneself a bit.

Gustav Metzger - one of the artists in the exhibition. Auto destructive art. Liquid crystal environment. Sustainable debate, apply to the ecology of the mind. Today its not possible to think about art only as sensationalist or shocking - like a quick blast of post-modernist energy. Art has to be based on a sustainable relationship - have to live with it - have a debate with it - cultural development. Cannot live with art that is only in a movie - should be anchored.

Using history now as a toolbox, using exisiting material to produce works not just as a well picking quotes out. Exploring reality - adjusting it to another reality.

Books by Nicholas Bourriaud:

Relational Aesthetics

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