An early draft of a prospectus for SECAC 2011 - Suggestions, criticisms, comments welcome!
Spectacular Voice: Art Criticism’s Itinerary Beyond Postmodernism
How is contemporary art criticism coping with the continuous spectacle brought on by the dominant climate of Internet media and the sustained art fair sensation? Immediate access and mechanical reproduction via the Internet and an inflation in commodity culture reflected in the rising number of global art fairs has certainly had a noticeable impact on the homogenized quality and shift in contemporary art criticism. This essay will seek to present dialogue surrounding the argument of the connection/disconnection between contemporary art criticism and art; affirming the progressive absence of a critical edge as we consider art moving beyond postmodernism.
Nicolas Bourriaud’s theory of Altermodern helps to reexamine this contemporary phenomena—of the spectacle’s insistence on extracting the viewer from reality—by prompting the artist and viewer to reconsider their position beyond capitalist globalization and forge an itinerary, or path with which reconnects with a mode of “authenticity.” As an example, the art fair sensation is dominant and now largely dictates forms of ideological art criticism steeped in commodity, written about rampantly in platforms for contemporary art criticism like newspapers, magazines, catalog essays, and the Internet, while held to a skewed notion of “multiculturalism.” This has resulted in a homogenized criticality and modes of representation on the part of the artist and critic.