Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Peter Osborne

Contemporary Art Is Post-conceptual Art

9 July 2010
FAR – Villa Sucota

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Talking about the concept -at the same time temporal and spatial- of “contemporary”, Peter Osborne deconstructs its apparent quality of ineluctability. Every contemporary, instead, as negation of the temporal fluxus and crystallization in image passing through the regulamentation of the borders between past and present, it is a fictional and operative construction. Institutions have the duty of mapping and making the contemporary operative, while art could be a critical device working within it. Having stated that contemporary art has to be post-conceptual art, as it has to assimilate the lesson of the Conceptual and thought about its criticisms, for which it is clear that neither the idea nor the aesthetic alone are sufficient to produce an artwork, Osborne analyzes the work of The Atlas Group (Walid Raad), that exposes -by performing them- the constructions of the contemporary: the collective authoriality, national belonging and the deprivation of transnational politics due to the capital.

Peter Osborne is Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, London. He is an editor of the British journal Radical Philosophy. His books include The Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde (1995; 2nd ed. 2010), Philosophy in Cultural Theory (2000), Conceptual Art (2002), Marx (2005), (ed.) Walter Benjamin: Critical Evaluations in Cultural Theory (3 Volumes, 2005) and El arte más allá de la estética: Ensayos filosóficos sobre el arte contemporáneo (CENDEAC, 2010). His writing on contemporary art includes contributions to Afterall, Art History, October, Oxford Art Journal, and to catalogues for Manifesta 5 (San Sebastian, 2004), Time Zones (Tate Modern, 2004), Zones of Contact (2006 Biennale of Sydney), The Quick and the Dead (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2009) and Matias Faldbakken: The Shock of Abstraction (National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo/Ikon, Birmingham 2009).

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