Lecturas recomendables


Alana Jelinek, This is not Art: Activism and Other ‘Not-Art’, Londres: I.B. Tauris, 2012

Art is not political action. Art is not education. Art does not exist to make society stronger, or the world a better place. Art disrupts and resists the comfortable, the stiflingly familiar and the status quo, or it only serves to deaden a disenfranchised society further. So argues This Is Not Art, a radical and vigorous critique that debunks myths about art in order to celebrate its real and unique importance. With the postmodern deconstruction of now-outdated shibboleths such as 'genius', 'authenticity' and 'beauty', new and neoliberal myths about art have arisen to take their place: that art's value is primarily monetary as a prized and marketable commodity, or that art is important because it ameliorates social problems. These ideas are not only the province of art-dealers and power-brokers, but pervade the part of the artworld that defines itself as radical, political or ethical too. Highlighting the social mechanisms of legitimisation and dissemination that exclude the genuinely disruptive or defiant, This Is Not Art draws on Foucault and Marx to uncover an artworld obsessed with profit and from which diversity, individuality and freedom have been erased.

In the search for a new way to understand art's urgent importance, Alana Jelinek returns to the question of 'what is art?', retelling the history of art practice for our contemporary moment and exposing the ways in which neoliberal norms and values have seeped into every aspect of our lives. From the author's unique perspective as a practicing artist and theoretician, This Is Not Art offers not just a searing criticism of the artworld as it is, but a vision of a new way of understanding and practicing art - as the embodiment of power and agency within us, the possibility of thinking and acting differently, of finding new stories to tell.

Remei Capdevila-Werning, Goodman for Architects, Routledge, 2014.

American philosopher Nelson Goodman (1906-1998) was one of the foremost analytical thinkers of the twentieth century, with groundbreaking contributions in the fields of logic, philosophy of science, epistemology, and aesthetics. This book is an introduction to the aspects of Goodman's philosophy which have been the most influential among architects and architectural theorists. Goodman specifically discussed architecture in his major work on aesthetics, The Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols (1968), and in two essays "How Buildings Mean" (1985), and "On Capturing Cities" (1991). His main philosophical notions in Ways of Worldmaking (1978) also apply well to architecture. Goodman's thought is particularly attractive because of its constructive aspect: there is not a given and immutable world, but both knowledge and reality are constantly built and rebuilt. Whereas other theories, such as deconstruction, implicitly entail an undoing of modern precepts, Goodman's conception of world-making offers a positive, constructive way to understand how a plural reality is made and remade. Goodman's approach to architecture is not only relevant thinking in providing new insights to understanding the built environment, but serves also as an illustration of analytical thinking in architecture. This book shows that the methods, concepts, and ways of arguing characteristic of analytical philosophy are helpful tools to examine buildings in a novel and fruitful way and they will certainly enhance the architect's critical skills when designing and thinking about architecture.

Alessandro Bertinetto, Il pensiero dei suoni, Temi di filosofia della musica, Milan: Mondadori, 2012.

La musica seduce la nostra sensibilità, ma eccita anche la nostra attività intellettuale, offrendo alla filosofia un campo particolarmente ricco e stimolante su cui esercitare le proprie riflessioni. Alessandro Bertinetto si interroga su alcuni tra i principali temi dell'estetica musicale: che cos'è la musica? La musica è l'unica arte dei suoni? Qual è il rapporto tra la musica e le altre arti? La musica è un puro gioco di sensazioni sonore o può comunicare contenuti e significati? Si può parlare di rappresentazione e di narrazione musicale? In che senso un brano musicale può essere allegro, triste, malinconico, irriverente? La musica ha una dimensione etica? Il libro discute, confronta e critica le risposte che le teorie oggi più accreditate danno a queste e ad altre domande. Dal confronto con i filosofi il lettore è così sollecitato a proporre soluzioni argomentate anche in base alle sue esperienze di pratica e di ascolto musicale.

Gilles Lipovetsky & Jean Serroy, L’esthétisation du monde. Vivre à l’âge du capitalisme artiste, París: Gallimard, 2013.

On connaît la rengaine, tant elle semble réaliste : richesse du monde, appauvrissement des existences ; triomphe du capital, liquidation des savoir-vivre ; surpuissance de la finance, «prolétarisation» et unification des modes de vie, par l’industrialisation de la camelote kitsch et des produits jetables, interchangeables, insignifiants – le capitalisme est une machine de déchéance esthétique et d’enlaidissement du monde.

Est-ce si sûr?

Le style, la beauté, la mobilisation des goûts et des sensibilités s’imposent chaque jour davantage comme des impératifs stratégiques des marques : le capitalisme d’hyperconsommation est un mode de production esthétique.

Dans les industries de consommation, le design, la mode, la publicité, la décoration, le cinéma, le show-business des produits chargés de séduction sont créés en masse. Ils véhiculent des affects et de la sensibilité, ils agencent un univers esthétique proliférant et hétérogène par l’éclectisme des styles qui s’y déploie. Partout le réel se construit comme une image en y intégrant une dimension esthétique-émotionnelle devenue centrale dans la compétition que se livrent les marques.

Tel est le capitalisme artiste, lequel se caractérise par le poids grandissant des marchés de la sensibilité, par un travail systématique de stylisation des biens et des lieux marchands, par l'intégration généralisée de l'art, du «look» et de l'affect dans l'univers consumériste. Créant un paysage économique mondial chaotique tout en stylisant l’univers du quotidien, le capitalisme est moins un ogre dévorant ses propres enfants qu’un Janus à deux visages.

Ingo Nierman & Erik Nielding, The Future of Art. A Manual, Berlín: Sternberg Press, 2011.

With guidance by Thomas Bayrle, Olaf Breuning, Genesis and Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge, Olafur Eliasson, Harald Falckenberg, Boris Groys, Damien Hirst, Gregor Jansen, Terence Koh, Gabriel von Loebell, Marcos Lutyens, Philomene Magers, Antje Majewski, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Thomas Olbricht, Friedrich Petzel, and Tobias Rehberger; and commentary by Chus Martínez.

In 1831 Honoré de Balzac wrote a short story, “The Unknown Masterpiece,” in which he invented the abstract painting. Almost 200 years later, writer Ingo Niermann tries to follow in his footsteps to imagine a new epoch-making artwork. Together with the artist Erik Niedling he starts searching for the future of art and, seeking advice, meets key figures of the art world.

Includes the DVD The Future of Art by Erik Niedling and Ingo Niermann (HD, 157 min.).

Markus Gabriel, Warum es die Welt nicht Gibt, Berlín: Ullstein, 2013.

Markus Gabriel, Deutschlands jüngster Philosophieprofessor, widmet sich den schwindelerregend großen Fragen der Menschheit. Dass es die Welt nicht gibt, ist eine alte Weisheit, die aber noch immer niemand richtig verstanden hat. Denn meistens wird daraus geschlossen, dass es dann eben gar nichts gibt. Mit Freude an geistreichen Gedankenspielen, Sprachwitz und Mut zur Provokation legt Gabriel dar, dass es zwar nichts gibt, was es nicht gibt – die Welt aber unvollständig ist. Wobei eine gute Prise Humor durchaus dabei hilft, sich mit den Abgründen des menschlichen Seins auseinanderzusetzen.

Lisa Lee & Hal Foster (eds.), Critical Laboratory. The Writings of Thomas Hirschhorn, MIT Press, 2013.

For the artist Thomas Hirschhorn, writing is a crucial tool at every stage of his artistic practice. From the first sketch of an idea to appeals to potential collaborators, from detailed documentation of projects to post-disassembly analysis, Hirschhorn’s writings mark the trajectories of his work. This volume collects Hirschhorn’s widely scattered texts, presenting many in English for the first time.

In these writings, Hirschhorn discusses the full range of his art, from works on paper to the massivePresence and Production projects in public spaces. “Statements and Letters” address broad themes of aesthetic philosophy, politics, and art historical commitments. “Projects” consider specific artworks or exhibitions. “Interviews” capture the artist in dialogue with Benjamin Buchloh, Jacques Rancière, and others. Throughout, certain continuities emerge: Hirschhorn’s commitment to quotidian materials; the centrality of political and economic thinking in his work; and his commitment to art in the public sphere. Taken together, the texts serve to trace the artist’s ideas and artistic strategies over the past two decades.Critical Laboratory also reproduces, in color, 33 Ausstellungen im öffentlichen Raum 1998–1989, an out-of-print catalog of Hirschhorn’s earliest works in public space.

Wilfried Dickhoff & Marcus Steinweg (eds.), Money. Inaesthetics # 3, 2012, Berlín: Merve Verlag.

Alle Beiträge in englischer Sprache.Die dritte Ausgabe von INAESTHETICS verknüpft in künstlerischen wie theoretischen und ökonomie-poetischen Beiträgen (zum Beispiel mit den längst vergriffenen Bemerkungen Gertrude Steins von 1936 zum Thema), den Motivkomplex Geld, Finanzwesen, Realabstraktion mit genuin philosophischen Fragestellungen nach dem Konsistenz- bzw. Inkonsistenzcharakter von Realität. Offenbar gehört zur Ökonomie irreduzibel Anökonomisches, wie zur Realität irreduzibel Irreales, wie zur Philosophie ein unhintergehbar spekulatives Element.Zur Ausgabe #3 Money von INAESTHETICS werden erstmalig drei eigens für das Heft angefertigte Künstlereditionen erscheinen. Anfragen richten Sie bitte direkt an den Verlag. Das jeweilige Heft-Thema wird damit auf dreifache Weise reflektiert: Durch die künstlerischen Beiträge im Heft durch die theoretischen Texte im Heft und durch die Editionen, die parallel zum Heft erscheinen:Thomas Hirschhorn »EL DISCO DE ODIN« [Objekt, Aufl. 7 Exx. + 1 A.P.]Rosemarie Trockel »Account Book« [Buchobjekt, Aufl. 70 Exx. + 30 A.P.]Alfredo Jaar »Money« [C-Print, Aufl. 36 Exx. + 6 A.P.]

Nina Möntmann (ed.), Scandalous. A Reader on Art and Ethics, Berlín: Sternberg Press, 2013.

Texts by Petra Bauer and Annette Krauss, Franco Bifo Berardi, Galit Eilat, Ronald Jones, Maria Karlsson and Måns Wrange, Nina Möntmann, Peter Osborne, Marcus Steinweg, Nato Thompson; conversations between Simon Critchley and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro, Renzo Martens and T. J. Demos.

Recent encounters between art and real life, the ubiquity of images of violence and humiliation in visual culture and the media, and the persistence of controversial debates on public and participatory art projects are raising fundamental questions about the importance of ethical decisions in art and curating. How far can provocation in art go, before it becomes cynical and abusive? Does “good censorship” exist? Are ethical decisions seen as more urgent in participatory art?

This reader introduces current notions of ethics in several contexts related to the cultural field. Responding to the instrumentalization of ethics as a privileged tool of neoliberalism, the reader claims the need for an ethics that critically reflects the mechanisms of contemporary global power structures. The contributions discuss models of subjective and situational ethics and pit them against a canon of unquestioned principles and upturned notions of ethics and human rights.

Natasha Degen (ed.), Money, Documents of Contemporary Art, MIT/Whitechapel, 2013.

Transnational markets hold sway over all aspects of contemporary culture, and that has transformed the environment of recent art, blurring the previously discrete realms of price and value, capital and creativity. Artists have responded not only critically but imaginatively to the many issues this raises, including the treatment of artworks as analogous to capital goods, the assertion that art’s value is best measured by the market, and the notion that art and money share an internal logic. Some artists have investigated the market’s pressures on creative democracy, its ubiquity, vulgarity, and fetishizing force, while others have embraced the creative possibilities the market offers. And for a decade curators and theorists have speculated on the implications of this new symbiosis between art and money, cultural and economic value. Drawing on a wide range of interdisciplinary sources, in dialogue with artists’ writings, this anthology traces the historic origins of these debates in different versions of modernism and surveys the relationships among art, value, and price; the evolution and influence of patronage; the actors and institutions of the art market; and the diversity of artistic practices that either criticize or embrace the conditions of the contemporary market.

Artists surveyed include: Carl Andre, Fareed Armaly and Christian Philipp Müller, Fia Backstr?m, Conrad Bakker, John Baldessari, Joseph Beuys, Ian Burn, Maurizio Cattelan, Lygia Clark, Elmgreen & Dragset, Andrea Fraser, Félix González-Torres, Guerrilla Girls, Andreas Gursky, Hans Haacke, Keith Haring, Marianne Heier, Damien Hirst, Christian Jankowski, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Liu Ding, Takashi Murakami, Ahmet Öğüt, Gabriel Orozco, Danica Phelps, Tino Sehgal, Richard Serra, Nedko Solakov, Reena Spaulings, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Andy Warhol, Fred Wilson, Erwin Wurm, Zhou Tiehai.

Writers include: Theodor Adorno, Jack Bankowsky, Jean Baudrillard, Luc Boltanski, Pierre Bourdieu, Martin Braathen, Malcolm Bull, éve Chiapello, Thierry de Duve, Marvin Elkoff, Hal Foster, Peter Fuller, William Grampp, Josh Greenfield, Miwon Kwon, Kate Linker, Scott Rothkopf, Peter Schjeldahl, Thomas Seelig, Marc Shell, Georg Simmel, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Wolfgang Ullrich, Karen van den Berg, Thorstein Veblen, Olav Velthuis, Thomas Zaunschirm.