The Future of Art: Shattered, International, and Incomprehensible


| 9/2/2010 12:09:06 PM


contart

Whether you call it “post-postmodern,” “altermodern,” or “nonaesthetic,” contemporary art is less tenuous than ever. Disparate threads of post-colonialism, globalism, commercialism, and (insert preferred –ism, ad infinitum) work to intertwine the international community of artists and, at the same time, chip away at our notions of artistic discipline, medium, and purpose.

Writing on the future of art for The Chronicle Review’s “Defining Idea of the Next Decade” issue, James Elkins predicts that the next 10 years will bring dramatic change to art studies, splitting the study of art history from visual studies. Elkins writes:

In academe this will be played out in a collision of fields, as newer disciplines like postcolonial studies and visual studies collide with older disciplines like art history and art theory. Visual studies looks at popular culture, mass media, television, and advertising. Postcolonial studies considers art as an effect of class, ethnicity, socioeconomic conditions, and power relations. Art history has always cared about value—it matters that Michelangelo really is a good artist, and not just a symbol of Florentine or Roman identity—and so art history has difficulty with ways of understanding art that are based on economics, politics, and social functions. The two approaches, visual studies and art history, create a kind of unstable oil-and-water mixture in academic writing.

Perhaps the need for thoughtful art criticism and academic research is more pressing than ever. “As in all historical changes, much will be lost,” concludes Elkins. “My hope is that the celebratory mood of the new art and scholarship will not obscure the fact that the new art, which seems too much fun to resist, is deeply problematic. No one knows what contemporary international art expresses, or how best to interpret it.”



Source: The Chronicle Review



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter