BORIS GROYS: The Topology of Contemporary Art PART 2: MULTIPLE MODERNITIES. 5. MONICA AMOR: On the Contingency of. Contemporary Art in Time” considers some examples, and conse- quences, of .. Cf. Boris Groys, “The Topology of Contemporary Art,” in Antinomies of Art. Synopsis: To understand the qualitative properties of “Contemporary Art”, the Author examines the interplay between Modern & Post-modern.

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The installation is a place of openness, of disclosure, of unconcealment precisely because it situates inside its finite space images and objects that also circulate in the outside space — and in this way it opens itself to its outside. Have the prints become originals, especially as they all might be slightly different, or still just different versions of copies?

But how does the contemporary installation relate to the recent controversy between Modern and Post-Modern art practices? Otherwise the work of symbolic destruction would remain unaccounted for. All of them may be turned into a site of installation by documenting the selection process, whether private or institutional.

The post-modern criticism put this unconditional claim into question — but without asking about the conditions of truth understood as presence, as unconcealment. An installation is a presentation of the present — of a decision that takes place here and now. The topology of today’s networks of communication, of generation, translation and distribution of images is extremely heterogeneous.

This is why, paradoxically, the more you want to free yourself from the art tradition, the more you become subjected to the logic of the art historical narrative and to museum collecting.

Rather, the comparison takes place before the emergence of a new, radical, iconoclastic artwork-and virtually produces this new artwork.

The Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys | alfredcrucible

That is why the installation is able to troys manifest the conflict between the presence of the images and objects inside a finite horizon of our immediate experience and their invisible, virtual, “absent” circulation in the space outside of this horizon — a conflict that defines the contemporary cultural goris. A certain film footage can be shown in a cinema theater, then converted to a digital form and appear on somebody’s web site, or be shown during a conference as an illustration, or watched privately on a TV — screen in a person’s living room, or put in a context of a museum installation.

The situation of the “mechanical reproduction” in the context of, let us say, contemporary Internet looks no less difficult — maybe even more difficult. Obviously, an artist can show it only by demonstrating how far he or she has gone along the way of reduction and destruction of the traditional image, how radical, how iconoclastic his or her work is.


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The Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys

The contemporary artistic installation has a goal to present the scene, the context, the strategy of this differentiation as it takes place here and now — that is why it can be called genuinely contemporary, indeed. But both of these main presuppositions in Benjamin’s text are questionable. Boris Groys Born in in Petersburg. And more than that: I will also venture to argue that in craft items that are being made in the same vein the quality tends to falter so once again, yes, I believe there is relevance.

You are commenting using your WordPress. The contemporary “contemporary gopology privileges the present in respect to the future and to the past. We can say that Christ according to Kierkegaard is a readymade among Gods — like Duchamp’s urinoire was a readymade among artworks.

The installation is, above all, a socially codified variation of individual flaneurship as it was fontemporary by Benjamin, and therefore, a place for the aura, for “profane illumination. The growing importance of the installation as an art form is in a very obvious way connected to the re-politisation of art that we could experience in the recent years. All of us know what does it mean to transmit a certain cultural heritage form one generation of the students to another generation.

The central notion of Modern art was the notion of creativity. This site uses cookies. I really need more clarification I suppose before discussion. That is why I would argue that the installation is the leading art form of contemporary art. In a certain sense the installation is for our time what the novel was for the 19th Century. The -at least potential- erasure of all visually recognizable differences between original and copy does not eliminate another difference existing between them which, albeit invisible, is none the contsmporary decisive: The question formulated by Benjamin is namely: The modern artwork is re-presented and re-cognized before it is produced.

By circulating through the different contexts a copy becomes a series of different originals.

Benjamin suggested that the new technology is able to make a copy more and more identical to the original. Rather, it is a central differentiation that informs any other religious and political options in modernity — the vocabulary of the modern politics shows that very clearly.


Reproduction is as much infected by originality as originality is infected by reproduction. In this way through different contexts and media this film footage is transformed by different program languages, different softwares, different framings on the screen, different placement in an installation space, etc.

Thus notions of originality or newness are irrelevant.

Being often enough characterized as “formalistic” Modernist art can hardly be defined in formal terms: That does not mean, however, toology the installation is somehow “immaterial. Even if an installation consists of one individual painting, it is still an installation, since the crucial aspect of the painting as an artwork is not the fact that it was produced by an artist but that it was selected by an artist and presented as something selected.

The artist was supposed to embody “active nihilism” — the nothingness that originates everything. I think the question of aura is an interesting one that will most certainly be discussed at length and the topic of aura in craft products is an interesting one. The usual accent on the loss of the aura is, on one hand, totally legitimate, and certainly in tune with the overall intention of Benjamin’s text.

It remains maybe the same copy — but it becomes different originals. The novel was a literary form that included all other literary forms of that time — and the installation is an art form that includes all ary contemporary art forms. The film spectator is not anymore immobilised, bound to a seat and left in the darkness — being supposed to watch a movie from its beginning to its end.

In fact, the aura, as described by Benjamin, only comes into being thanks to the modern technique of reproduction.

The iconoclastic gesture that produces the modernist artwork functions of course not simply as a manifestation of an artistic subjectivity understood as pure negativity. The contrary is the case. The mere fact that a modernist artwork is still recognizable as an artwork means namely that this artwork reproduces the general conditions of recognizability of an artwork as artwork — even if a form of this artwork seems to be quite original.