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Art, Globalisation and the Exhibition Form

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Beginning with a critique of Thierry de Duve's return to Kantian aesthetics in order to rescue art from a commodified culture exemplified by the art biennial, this article argues that the globalised proliferation of biennials is a symptom of a broader problem: the hegemony of the exhibition form in the public's encounter with art. The analysis focuses on the concept of globalisation and what it hides from view; participatory art and the post-documentary artwork, with video essay as an example, as two radical tendencies associated with experiential, co-operative knowledge generated in the social field; and the rhetoric of specific exhibitions – ‘Documenta XI’ (2002) and ‘Altermodern’ (2009) – addressing globalisation. The continual reproduction of the exhibition form performs an important role in post-Fordism and ensures a transcription of art as immaterial, affective labour, marginalising the more complex forms of labour that produce the artwork when globalisation becomes the latter's production site.

Keywords: Altermodern; Angela Dimitrakaki; Documenta; Kantian aesthetics; Oda Projesi; Tanja Ostojić; Thierry de Duve; globalisation; participatory art; politics of knowledge; video essay

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-05-01

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