|"There is no doubt that we are living in a time of total aestheticization. This fact is often interpreted as a sign that we have reached a state after the end of history, or a state of total exhaustion that makes any further historical action impossible. However, as I have tried to show, the nexus between total aestheticization, the end of history, and the exhaustion of vital energies is illusionary. Using the lessons of modern and contemporary art, we are able to totally aestheticize the world—i.e., to see it as being already a corpse—without being necessarily situated at the end of history or at the end of our vital forces. One can aestheticize the world—and at the same time act within it. In fact, total aestheticization does not block political action; it enhances it. Total aestheticization means that we see the current status quo as already dead, already abolished. And it means further that every action that is directed towards the stabilization of the status quo will ultimately show itself as ineffective—and every action that is directed towards the destruction of the status quo will ultimately succeed. Thus, total aestheticization not only does not preclude political action; it creates an ultimate horizon for successful political action, if this action has a revolutionary perspective." -bg
Funny to get couple Groys transmissions within a week or so...Read something by this guy while back found infuriating....But this stuff is hopeful... Kid emailed....
I have my first solo show coming up and I am hustling to finish a small piece. I just read Boris Groys Art Power too. Take a look at what he says here, "The modern museum proclaims its new gospel not for the exclusive work of genius marked by aura, but rather the insignificant, trivial, and everyday, which would otherwise soon drown in the reality outside the museum's walls. If the museum were ever actually to disintegrate, then the very opportunity for art to show the normal, the everyday, the trivial as new and truly alive would be lost. In order to assert itself successfully "in life," art must become different--unusual, surprising, exclusive--and history demonstrates that art can only do this by tapping into the classical, mythological, and religious traditions and breaking its connection with the banality of everyday existence. The successful mass-cultural image production of our day concerns itself with alien attacks, myths of the apocalypse and redemption, heros endowed with superhuman powers, and so forth. Once in a while, though, one would like to be able to contemplate and enjoy something normal, something ordinary, something banal as well. In our culture, this wish can be gratified only in the museum. In life, on the other hand, only the extraordinary is presented to us as a possible object of our admiration."
RW: Toward the beginning of your book, Going Public, you refer to “the period of modernity” as “the period in which we still live.” You roughly date it, at least theoretically and philosophically, as coinciding with Kant’s Critique of Judgment (1790). The obvious political correlate to this would be 1789 and the French Revolution. Are we still — or were we ever — postmodern? If so, how does this relate to modernity, “the period in which we still live”?
Might postmodernity perhaps be reaching an end?