Monday, November 24, 2008

Bloggingheads on contemporary art

Bloggingheads combines two things I really enjoy, hearing from smart people about their areas of expertise, and the sensation of being talked to. I actually know a bit about art history and art criticism, but the contemporary art world's economic and social models are foreign to me. So this was cool, check it out.

(By the way, I really hope the word "contemporary" never becomes situated in a particular time the way "modern" has. I mean modern literature, by most lights, is a early 20th century phenomenon. I would hate for contempo to start to mean "late 20th century" instead of now. But I get the feeling that's happening.)


ryan said...

I think "contemporary" may be safe in a way that "modern" wasn't, because, at least in the historical community, the term doesn't have any meaning unless linked to some referent. You have to say that something is contemporary with something else for it to make any sense.

Then again, the art world isn't exactly known for its rigorous application of terminology, or even of logic, so I could be wrong.

Michael said...

What rings your cherries, art-wise? I agree with you on a lot of stuff and I unfortunately never took an art history course in college (and now it's too late). Give me some painters, some experiences, some books, essays, whatever.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, a nit: To my mind, when one says "modern literature," he is speaking of the literature of here and now. If one says "modernist literature," then he is talking about Stein and Dos Passos and Eliot and Pound and all those guys. Though perhaps the definitions have been mangled through misuse. Typical.

Phil P

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I'd argue that the art community does, indeed, insist upon a rigorous application of terminology. It's how we recognize one another!

It's not uncommon in Chelsea (NYC) to hear certain art and artists referred to as post-Contemporary. I'm sure this is also the case in London and Berlin, as well.

---that's Mister Anonymous