Art, argues the distinguished theoretician Boris Groys, is hardly a powerless commodity subject to the art market’s fiats of inclusion and exclusion. In Art Power . Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper) 1. Art — Political aspects. 2. Art and state. Art power / Boris Groys. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN (hardcover: alk. paper). 1. Art—Political aspects. 2. Art and state. 3.

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In these circumstances, any protest directed at the museum was simultaneously a protest against the prevailing norms of art- making — and by the same token also the basis from which new, groundbreak- ing art could evolve.

As is generally known, the figure of the art critic emerges at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, boirs the gradual rise of a broad, democratic public. Lists with This Book. It is obvious that the museum accepts only things that it takes from real life, from outside of its poewr, and this explains why the artist wants to make his or her art look real and alive.

Not too long ago it was widely expected that the readymade technique, together with the rise of photography and video art, would lead to the erosion and ultimate demise of the museum as it has established itself in modernity.

Apr 09, Yein rated it liked it. This guy has some pretty interesting ideas but I found his argumentation appalling. But these two strategies are only ostensibly antagonistic: The product range in the media market is constantly being replaced by new merchandise, barring any possibility of comparing what is on offer today with what used to be available in the past. But today, to be really new, an artwork cannot even repeat the old differences between art objects and ordinary things.

The second of these pieces also offers a characteristically iconoclastic and counter-intuitive reading of Benjamin’s much-quoted original.

It is impossible for an average spectator to distinguish between, say, the origi- nal Picasso work and the Picasso work appropriated by Mike Bidlo. Why can’t we just choose for ourselves what we wish to acknowledge or appreciate poer art without looking to an intermediary, without patronizing advice from curators and art critics?


This oppor- tunity is denied to the curator. At the same time, however, the museum’s system of rules of conduct bors taboos makes its support and protection of the object invisible and unexperienceable.

Or, to put it another way: Every such attempt can be immediately confronted with a counterexample. That the rhetoric of uniqueness — and difference — that legitimizes art by praising well-known masterpieces has long determined traditional art his- torical discourse is indisputable. These artists know from the beginning that they will be collected — and they actually want to be collected.

The substitution of the ideological vision by the artwork is the substitution of the sacred time of infinite hope by the profane time of archives and historical memory. This is why, paradoxically, the more you want to free yourself from the museum, the 24 25 On the New more you become subjected in the most radical way to the logic of museum collecting, and vice versa.

When some artists and art critics found the true source of art in the subjective self-expression of an individual artist, other artists and art critics required that art thematize the objective, material condi- tions of its production and distribution. But such a Heraclitean vision is possible only inside the museum, inside the archives, because only there are the archival orders, identities, and taxonomies estab- lished to a degree that allows us to imagine their possible destruction as something sublime.

The modern artwork positioned itself as a paradox-object also in this deeper sense — as an image and as a critique of the image at the same time. If the museum dies, it is death itself that dies. Artists such as Mike Bidlo or Shirley Levine demonstrate, for example — through the technique of appro- priation — the possibility of shifting the historical assignment of given art forms by changing their material support.

Thus today’s museums are in fact designed not merely to collect the past, but also to generate the present through the comparison between old 20 21 Equal Aesthetic Rights and new.

Groys goes on to contend that this market model has become over-dominant, and that more art needs to be made according to the logic of propaganda.

But the same can be said of the powdr of Duchamp.

Full text of “Boris Groys Art Power ( )”

So if an artist says as the majority of artists say that he or she wants to break out of the museum, to pkwer into life itself, to be real, to make a truly living art, this can only mean that the artist wants to be collected. He believed that the true balance of power, having Introduction zero as its sum, could only be thought, not seen.


If museums were created to take in and harbor such special and wonderful things, then it indeed seems plausible that museums would face certain demise if this claim ever proved to be deceptive. To recognize means, always, to remember.

But in both instances, the images in question are simply examples that point to the infinite, “utopian” realm of aesthetic equality.

“Art Power – Introduction” by Boris Groys – A summary

This equalizing of art practices has become progressively more pronounced in the course of the twentieth century, as the images of mass culture, entertainment, and kitsch have been accorded froys status within the traditional high art context. Jan 27, Sam Crisp added it. In order to assert itself successfully “in life,” art must become different — unusual, surprising, exclusive — and history demonstrates that art can do this only by tapping into classical, mythological, and religious traditions and breaking its connection with the banality of everyday experience.

Even today we hear from many curators that they are working toward a single objective, that of making individual artworks appear in the most favorable light.

Art Power – Boris Groys – Google Books

In this respect only the museum can serve as the grys of systematic historical comparison that enables bori to see with our own eyes what really is different, new, and contemporary. Sacred objects were once devalued to produce art; today, in contrast, profane objects are valorized to become art. At that time the new Soviet government feared that the old Russian museums and art collections would be destroyed by civil war and the general collapse of state institutions and the economy, and the Com- munist Party responded by trying to save these collections.