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 Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys | alfredcrucible

In a certain sense the installation is for our time what the novel was for the 19th Century. And to transmit an information from one generation of hardware and software to a next generation means to transform it in a significant way.

More important the installation is in itself, as it was already said, a space of decision making — and first of all of decisions concerning the differentiation between old and new, traditional and innovative. The installation formulate these conditions by creating a finite, closed space which becomes the space of open conflict and unavoidable decision between original and reproduction, between presence and representation, between unconcealed and concealed.

I am a little confused about the copy talk. Email cntemporary Address never made public. Now an installation cannot be a copy of another installation because an installation is by definition present, contemporary. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Boris Groys Born in in Petersburg. We are as unable to stabilize a copy as a copy — as we are unable to stabilize an original as an original.

That is also why post-modern art is able to look very new even if — or actually because — it is contemmporary against the notion of the new.

The images noris all the time transformed, rewritten, reedited, reprogrammed on their way through these networks — and become also to be visually different by every such a step. Being often enough characterized as “formalistic” Modernist art can hardly be defined in formal terms: The contemporary “contemporary art” privileges the present in respect to the future and to the past.

The installation takes a copy out of an allegedly unmarked, open space of anonymous circulation and puts it — even if only temporarily — in a fixed, stable, closed context of topologically well-defined “here and now”. The installation thus demonstrates the material hardware of civilization that would aet go unnoticed behind the surface of image circulation in the mass media. Who boirs making them?


Benjamin’s answer to that question is, of course, no. This site uses cookies. Is it enough that the public simply goes by the assumption that an original exists somewhere, hidden away and protected, unless its aforementioned destruction does take place and is purposely made known?

The metaphoric use of the notion of “generation” as it practiced now in a context of technology is very revealing. In the framework of contemporary culture an image is permanently circulating from one medium to another medium, and from one closed context to another closed context.

In this artt, a copy is never really a copy — but rather always a new original in a new context. The material support of the medium in an installation, however, is the space itself. Indeed, Kierkegaard states that for a spectator who would be contemporary of Jesus Christ it was impossible to recognize in Christ a new God precisely because he didn’t look new — the figure of Christ initially looked like that of every other ordinary human being at that historical time.

This artistic space of the installation may be a museum or art gallery, but also a private studio, or a home, or a building site.

The Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys

To find out more, including contemporsry to control cookies, see here: The artist was supposed to embody “active nihilism” — the nothingness that originates everything. And it is born precisely for the same reason it is lost. At the same time an installation is not a manifestation of already existing relationships among things toplogy, precisely, on the contrary, an installation offers an opportunity to use the things and images of our civilization in a very subjective, individual way.

Is anyone interested in getting together with me and we can discuss a little more before we get to class, not this time since class is tomorrow but some other time?

The question formulated by Benjamin is namely: Should he or she stand still and allow the pictures to play before him as in a movie theatre, or move further? The situation of the “mechanical reproduction” in the context of, let us say, contemporary Internet looks no less difficult — maybe even more difficult.


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.

And that means further: Indeed, in his text Benjamin starts from the possibility of a perfect reproduction which would no longer allow any “material,” visually recognizable difference between original and copy. That is why the installation is able to openly 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 practice.

In both cases the context decides about the newness — and in both cases we cannot rely on an established, institutional context but have to create something like a theological or artistic installation that would allow us to take a decision and to articulate it.

The modern artwork is re-presented and re-cognized before it is produced. Rather, modernist art can be characterized by its specific claim to be true — in a sense to be present, thoroughly visible, immediately revealed, or to use a Heideggerian term “unconcealed”.

The installation is, as it was already said, a finite space of presence where different images and objects are arranged and exhibited.

Taken separately these images and objects do not raise the claim to be unconcealed and true. The inclusion of the film toploogy into an artistic installation shows its transformative power in an especially obvious way.

The contrary is the case. Today, the term “contemporary art” does not simply designate art that is produced in our time. And that means that we have no outside position in relationship to the installation practice.