Artists Space

On the Necessity of Art's Exit from Contemporary Art:
2. The Problem with Contemporary Art is not the Contemporary
Suhail Malik, with responses from Liam Gillick

Talk
May 17, 2013, 7pm

Artists Space presents the second in a series of talks and discussions led by writer and cultural theorist Suhail Malik, based on his research and writing on the conditions and shortcomings of contemporary art. Continuing over a six-week period, the format provides scope for sustained dialogue and responses to Malik’s propositions. Each session will involve the participation of guest artists and writers as respondents.

A screenshot of the google images search results page for the query "the problem with contemporary art is not the contemporary"
[A screenshot of the google images search results page for the query "the problem with contemporary art is not the contemporary"]

Under the title The Problem with Contemporary Art is not the Contemporary, this week's session proposes that contemporary art does not, and can not, in fact face up to the contemporary. Its interrogation of the contemporary necessarily misses its target in the very attempt to reach it, is necessarily inadequate to the now in which it takes place and to which it adds.

Malik's series of talks proposes that for art to have substantial and credible traction on anything beyond or larger than itself it is necessary to exit contemporary art. An exit that requires the revocation of contemporary art’s logic of escape. If the demand here has an appeal and deserves attention—and it need not since the current constitution of contemporary art serves very well the aesthetic, intellectual, and sociological forms that sustain prevalent power in and through the art field, including all prevalent forms of critique—then this demand must be placed not just on the art itself but also on the ideas it invokes, as well as the social structures and ethos sustaining this configuration. The question then is what this art other to contemporary art’s paradigm of escape can be? What other kind of social structure and distribution of power than that prevalent in contemporary art would support it? What should an art that is not contemporary art do? Of what would its traction consist and amount to?

Nothing here yet...

On the Necessity of Art's Exit from Contemporary Art: 2. The Problem with Contemporary Art is not the Contemporary. Suhail Malik, with responses from Liam Gillick. Friday, May 17, 7pm. Talk. [Video documentation of a man giving a talk with a PowerPoint presentation.]