Reg. no: 1124112
Theories of art after minimalism and pop: Periodizing critics: Benjamin H. D. Buchloh
There is a certain ironic opportunity in lineup of three critics of the same generation who are on the one hand so different in their historical orientations and affiliations and on other hand clearly united by their indifference toward most of the work currently celebrated by the art market and the mainstream art institutions.
I. Keyword: Opportunity
Supporting statement: Opportunity- to reflect on the current role and function of the critic in aesthetic practice.
II. Topic sentence: The interests represented by the three critics are probably equally remote and unattractive.
III. Topic sentence: I assume that the decision to invite me to participate in this discussion was at least partially motivated by the fact that the artists with whose works I have been actively involved as a critic and as an editor were precisely those post minimalists and conceptual artists.
Keywords: Post minimalist and conceptual artists.
Supporting sentence: in most cases the artists abandoned the traditional categories, materials and procedures of artistic production.
IV. Topic sentence: as much as we might learn from the actual construction of the historical text, we might learn more from the omissions and repressions of those elements of history which would otherwise perturb this construction- it's positing of a linear system.
Supporting Sentence: the canon- advertently confirms- the construction of individual oeuvres and authors, and it continues to posit and celebrate individual achievement or collaborative endeavor.
V. Topic sentence: The limitation might result from professional specialization and the general compartmentalization of intellectual labor, or it might result from the historian's role casting.
Keyword: Mass cultural and ideological phenomena.
Supporting sentence: The three critics have avoided mass cultural and ideological phenomena, and their determining impact on high- cultural production- with the same compulsive fear with which mass- cultural historians have avoided the structures and complexities of contemporary high cultural objects.
VI. Topic sentence: The practices of the three critics remain despite occasional slander by paranoid conservative critics- relatively depoliticized and apolitical.
Supporting Statement: The depoliticization is due to an imposed condition which defines our practice as one which transcends concrete political issue.
VII. Topic sentence: In the practice, the specificity of materials and the essentianly collaborative nature of aesthetic experience was emphasized and expanded.
Keyword: Discursive critique.
Supporting sentence: Art after minimalism and pop also provided visual high culture with models of a rigorous and systematic institutional and discursive critique- a critique which had emerged previously in critical theory and structuralist and post structuralist discourse, but which is still relatively undeveloped in art criticism.
VIII. Topic sentence: For the most part artists themselves have assumed the role of legitimist; and this with the near- unanimous enthusiasm of all concerned, for instead of contestation of the dominant cultural and ideological apparatus they deliver valorization and institutional affirmation.
Keyword: Empirical proof of artistic competence or historical parameters of evaluation.
Supporting statement: Therefore, no longer required of the critic to provide reasonable discourse, empirical proof of artistic competence or historical parameters of evaluation and criteria of quality by which legitimation might be gained.
IX. Topic statement: The merger between avant-garde culture and culture industry has initiated among curators and collectors, dealers and artists a new awareness: namely, that management and control, validation and affirmation can just as well be performed from within the ranks of the given institutions and their networks of support.
Keyword: Criteria of evaluation.
Supporting statement: Criteria of evaluation are currently even begun to trouble a curator's conviction or a journalist's strategy to link the names of those artists.
X. Topic sentence: One of the very preconditions of the successful operation of the current discourse of institutional and economic power is thus that it be able to server all links with the reality of history, and that meaning and history be constructed according to the topical needs of the moment.
XI. Topic sentence: it is not the moment for smug remarks and triumphant self- satisfaction regarding the work of the various generations of artists with whom we as critics have been, and are still, identified.
XII. Topic sentence: It is not in arts of counter memory alone that the concepts of institutional critique and site specificity, the transformation of audience relationships and models of participation will be rescued as the critical challenge against which all contemporary claims are to be judged.