Critique of Nicolas Bourriaud’s ‘Relational Aesthetics’ and ‘Altermodernism’

 Critique of Nicolas Bourriaud’s ‘Relational Aesthetics’ and ‘Altermodernism’

부리요 논리들의 오류들을 지적하고 있다. 그가 간과하는 점 – 후기 구조주의 상태 등-

Claire Bishop의 글이 극단적으로 비판하고 있다. 읽어라.

Maybe Bourriaud is a firm supporter of Roland Barthes text ‘The Death of The Author’ (1967)4 , however American author’s and critic’s Camille Paglia’s words seem to be very poignant when she says: ‘Most pernicious of French imports [into American academia] is the notion that there is no person behind a text. Is there anything more affected, aggressive, and relentlessly concrete than a Parisian intellectual behind his/her turgid text? The Parisian is a provincial when he pretends to speak for the universe.’

The persistent hierarchies between the viewer and the artist of the selection of Bourriaud’s Relational Aestheticists are complicating the matter for Bourriaud’s overall argument.

Claire Bishop does, however, oversimplify the matter when she writes: ‘I am not suggesting that relational art works need to develop a greater social conscience—by making pinboard works about international terrorism, for example, or giving free curries to refugees.’

즉 유토피아를 지향하지 않고 microtopia를 주장한다고 부리요는 주장하지만, 그의 논지들은 대체적으로 too idealistic하다. 구체적이고 실질적인 모델을 제시한다고 볼 수 는 없다.  

If utopia suggests perfection, microtopia defines adaptation. So it is not the ethical vs. aesthetical, it is rather a convincing combination of two and if a piece has got it, it is not easily beaten. Subsequently, the medium does not necessarily have to come into this.

The same is to say about Bourriaud’s attempt to single out ‘Altermodern‘ as a new kind of art that has arrived at the end of the post-modern period, made in today’s global context, as a a reaction against cultural standardisation. Yet again, he fails to recognise the continuous global expansion of capitalism. –> 이것이 치명적인 오류.

Because if Bourriaud thinks that we are past postmodern, he must be able to recognise the shifts of society as we know it, but his arguments for that are insufficient. His notion of the shift is very liberal rather than revolutionary, but for the strength of the movement that he wants, liberal won’t work.78

Bourriaud destroys this wish completely through the exhibition called ‘Altermodern‘ in Tate Britain’s fourth Triennial exhibition, which he curated in 2009

1. The end of postmodernism

2. Cultural hybridisation

3. Travelling as a new way to produce forms

4. The expanding formats of art

we are on the verge of a leap out of the post-modern period and the (essentialist) multicultural model from which it is indivisible; a leap that would give rise to a synthesis between modernism and post-colonialism’

Claire Bishop brings to the fore this major fault of logic in Bourriaud’s thesis: ‘How can relational artworks seek to create an escape, mutually exclusive from the politics that govern normal reaction, and at the same type hope to model modes of living that can then be re-articulated back into that same society?’ 이 같은 double goal을 어떻게 성취할 수 있느냐며 피난. 사회를 exclusive하는 동시에 그 사회 안으로 들어가는 것. 

Post-modernism killed passion because the idea of passion is a Romantic notion. This passion is all bound up in the progression of modernism and probably linked to negative elements of past, dominant, white, patriarchal, and other colonising societal ways. Nonetheless, there are glimpses of passion coming back, a new kind of passion. This time not only to learn, but to teach others, in a more horizontal manner.

The extensive critique that Claire Bishop gives to the ‘Relational Aesthetics’ does point out: ‘The quality of the relationships in ‘relational aesthetics’ are never examined or called into question.

but what is not addressed is the entire system of artist’s hierarchy towards the viewer.

Architects/philosophers Gideon Boie and Matthias Pauwels (BAVO) wrote in 2006 a critique of art’s relationship to neo-liberal policy. Both through examples and by in-depth analysis, the authors find that ‘the idea that art cannot but accept the ruling system in order to be of any social significance today, enables cultural forces to remain active in a capitalist reality they ‘theoretically’ denounce. ‘ How to escape from this ‘inter-passive’ deadlock? Pauwels and Boie argue for an art that radically forces to choose sides’.

This is the only truly ‘breaking apart’ method, the in-between does not work.

And although it is easy to mostly agree with this statement, it is worth believing that art can be an agent in bringing the vast majority of us to work collectively. However, it will not be a particular medium, it will be an approach of no compromises, an innovative approach that would try to borrow as little as possible from the present ideologies, which so many theorists forget to do in order to break apart from something old.

예술이 더 이상 save the world하는 것은 아니지만 bridging agent는 될 수 있다. 저자는 현재의 후기 구조주의 등 사회 시스템으로부터 완정히 truly break apart 할 수는 없다고 본다. 그 시스템 안에서 innovative approach하는 게 예술의 역할이라고. 


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