I had the opportunity of meeting with art critic Noah Sudarsky just a few days ago during an opening at White Box gallery. It was a very short meeting, about ten minutes, which allowed us to have a free-flowing conversation about where contemporary is moving. This discussion was motivated by a previous discussion about why the central subject of this issue is From Surrealism to the Deconstruction of Reality, when we should have been talking about the Deconstruction of Post Modernity. That short conversation has made me change the direction of this first editorial text.
Terms such as Surrealism and Deconstruction are reminiscent of past epochs; When we visit museums, art galleries or artistsí studios, we realize that such concepts are still operative. These are concepts so ingrained in contemporary art discourse that in many instances they sound like new creative tendencies.
We could talk about Surrealism in Migration, the work presented recently by Doug Aitken at 303 Gallery, or maybe in other instances we could talk about Deconstruction. Or perhaps both concepts are obsolete and easy to fall back on for other people, and it would be better to use contemporary terminology such as ìpsychological landscapesî, ìreconstruction of quotidianî, et cetera. Or maybe other people prefer to talk about its commercial value -- a subject matter that possibly is the one that contributes most to its reflection, an opinion that I share.
There are numerous modes of thinking and doing that for a long time have been adapting themselves to the various technical and scientific levels of progress. What I mean is that since the beginning of the postmodern era, we, self confident with our highly developed world where contemporary art was created and developed, have limited ourselves to apply a series of modes of thinking and creating -- established no less than thirty years ago -- to new technical and technological advancements.
It seems, though, that just recently, art sees itself exhausted and has left itself to be transformed into what many people insist on calling culture. This is something that has allowed art itself and our middle classes in crisis to breathe. And by the same token, if you finally look beyond the sphere of western art, into something that used to be untouchable, there are cultural codes still without a name, still not part of any catalog discussion or reflection. These are practices that come from locations that we can hardly find on the map; but perhaps that is stuff for another discussion.
The basic guiding idea, as a central theme for this issue of ARTSCAPE, was to assemble materials and to let it go to see what would happen. ARTSCAPE has some ideas that are pretty clear, and others that are not-- mostly now at the moment of closing this issue. Throughout this period of gestation and evolution, the content has transformed itself and has evolved on its own. It could well be the spirit that this magazine wants to develop.
by Juanli Carrión
© 2013 Angel Orensanz Foundation