Boris Groys

PublisherFiktion2015
In this anthology, edited by Fiktion’s cofounder Ingo Niermann, nineteen writers and researchers address a fiercely contested commodity in digital society: concentration. Ingeborg Harms, Quinn Latimer, Arthur Jacobs, and Raoul Schrott write about the circumstances under which a text or activity can completely draw us into its spell, Dirk Baecker and Amy Patton about a shifting concentration, Jenna Sutela and Elvia Wilk about one that carries us into the spherical, Charis Conn about concentration violently induced; Nina Bußmann writes about the uncertainty as to whether she is currently concentrating or distracting herself; Sophie Jung, Emily Segal, and Alexander Tarakhovsky make ...
Publishere-flux2019
On November 7, 1929, the Museum of Modern Art “opened in a five-room rented space with an ‘historical’ exhibition of (European) Post-Impressionist art, titled ‘The First Loan Exhibition: Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Van Gogh.’” MoMA’s founding director, Alfred Barr, had the idea that modern works that passed a test called “Torpedo in Time” would, after some fifty years, be considered historical and transfer to the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the time, Gertrude Stein also famously quipped that the very idea of a museum of the modern was an oxymoron. In short, MoMA was more of a kunsthalle ...
Publishere-flux2020
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a “global” art world began to form. Sure, there were already a number of world’s fairs and established international biennials, but this would be different. From the 1990s onward, national boundaries would dissolve, centers and peripheries would level out, and the internet would host worldwide cultural exchange. In many ways this really did happen, but some other things also happened. As people and ideas began to move across borders, money did too. Faced with an unmanageable planetary scale, capital became a more efficient regulator of flows than laws or nations. Suddenly, capital rose ...
Publishere-flux2009
About a year ago, while trying to develop a wiki archive for contemporary art at e-flux, we encountered a small technical problem in deciding how to implement a simple menu structure to allow readers to navigate such an archive. We thought first to organize it according to movement. Yet there have been no significant movements in the past twenty years, and artists have not been interested in organizing themselves around any. By medium? But contemporary artists work with their materials in a variety of different, and more often hybrid, ways. By geographic region? Well, that approach is probably better suited ...
Publishere-flux2010
In a recent BBC documentary on “objectum sexuals”—people who have loving relationships with inanimate objects—Erika Naisho Eiffel spoke about her love affair with an archer’s bow: “We were just such a great team because we had that connection on every single level. I’d almost swear that my blood flowed from my arm and went right into him. And it felt like the molecules in him were flowing right back into my arm.”1 It’s no surprise that, before their love waned, Naisho Eiffel was a record-breaking world champion archer—a love story indeed. But more importantly, Naisho Eiffel’s example seems to suggest ...
Publishere-flux2010
The tension in contemporary culture formulated in terms of a hackneyed clash between premodern tradition and fully modernized enlightened subjects has proven to be a dangerous one—and it has easily given way to patently racist scenarios in which premodern tribal types (such as the EU citizens who happen to be Roma) invade fully modern Western metropolises. It seems much more useful, and interesting, to consider these conditions to be one and the same—two sides of a single, irreconcilable anxiety with regard to cultural tradition, the promises of modernism, and the shortcomings of both. From this singular vantage point, we can ...
Publishere-flux2009
The nature of artistic speculation is, in part, to create new spaces and defer their use to others. While the pioneer gets first dibs in deciding the ideologies and governing principles of the spaces he creates, he is seldom present to see his planning in practice—he is off to new adventures while the subject must find ways of translating this vision into something inhabitable. Beyond the issue of governance, these circumstances beg the deeper question of the potential for simply inhabiting existing spaces, for properly addressing important questions that have already been asked before seeking the questions of the future. ...
Publishere-flux2011
Let’s be clear about something: it is infuriating that most interesting artists are perfectly capable of functioning in at least two or three professions that are, unlike that of art, respected by society in terms of compensation and general usefulness. And compensation—which is money—is not only for feeding lavish lifestyles or taking spontaneous beach vacations. Ask anyone who has children or sick relatives in a country without good health care—which could by now be almost any country, as the administration of life is deferred more and more to the private sphere of personal finance. This only makes the question of ...
Publishere-flux2011
This month in e-flux journal, we are pleased to present a special issue focusing on Moscow Conceptualism, guest-edited by Boris Groys in conjunction with an exhibition of the work of Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Actions, curated by Groys and on view at e-flux until January 6, 2012… Preface Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle Introduction—Global Conceptualism Revisited Boris Groys Performing Objects, Narrating Installations: Moscow Conceptualism and the Rediscovery of the Art Object Ekaterina Degot One and Three Ideas: Conceptualism Before, During, and After Conceptual Art Terry Smith Soviet Material Culture and Socialist Ethics in Moscow Conceptualism Keti Chukhrov Art without Work? Anton Vidokle Moscow Romantic Exceptionalism: The Suspension of Disbelief Sarah Wilson Zones of ...
Publishere-flux2012
What if history actually did end with the fall of communism and the end of the cold war, as Fukuyama claimed, and we are now enjoying some kind paradise of liberal democracy with no better political framework to strive towards? Or, what if a recognition of exploitation and social inequities actually is leading to a massive workers’ revolution that will reclaim the means of production and lead to a more equal distribution of resources and power—whether Marxist, democratic, or otherwise? Indeed, we are unsure whether we are still inside of an idea of progressive social emancipation and human self-realization that defined the modern era, ...
Publishere-flux2009
Much of the tension within the sphere of contemporary art is generated by the insularity of the art context, which often prompts artists to be on the lookout for other situations. The museum is too exclusive, the artwork overly framed, the discourse too removed from everyday life. And yet, attempts to liberate artworks from their conditioning often finds them still connected to the art context by a rigid tether. Boris Groys has suggested that in order for art to be shown in public spaces and still maintain its status as art, it must by necessity be more conservative than art ...
Publishere-flux2012
After an all-night conversation with an old friend, you are ready to start the revolution together. But the next day, discussing the finer points over breakfast, you realize no, it’s impossible—in fact, this friend is actually a fascist. Her sentiment is right but her strategies could be disastrous. In order for the revolution to succeed, you will probably have to kill her. And this friend is thinking the same thing of you—a cowardly ideologue who hides behind an antiquated idea of historical progress in order to feel like a good person. Your grand political project from last night draws closer ...

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