Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art: Books

By Gover, Ke | The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE, June 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art: Books


Gover, Ke, The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE


Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art, By Peter Osborne, Verso, 288pp, Pounds 60.00 and Pounds 19.95, ISBN 9781781681138, 80940 and 83354 (e-book), Published 20 May 2013

A stuffed Jack Russell terrier stands on its hind legs, paws wrapped around a hand-lettered sign that reads, "I'm dead". The dog is either a work of cutting-edge sculpture or an adolescent stunt with taxidermy. In fact, it is both: The Independent calls it a "stand-out" work by artist David Shrigley, best known for his darkly humorous cartoons drawn in a naive style. Shrigley is one of this year's four finalists for the Turner Prize, the UK's most prestigious award for contemporary art.

"Contemporary art is badly known," Peter Osborne declares in the introduction to his ambitious philosophical treatise on the subject. It is hard to disagree with this diagnosis. Despite the increasing mainstream popularity of contemporary art - Tate Modern had a record-breaking 5.3 million visitors in 2012 - today's art world is in some ways more impenetrable than ever. It seems governed by hidden principles, inscrutable signs and, most importantly, wealthy collectors. To the uninitiated, the pronouncements issued by the curators and critics who serve as its high priests can seem arbitrary or just nonsensical. The dense, jargon-laden discussions that fill exhibition essays often serve to alienate rather than to illuminate. A cynic may find a bleaker meta- message in Shrigley's irreverent sculpture: contemporary art is a dead dog that can do nothing more than state the obvious about itself, over and over again.

Osborne is clearly more optimistic than that. As professor of modern European philosophy at Kingston University, he aims to make sense of contemporary art by arguing that it is "postconceptual". By this he means that art today expresses our unique historical situation. The past 25 years are marked by a geopolitical shift from the international to the "transnational", characterised by the erosion of boundaries among nation states through demographic shifts, the movements of global capital, labour migrations and, of course, the internet.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art: Books
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.