Globalization and Contemporary Art

Globalization and Contemporary Art

Globalization and Contemporary Art

Globalization and Contemporary Art

Synopsis

In a series of newly commissioned essays by both established and emerging scholars, Globalization and Contemporary Art probes the effects of internationalist culture and politics on art across a variety of media. Globalization and Contemporary Art is the first anthology to consider the role and impact of art and artist in an increasingly borderless world.
  • First major anthology of essays concerned with the impact of globalization on contemporary art
  • Extensive bibliography and a full index designed to enable the reader to broaden knowledge of art and its relationship to globalization
  • Unique analysis of the contemporary art market and its operation in a globalized economy

Excerpt

“Globalization,” like the terms “modernism” and “renaissance” before it, has entered into the language of artists, art historians, critics, curators and all those other individuals and groups that make up the art world. And like those two historically preceding categories – still indispensable within the study of contemporary art as well as in its making – “globalization” carries with it three qualifications. Firstly, that the term, although specialized in its art-historical and art-practice senses, also refers to the whole organization of society beyond art. Secondly, that although the term names forces that have shaped societies and civilizations across the globe, these originated principally in one part of it – the “West” – and have achieved dominance beyond Europe and the United States partly through centuries-long histories of western colonial and imperial conquest. Thirdly, that the meanings of the term, though now confidently expounded in scholarship, teaching, and public arenas, remain uncertain: “globalization” is not a finally agreed quantity either historically or in its likely future effects within the art world, or the wider world beyond. “Globalization,” therefore, is best understood and most useful as an heuristic – “trial and error” – analytic construct: a practical concept containing a set of testable hypotheses concerning the progressive ordering of the world and its hitherto separable societies, their peoples, activities and products, into a single system.

Globalization and Contemporary Art is concerned with one facet of this apparent systematization: the remaking of artists, art practices, styles, institutions for art collection, exhibition, sale and pedagogy within such a single, globalized order. These 33 essays all demonstrate that the artworks under scrutiny – contemporary or historical – cannot adequately be understood in isolation from the societies in which they were produced. This is true also of all art institutions and of the human agents active within the art world – artists themselves, dealers, curators, auctioneers, critics, academics, arts administrators and others. But the challenge the authors here have been set is to go radically beyond this established “social history . . .

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