Art/Aesthetics · Human-ities · Social/Politics

Corporate Intrigue in the Art World

On Monday afternoon, the Artnet magazine Twitter feed was unusually somber. For years, the feed has been a reliable, go-to source for breaking news stories with actual relevance (not always a given in art journalism), but on that day the final post featured an Instagram photo of Lower Manhattan. “Goodbye beautiful Woolworth Building views,” read the message, written by the Artnet editor Walter Robinson, who had just been told that the magazine, where he’d served for 16 years as its only editor, was kaput. Even in this rare personal Tweet, it was hard not to see the news angle. Just a few months ago, Artnet moved to a lavish space on the 26th floor and then, this week, cut the magazine for failing to turn a profit.

“I’m shaken,” New York magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz, whose writing has appeared on Artnet since 1998, told The Observer yesterday. He added that he was considering sending back his “low-three figure” freelance check for this month. “A really dynamic, really open, unpredictable, chaotic species just became extinct.”

Excerpt of an article written by Dan Duray, at the New York Observer. Continue HERE

Art/Aesthetics · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Philosophy · Social/Politics · Theory

Jacques Rancière’s The Politics of Aesthetics

The 66-year-old French philosopher Jacques Rancière is clearly the new go-to guy for hip art theorists. Artforum magazine’s ever-sagacious online “Diary” has referred to Rancière as the art world’s “darling du jour,” and in its recent issue, the magazine itself has described digital video artist Paul Chan as “Rancièrian” — as an aside, without further explanation, no less! For anyone looking for a primer, Rancière’s slim The Politics of Aesthetics has just been published in paperback.

Rancière has the undeniable virtue, for the esoterica-obsessed art world at least, of being something of an odd duck. A one-time fellow traveler of Marxist mandarin Louis Althusser, Rancière split with him after the May ’68 worker-student rebellion against the de Gaulle government, feeling that Althusser, a partisan of the Stalinized French Communist Party, left too little space in his theoretical edifice for spontaneous popular revolt. Against this background of disenchantment, Rancière set out to explore the relationships between philosophy and the worker, rethink ideas of history and try to construct a progressive theory of art.

The Politics of Aesthetics is a quick and dirty tour of a number of these themes. It features five short meditations on various conjunctions of art and politics, plus a lengthy interview with Rancière by his translator Gabriel Rockhill titled “The Janus-Face of Politicized Art,” an introduction by Rockhill and a concluding essay by the art world’s other favorite quirky philosopher, Slavoj Zizek. It is a short but serious book and, in keeping with French intellectual practice, sensuously impenetrable, coming equipped with a glossary of terms for the uninitiated.

Excerpt of a review by Ben Davis. Continue HERE
Read The Politics of Aesthetics