Borriaud - partizipation

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  • Publicado : 13 de marzo de 2012
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- partizipationNicolas Bourriaud Excerpts from Relational Aesthetics, 1998 The work of art as social interstice The possibility of a relational art (an art that takes as its theoretical horizon the sphere of human interactions and its social context, rather than the assertion of an autonomous and private symbolic space) is testimony to the radical upheaval in aesthetic, cultural and politicalobjectives brought about by modern art. To outline its sociology: this development stems essentially from the birth of a global urban culture and the extension of the urban model to almost all cultural phenomena. The spread of urbanization, which began to take off at the end of the Second World War, allowed an extraordinary increase in social exchanges, as well as greater individual mobility (thanksto the development of rail and road networks, telecommunications and the gradual opening up of isolated places, which went hand in hand with the opening up of minds). Because this urban world’s inhabitable places are so cramped, we have also witnessed a scaling down of furniture and objects, which have become much easier to handle: for a long time, artworks looked like lordly luxury items in thisurban context (the dimensions of both artworks and the apartments where they were displayed were intended to signal the distinction between their owners and the hoi polloi), but the way their function and their mode of presentation has evolved reveals a growing urbanization of the artistic experience. What is collapsing before our very eyes is quite simply the pseudo-aristocratic conception of howartworks should be displayed, which was bound up with the feeling of having acquired a territory. We can, in other words, no longer regard contemporary works as a space we have to walk through (we were shown around collections in the same way that we were shown around great houses). Contemporary art resembles a period of time that has to be experienced, or the opening of a dialogue that neverends. The city permits and generalizes the experience of proximity: this is the tangible symbol and historical framework of the state of society, or the ‘state of encounter,” that has been “imposed” on people, as Althusser puts it,1 as opposed to the dense and unproblematic jungle of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s state of nature. Rousseau’s jungle was such that there could be no lasting encounters. Once ithad been elevated to the status of an absolute civilizational rule this intense encounter finally gave rise to artistic practices that were in keeping with it. It gave rise, that is, to a form of art with intersubjectivity as its substratum. Its central themes are being-together [l”etre-ensemble], the “encounter” between viewer and painting, and the collective elaboration of meaning. We can leaveaside the problem of the phenomenon’s historicity: art has always been relation to some extent. It has, in other words, always been a factor in sociability and has always been the basis for a dialogue. One of the image’s potentials is its capacity for “linkage” [reliance], to use Michel Maffesoli’s term: flags, logos, icons and signs all produce empathy and sharing, and generate links.2 Art(practices derived from painting and sculpture and displayed in the form of an exhibition) proves to be an especially appropriate expression of this civilization of proximity. It compresses relational space, whereas television and books send us all back to spaces where we consume in private; and whereas the theatre or the cinema bring small groups together to look at univocal images, there is in factno live commentary on what a theatre or cinema audience is seeing (the time for discussion comes after the show). At an exhibition, in contrast, there is always the possibility of an immediate—in both senses of the term—discussion, even when the forms on show are inert: I see, comment and move around in one space-time. Art is a site that produces a specific sociability; what status this space has...
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