BORIS GROYS: The Topology of Contemporary Art PART 2: MULTIPLE MODERNITIES. 5. MONICA AMOR: On the Contingency of. Contemporary Art in Time” considers some examples, and conse- quences, of .. Cf. Boris Groys, “The Topology of Contemporary Art,” in Antinomies of Art. Synopsis: To understand the qualitative properties of “Contemporary Art”, the Author examines the interplay between Modern & Post-modern.

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But if an installation is a space where the differentiation between original and copy, innovation and repetition, past and future takes place, could we speak of an individual installation itself as being original or new?

Is it enough that the public simply goes by the assumption that an original exists somewhere, hidden away and protected, unless its aforementioned destruction does take place and is purposely made known? In fact, the aura, as described by Benjamin, only comes into being thanks to the modern technique of reproduction. topologj

The Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Rather, the comparison takes place before the emergence of a new, radical, iconoclastic artwork-and virtually produces this new artwork.

The iconoclastic and the new can only be recognized by the art historically informed, museum-trained gaze.

Under this presupposition, to lose its unique, original context means for an artwork to lose its aura forever — and to become a copy of itself.

Installation in my opinion by the way is not an object but is a complete transformation of space and time. That each media alteration creates a new original?

The metaphoric use of the notion of “generation” as it practiced now in a context of technology is very revealing. But postmodernist art does not formulate any own claim to truth remaining exclusively critical and deconstructive.

The recognition of the iconoclastic, of the creative, of the new requires a permanent comparison with the traditional, with the old. And that means further: In this way through different contexts and media this film footage is transformed by different program languages, different softwares, different framings on the screen, different placement in an installation space, etc.


A video or film installation contejporary the conditions of film presentation.

The -at least potential- erasure of all visually recognizable differences between original and copy does not eliminate another difference existing between them which, albeit invisible, is none the less decisive: The installation is not only political because it gives a possibility to document political positions, projects, actions and events — even if such a documentation meanwhile also became a wider-spread artistic practice.

The installation formulate these conditions by creating a finite, closed space which becomes the space of open conflict and unavoidable decision between original and reproduction, between presence and representation, between unconcealed and concealed.

The Topology of Contemporary Art: Boris Groys | alfredcrucible

Rather, modernist art can be characterized by its specific claim to be tooplogy — in a sense to be present, thoroughly visible, immediately revealed, or to use a Heideggerian term “unconcealed”. The installation takes a copy out of an allegedly unmarked, open space of anonymous circulation and puts it — even if only temporarily — in a fixed, stable, closed context of topologically well-defined “here and now”. I will also venture to argue that toploogy craft items that are being made in the same vein the quality tends to falter so once again, yes, I believe there is relevance.

Contdmporary how can an individual artist prove that he or she is really, genuinely creative? Indeed, Kierkegaard states that for a spectator who would be contemporary of Jesus Christ it was impossible to recognize in Christ a new God precisely because he didn’t look new — the figure of Christ initially looked like that of every other ordinary human being at that historical time. In terms of political voice, can a non-installation artwork create a comparable impact to that of installation?

But they are unconcealed only as long as they are parts of this individual installation. That is why the installation is able to openly manifest the conflict between the presence of the images and objects inside a finite horizon of our immediate experience and their invisible, virtual, “absent” circulation in the space outside contemporayr this horizon — a conflict that defines the contemporary cultural practice.


The situation of the “mechanical reproduction” in the context of, let us say, contemporary Internet looks no agt difficult — maybe even more difficult.

And that means that we have no outside position in relationship to the installation practice. The practice of the historical avant-garde was based on the equation that was already formulated by Bakunin, Stirner and Nietzsche: And it is born precisely for the same reason it is lost.

Beyond this specific claim to truth the modernist artwork looses its edge and becomes merely decorative whatever its form can be.

All of them may be turned into a site of installation by documenting the selection process, borsi private or institutional. The topology of today’s networks of communication, of generation, translation and distribution of images is extremely heterogeneous.

In the 19th Century Soeren Kierkegaard discussed the difference of old and new using as an example the figure of Jesus Christ. The film spectator is not anymore immobilised, bound to a seat and left in the darkness — being supposed to watch a movie from its beginning to its end. This artistic space contempoeary the installation may be a museum or art gallery, but also a private studio, or a home, or a building site.

The question formulated by Benjamin is namely: And more than that: The installation thus demonstrates the material hardware of civilization that would otherwise go unnoticed behind the surface of image circulation in the mass media.

So for Kierkegaard, Christianity is based on the impossibility of recognizing Christ as God-the impossibility of recognizing Christ as visually different: