Nuart Plus 2017 – Promises not kept: Art, the art institution and social change

Nuart Plus 2017 – Promises not kept: Art, the art institution and social change

Keynote speech by Mikkel Bolt (DK)

If we zoom in and look at the art institution from the inside, from within the framework of its relative autonomy, we can, on the one hand, observe the art institution as a space for political discussion and militant actions that rarely takes place elsewhere, which is also why artists and cultural producers played a leading part in Occupy Wall Street in New York in September 2011 for instance. On the other hand, contemporary art is the window dressing and sale of only apparently critical utterances or forms that in no way challenge the ruling taste, but, on the contrary have become indistinguishable from all the other forms of aesthetic entertainment. Contemporary art is no longer just a research and development unit of advanced capitalism but is part and parcel of an all-encompassing experience economy on a level with advertising, fashion, music, TV and games.

In this presentation, Mikkel Bolt will attempt to account for this paradox and ask how we can potentially re-work or end it in an era characterized by crisis and the revival of authoritarian nationalism.


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Following last year’s FREEDOM issue, this edition of Nuart Journal explores the theme of LOCKDOWN. Available both online and in print from May 1, 2021.

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