[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB #08 Rancière: Problems & Transformations of Critical Art

10 June 2016


Venue: The Field 385 Queens Road, London SE14 5HD

Organiser: [ART&CRITIQUE]

[ART&CRITIQUE] is a network dedicated to critical engagement with contemporary art. It fosters alternative models of art education - bringing together artists, curators, students, tutors, researchers and organisations in a series of events, including courses, seminars, workshops, reading groups, studio crits and gallery visits.

[SYMPOSIUM] is a monthly free and open-access reading group for anyone interested in the intersections between art practice and critical theory. All decision-making is collective and participants are encouraged to chair the reading group on a selective and voluntary basis. Please visit the website to register and download the shared document. For June we have selected Jacques Rancière’s essay Problems and Transformations of Critical Art. For Rancière, the problem of art is not in the clash between art and politics, but in the clash between the politics internal to art. Rancière describes this as a tension between formalist art and political art and he suggests that to be critical, art must negotiate between art and non-art. Hence, critical art “plays on the union and tension of different aesthetic politics… crossing the border between the world of art and the prosaic world of the commodity”. Rancière proposes the collage as such a “third way”. What are the consequences of this thesis for contemporary art practice? How does it re-frame traditional accounts of the transition from modernism to postmodernism? Why has Rancière been the most popular philosopher in the art world since Jean Baudrillard? This discussion will be chaired by Stephen Bennett.