- Publisher: MIT Press
- Format: Paperback | 200 pages
- Dimensions: 145mm x 216mm x 15mm | 272g
- Publication date: 5 March 2013
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
- ISBN 10: 0262518686
- ISBN 13: 9780262518680
- Sales rank: 77,211
Art has its own power in the world, and is as much a force in the power play of global politics today as it once was in the arena of cold war politics. Art, argues the distinguished theoretician Boris Groys, is hardly a powerless commodity subject to the art market's fiats of inclusion and exclusion. In Art Power, Groys examines modern and contemporary art according to its ideological function. Art, Groys writes, is produced and brought before the public in two ways -- as a commodity and as a tool of political propaganda. In the contemporary art scene, very little attention is paid to the latter function. Arguing for the inclusion of politically motivated art in contemporary art discourse, Groys considers art produced under totalitarianism, Socialism, and post-Communism. He also considers today's mainstream Western art -- which he finds behaving more and more according the norms of ideological propaganda: produced and exhibited for the masses at international exhibitions, biennials, and festivals. Contemporary art, Groys argues, demonstrates its power by appropriating the iconoclastic gestures directed against itself -- by positioning itself simultaneously as an image and as a critique of the image. In Art Power, Groys examines this fundamental appropriation that produces the paradoxical object of the modern artwork.
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Boris Groys is Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University. He is the author of many books, including Ilya Kabakov: The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment (2006) and Art Power (2008), both published by the MIT Press.
"By probing unacknowledged, repressed, or otherwise unexamined relationships that hover in the background of art-world conversation, Art Power recombines categories, reconfigures assumptions, and, in the end, reimagines what art writing can be." Matthew Jesse Jackson Bookforum "It's a seemingly unlimited supply of surprising, even audacious truths that many invested in the art world might prefer not to think too hard about." Canadian Art "The range of topics canvassed in Art Power is impressive... All of these subjects have been comprehensively treated elsewhere, but rarely with Groys' penetrating eye for the unexpected upshot of such developments." Frieze