Manifestations and Conditions of Art

  • Aleš Erjavec
Part of the Sociology of the Arts book series (SOA)


The author takes as his point of departure the neoliberal order as it has been emerging since 1989 and has constituted the background of recent (contemporary) art. He argues that in modernist past art carried special significance, for it was a privileged venue to truth. Already in postmodernism this characteristic diminished, causing the impression that “the end of art” was inevitable. The author disagrees with such view and argues that “art always finds a way” to express truth. Art manages to retain its position in our lived world, even though the latter may have been weakened in recent decades. He then discusses the views of three contemporary theorists who have been among the first to register specific features of contemporary art


Neoliberal order Art European West Eastern Europe Postmodernism Contemporaneity 


  1. Adorno, Theodor W. 1997. Aesthetic Theory. Orig. Ästhetische Theorie (1970). Trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alberro, Alexander. 2009. Response to the “Questionnaire on ‘The Contemporary’”. October 130 (Fall): 55–60.Google Scholar
  3. Badiou, Alain. 1988. L’Être et l’événement. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  4. Bauman, Zygmunt. 1987. Legislators and Interpreters. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  5. Belting, Hans. 2013. From World Art to Global Art: View on a New Panorama. In The Global Contemporary and the Rise of New Art Worlds, 178–185, eds. Hans Belting et al. Karlsruhe: ZKM.Google Scholar
  6. Bishop, Claire. 2012. Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2013. Radical Museology or, What’s ‘Contemporary’ in Museums of Contemporary Art? London: Koenig Books.Google Scholar
  8. Čopič, Vesna. 2013. Kultura potrebuje nov stik s stvarnostjo [Culture Requires a New Contact with Reality]. Delo (Ljubljana), 2. April 20 2013.Google Scholar
  9. Danto, Arthur C. 1997. After the End of Art. Contemporary Art and the Pale of History. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Denning, Michael. 2004. Culture in the Age of Three Worlds. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  11. Erjavec, Aleš, ed. 2003. Postmodernism and the Post-socialist Condition. Politicized Art under Late Socialism. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2010. Aesthetics and the Aesthetic Today: After Adorno. In Adorno and Aesthetics After Adorno, 182–209. Berkeley: Townsend Center for the Humanities.Google Scholar
  13. ———. 2014. Eastern Europe, Art, and the Politics of Representation. Boundary 2 41 (1): 51–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. ———, ed. 2015. Aesthetic Revolutions and Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Movements. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Flores, Patrick D. 2014. Speculations on the International Via the Philippine. Filozofski vestnik 35 (2): 175–194.Google Scholar
  16. Foster, Hal. 1993. Postmodernism in Parallax. October 63 (Winter): 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jameson, Fredric. 1991. Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  18. King, Geoff. 1996. Mapping Reality. An Exploration of Cultural Cartographies. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lang, Berel, ed. 1984. The Death of Art. New York: Haven Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Osborne, Peter. 2013. Anywhere or Not at All. Philosophy of Contemporary Art. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  21. Poggioli, Renato. 1968. The Theory of the Avant-Garde. Orig. Teoria dell’arte d’avanguardia (1962). Trans. Gerald Fitzgerald. Cambridge/London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Sholette, Gregory. 2007. Arte y revolución. In Arte y revolución, ed. Dario Corbeira. Madrid: Rumaria. Documenta Magazines.Google Scholar
  23. Smith, Terry. 2006. Contemporary Art and Contemporaneity. Critical Inquiry 32 (Summer): 681–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. ———. 2008. Introduction. In Antinomies of Art and Culture. Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity, ed. Terry Smith et al., 1–19. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. ———. 2009. What Is Contemporary Art? Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 2012. Thinking Contemporary Curating. New York: Independent Curators International.Google Scholar
  27. Thompson, Nato. 2012. Living as Form. In Living as Form. Socially Engaged Art from 1991–2011, ed. Nato Thompson, 16–33. New York: Creative Art Books; Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  28. Welsch, Wolfgang. 2004. Rethinking Identity in the Age of Globalization – A Transcultural Perspective. International Yearbook of Aesthetics 8: 167–176.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleš Erjavec
    • 1
  1. 1.Slovenian Academy of Sciences and ArtsLjubljanaSlovenia

Personalised recommendations