art’s self- awareness

im going to copy in an extract from ‘The conspiracy of art’ by Jean Baudrillard, this is a chapter called ‘introduction: the piracy of art’ by Sylvere Lottringer. The chapter defends Baudrillards comment on art being ‘null’ , saying not that the work wasnt getting dull and exasperated, but arts cultural mode was becoming exasperated and no longer carried impact or value. This is apparenttly because the awe and wonderment of spectators that has elevated arts position in society as elitist. Modern artists attempt to shock through abjective methods however this technique is retired because of the excess in postmodernist media.

2 artists have interested Baudrillard in the past century. Warhol, if one can seperate his art and his function in art Baudrillard embraces the latter. Warhol successfully turned himself and his art into a commodity, exposing the arts role in capitalist culture.
The second artist is the invention of the concept behind ‘readymades’, Marcel Duchamp. HE revealed that art is entirely subjective and can all practice. He pulled the carpet from beneaths art feet, leaving it on the floor looking for its history which collapsed with it. In Baudrillard’s eyes these 2 represented the last significant art movements of the 20th century.

anyway here is the qoute –

‘There was no more reason to wonder if art should be realistic, expressionistic, impressionistic, futuristic, if it had to paint the light or bring out scaffolding. It was all in the mind. Non-retinian art was an oxymoron , an explosive device. Something like Nietches’s laughter. It was a challenge to ‘culture’ , meaning the bussiness of art. Reality itself everywhere was up for sale, so why not in a gallery? the readymade wasnt a point of departure, but a point of no return. Once added up, art and reality amounted to a ‘sum zero equation’. It was null. Opening the floodgates of art to the decodification of the capital, Duchamp left nothing behind’

pg 20, ‘the conspiracy of art’, Baudrillard , JEAN, Lotringer, Sylvere.

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