‘Art in Action’ at Tate Modern: De-Bordered and Potential Spaces for Art

December 21, 2012

by Josefine Wikström
via Afterall

Boris Charmatz, Flip Book, 2008/2012, performance first presented in 2008 at LiFE, Saint Nazaire, France. View of the performance at The Tanks, Tate Modern, London, September 2012. Photograph: Tate Photography. Courtesy the artist and Tate, London

Boris Charmatz, Flip Book, 2008/2012, performance first presented in 2008 at LiFE, Saint Nazaire, France. View of the performance at The Tanks, Tate Modern, London, September 2012. Photograph: Tate Photography. Courtesy the artist and Tate, London

According to Peter Osborne, art before 1945 was based on ‘a craft-based ontology of mediums’,1 mainly dominated by categories such as painting and sculpture. From then onwards, it moved towards ‘a post-conceptual, transcategorical ontology of materialisations’ – the mix of ‘in between’ or ‘meta’ artistic media such as performance and installation that dominates contemporary practice and with which traditional museums have to contend.2Osborne shows how this current state of contemporary art is the result of both the de-bordering of media (painting and sculpture mainly) and of previously social spaces for art, mainly embodied by national museums. The latter, he claims, have been replaced with a global art market characterised by large-scale international exhibitions and the migrancy of artists, all fuelled by deregulated capital markets that know no national borders. The task of the contemporary art museum today is to reflect and critically engage with this concept of art and these structures of global capital in which it is deeply entangled.
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