Art and Subjecthood

From Sternberg Press / Institut für Kunstkritik series

Art and Subjecthood

The Return of the Human Figure in Semiocapitalism

Edited by Isabelle Graw, Daniel Birnbaum and Nikolaus Hirsch

Distributed for Sternberg Press

Overview

Author(s)

Summary

Many contemporary artworks evoke the human figure: consider the omnipresence of the mannequin in current installations of artists like John Miller, Thomas Hirschhorn, Heimo Zobernig, or David Lieske. Or consider the revival of a minimalist vocabulary, which embraces anthropomorphism as in the works of Isa Genzken and Rachel Harrison. This book brings together contributions from the eponymous conference, all of which seek to speculate on the reasons as to why, since the turn of the millennium, we have encountered so many artworks that tend to reconcile Minimalism with suggestions of the human figure. It proposes that this new artistic convention becomes rather questionable when discussed in the light of Franco Berardi's theory of semiocapitalism—a power technology that aims squarely at our human resources. The participants of this conference were asked to offer possible explanations for this wide acceptance of anthropomorphism—could it be that this is a manifestation of the increasingly desperate desire for art to have agency?

ContributorsIna Blom, Oliver Brokel, Caroline Busta, Stefan Deines, Hal Foster, Stefanie Heraeus, Jutta Koether, Magdalena Nieslony, Michael Sanchez

Institut für Kunstkritik Series

Paperback

$19.95 T ISBN: 9781934105757 98 pp. | 4.75 in x 7.5 in 11 b&w illus.

Not for sale in Europe or the UK.

Editors

Isabelle Graw

Isabelle Graw is the publisher of the journal Texte zur Kunst, which she cofounded with Stefan Germer (1958-1998) in 1990, and professor of art history and art theory at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste–Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main. Her previous books include In Another World: Notes, 2014–2017 (2020), The Love of Painting: Genealogy of a Success Medium (2018), and High Price: Art Between the Market and Celebrity Culture (2010).

Daniel Birnbaum

Daniel Birnbaum is a Swedish art critic, theoretician, and curator. He was the director of the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna Museet) in Stockholm from 2010 to 2018, and currently directs the VR company, Acute Art.

Nikolaus Hirsch

Nikolaus Hirsch is an architect, curator, editor, and educator. He is the director of CIVA in Brussels and was the Dean of Städelschule and Director of Portikus in Frankfurt. He is the author of the books On Boundaries (2007), Institution Building (2009), Cybermohalla Hub (2012), and co-editor of the Critical Spatial Practice series at Sternberg Press and co-founder of e-flux architecture.