New Publication: The Global Contemporary and the Rise of New Art Worlds

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A MIT Press and ZKM | Karlsruhe publication

This book undertakes the attempt to draw a first conclusion in discussing globalization, which has produced a new kind of contemporary art over the past twenty years. It presents the results of the exhibition The Global Contemporary. Art Worlds After 1989 that opened on September 17, 2011 at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany. Rather than being an exhibition catalog, the book incorporates benefits reaped from the exhibition experience. Even the exhibition itself was conceived as a work in progress. Throughout its duration, it constantly changed as the result of an artist-in-residence program, which provided guest artists with an opportunity to bring in their own viewpoints.

This volume is divided into three sections. One part contains “Room of Histories. Art’s Globalization in Context,” a documentation, whose space served as an introduction to the exhibition. A second part includes essays, largely written for this occasion, which provide general perspectives on the state of the arts today. These have been divided into thematic groups such as the change from a single art world to a plurality of competing art worlds. A new role is being played by anthropology, which is gaining increasing significance in the discussion of contemporary art. This is no longer the role of “the artist as ethnographer” which Hal Foster had described as the “ethnographic turn” in 1996. Today, art production with its cultural diversity addresses the curator as an ethnographer. At the same time the ethnographer acts as an art critic. For this reason, we also invited anthropologists to offer their own views on today’s art practice. A third part provides eight different “Views from the Exhibition,” which relate to the thematic units which have structured the exhibition at ZKM.

With essays by Hans Belting, Jakob Birken, Andrea Buddensieg, John Clark, Manthia Diawara, Liu Ding, Thomas Fillitz, Patrick D. Flores, Sara Giannini, Thomas Hauschild, Oskar Ho Hing-kay, Carol Yinghua Lu, Antonia Marten, Jean-Hubert Martin, Clare McAndrew, Birgit Mersmann, Gerardo Mosquera, Piotr Piotrowski, Raqs Media Collective, Terry Smith, David Spalding, Jim Supangkat, Sabine B. Vogel, and Peter Weibel.

The book will be launched on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition Nothing to Declare? World Maps of Art since ‘89 at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin on January 31. It can be purchased at the ZKM bookshop and at the Akademie already from January 2013. International distribution from March 2013.