Thematic focus

Wirksame Kunst. Spektakel als kritische Form und soziale Praxis

Elisabeth Fritz

Published online:

18 Dec 2018

Abstract

Abstract

Whereas the spectacle is traditionally regarded in contrast to socio-political engagement, this contribution examines how recent activist art projects tend to challenge this opposition. Building on a historical and theoretical reconstruction of the actual tensions between concepts of social and aesthetic critique, the article proposes a more neutral, descriptive usage of the term ‘spectacle’ and analyzes the critical potential of spectacular strategies in contemporary art based on case studies (Alfredo Jaar, Center for Political Beauty, Yvon Chabrowski). In this context the creation of normatively ambivalent situations as well as a self-reflective move that scrutinizes the idea of political critique in art per se, are described as central characteristics of a critical approach.

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