Thematic focus

Anomaly and Autonomy: On the Currency of the Exception in the Value Relations of Contemporary Art

Marina Vishmidt

Published online:

18 Dec 2018

Abstract

Abstract

This essay is concerned with tracing the political dimensions of the ‘anomaly’ – in a period when the structuring conditions that the term refers to emerge rather as the ‘new normal’, even as historical continuities come to light and reveal that little is altogether new. We can see this in debates on whether contemporary art is exceptional or exemplary in a political economy characterised by the precarity of labour and life amidst relentless commodification. In this light, the article attends to the epistemic ‘economies’ of the rule and the exception, in order to foreground debates over value production in Marxist feminist and ecological theories of reproductive labour, with some attention as well to critical theories of race. This is an attempt to ground the status of the anomalous as a key means for the politics of artistic work and labour in the present.

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