Sep 2017

ISBN 978-0-9575295-8-8


On the Necessity of Art’s Exit from Contemporary Art

Original Edition
  • Paperback
  • 175×115mm
  • 130pp.
Cover Design
  • Leaky Studio
  • Norm

    Contemporary art’s shortcomings are increasingly evident, hence the continued efforts to escape art as we know it: the now-familiar emphases on public participation, non-art, smuggling, deterritorialisation, inbetween-ness, eventhood, indeterminacy…. Yet these efforts simply perpetuate and entrench the very limitations of art they seek to overcome.

    In his closely-argued book, Suhail Malik documents how, as the expanded field of contemporary art became increasingly attractive to those seeking egress from conventional power structures, it also developed into an apparatus that systematically deprives its actors of any real agency in the world.

    In order for art to have substantial and credible traction on anything beyond or larger than itself, it is necessary decisively to exit contemporary art—and therefore to renounce contemporary art’s logic of escape.

    But what could this art other to contemporary art’s paradigm of escape be? What new kinds of social structure and distributions of power would support it? On the basis of a forceful analysis of the deadlock in contemporary art today, this book sets out the parameters for a new conceptualization of art’s agency in the world of tomorrow.