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Superficiality is the new dialogue

Working Through the Past
Forfatter: Kjetil Røed
Forlag: Skira Editore (Italia)
CONCEPT ART / A concept-oriented micro-art historical work that overestimates the value of art

What are we really doing concept art? What is the connection between contemporary og History, two almost incompatible sizes? Art historian and critic Kjetil Roed's new book is not a "best of concept-art" book, although it also serves as an introduction to recent Nordic concept art, but a deep recognition of our contemporary experience and an equally serious concern about development. Red continues his targeted battle against the distant, the unrecognizable and the superficial.

It is based on Walter Benjamin's clarification "to articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it" in Theses on the Philosophy of History (1940) we find Kjetil Røed's book project.

The call to rethink the story is successful. Many may recognize the sense of powerlessness of not finding the relevance of history in the here-and-now state we are left with, where history is an instrument, an insignificant fact line that does not seem to make sense, a kind of histoire-pour-l'histoire, where the story points to its own self-justified existence, no longer as a narrative, but unrelated to our real existence here and now. History is always managed by institutions, and with its overview it seems to be able to terminate the view of ourselves or as the selected objects of history.

Many can probably recognize the feeling of powerlessness over not finding the relevance of the subject of history in the here-and-now state we are left to.

Røed refers to the central British art theorist Claire Bishop's definition of art as "something more than facts". This poetic way of reading art history entails a reassessment of art – and of the art historian. Art history must not be used to classify the rarity, the nobility, the beauty or to value the object, this "something" can be stories that bring. . .

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Marianne Solberg
Solberg is a new critic in Ny Tid.

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