Smith Paragraph

The reading ‘What is contemporary art?’ explains that the word  “Contemporary” comes to mean periodlessness being perpetually, not “to be with time”, but “to be out of time,” to be suspended in a state after or beyond history, a condition of being always and only in a present that is without either a past or future. The reading also starts by saying that Contemporary art “is the institutionalized network through which the art of today presents itself to itself and to its interested audiences all over the world. It is an intense, expansionist, proliferating global subculture, with its own values and discourse, communicative network, heroes, heroines, and renegades, professional organizations, defining events, meetings and monuments, markets and museums-in sum, distinctive structures of stasis and change.” It continues by saying that Contemporary art is a culture and has a globalizing character but it also mobilizes nationalities and localisms in specific and complex ways. Contemporary art is primarily visual, and is driven by image, spectacle, attraction, celebrity, symbolic exchanges between people, interest groups and cultures that takes mainly visual forms. The qualities that make it different from other art is the novelty, unfamiliarity, rarity and so on, that it contains.

The significance in Contemporary art is that the whole concept of “Contemporary art” is used in today’s every day life and is quite distinct from modern art. As Smith’s reading says, in Contemporary art “its institutions, its beliefs, the ensemble of cultural practices that go into making it a scene” answers what Contemporary art is. I like the phrase that Contemporary art is “out of time” and not “with time”. Art shouldn’t be in or with time, it should be running, diving and flying out of time, where our imagination goes and inspiration comes, and not according to any knowledge of history.  One of the phrases that i found really interesting that Smith said was that “not all contemporary art looks ‘contemporary’, and much of it does not look like art at all.”

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