The Postconceptual Condition (Hardcover)

Critical Essays

By Peter Osborne

Verso, 9781786634900, 240pp.

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

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Tracking the postconceptual dimensions of contemporary art

If, as Walter Benjamin claimed, "it is the function of artistic form ... to make historical content into a philosophical truth" then it is the function of criticism to recover and to complete that truth. Contemporary art makes this work more difficult than ever. Today's art is a point of condensation for a vast array of social and historical forces, economic and political forms, and technologies of image production. Contemporary art, Osborne maintains, expresses this condition through its distinctively postconceptual form. These essays--extending the scope and arguments of Osborne's Anywhere or Not At All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art--move from a philosophical consideration of the changing temporal conditions of capitalist modernity, via problems of formalism, the politics of art and the changing shape of art institutions, to interpretation and analysis of particular works by Akram Zaatari, Xavier Le Roy and Ilya Kabakov, and the postconceptual situation of a crisis-ridden New Music.

About the Author

Peter Osborne is Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University London. He is a long-serving member of the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy. His books include The Politics of Time, Anywhere or Not At All, Philosophy in Cultural Theory, Conceptual Art and Marx.