Jan Bäcklund lecture "Embodied Futures: Walid Raad, the Niaux Cave, and the Perfective Future of the Work of Art"

Theoretical Seminar & Critical Meeting
Visual Art and Design MA and Art PhD students

October 13th, 1:00 pm. Malunu st. 3 (VDA C1 building), 102 room.

Jan Bäcklund, associate professor of art theory and art history The Royal Academy of Fine Arts


Recent published works treat issues like paradoxes with the concept of "the readymade," philosophical and art historical consequences with art forgery, and the intricate relation between image and index since modernism. 

Since 2011 professor has been especially occupied by the question of 'contingent pasts' and 'perfective futures' in relation to the present crisis for any history of art. 


"The background for this talk is the no longer operating logic of the avantgarde (and thus of art). With modernism and the avantgarde, art operated from the view-point of an already perfective future (utopia, the end of art, the last painting etc.). This meant that the meaning of any art work, was to transgress always closer to this end, and by this narrative we could decide which works were important (compossible with this narrative) and which were irrelevant (incompossible with this narrative). With the advent of 'contemporary art' (1964/1973), but not really recognizable until rather recently, it has become clear that this logic is no longer operating. The future of art has become contingent. This talk will try to explore what the question of the shape of the future implies for the art work and art history - a kind of "art epistemology" (What does art know? What does the art-work know?). The case in point will be Walid Raad's recent performance-installation Scratching On Things I Might Disavow (2007) and a lesson to be learned from paleolithic cave paintings (40,000–10,000 B.C.)."


Lecture is open and held in English. Moderator prof. Henrik B. Andersen.

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