e-flux conversations is a new platform [since October 2014] for in-depth discussions of urgent artistic and social ideas. The open forum allows for participation from any user as well as specialized discussion moderated by resident editors.
I’m following the conversation that Maria Lind* has instigated last April–which, I hope, is not finished yet. The title captured my attention instantly: ‘What does art do?’ This question will, undoubtedly, not be answered. Yet, we are invited to engage in the process of seeking answers.
Lind started with a series of questions that she has formulated along with a recent piece on the Louis Vuitton Fondation in Paris, published in the December 2014 issue of ArtReview (Download it here). Lind has invited Douglas Ashford [artist], Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy [curator], Ane Hjort Guttu [artist, filmmaker], Amalia Pica [artist] and Lisa Robertson [poet] to respond to her statements. There is also a contribution by artist Hu Yun.
What does art do? When do we actually talk about art as an experience? About specific art works and projects? About what they do and how they are perceived? As corporate megastructures like the Vuitton Fondation and maxi-bureaucratic approaches within public organizations demand more and more of our attention, we seem to have half-forgotten art itself. Similar tendencies are also felt within small-scale and self-determined art initiatives where the quest for mere survival means necessary focus on infrastructural issues. How do artists evade this logic, or retool it for their own purposes?
*Maria Lind is Director of the Tensta Konsthall, Spånga, Sweden, and an independent curator and writer.
Image: Hu Yun, Lift with Care, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.