Suhail Malik: What We Owe - Ourselves

Art as a Political Object of Debt

Monday 24 February, 2014
7pm, $0

Cooper Union
41 Cooper Square, Rose Auditorium

Add to Calendar
Share: Twitter | Facebook

A prevalent worry in the contemporary art gallery system in recent years is that the middle tier of dealerships is close to collapse for economic reasons. This is a direct effect of the re-organization of national and transnational economies in favor of credit and finance models, analogous to the decline of the middle classes in  contemporary Euro-American societies since the 1990s.

This talk addresses how and why the financially-led global economic restructuring of wealth for the already wealthy called neo-liberalism determines what kind of art  and artists enter the standard circuits of exhibition and circulation, and how these circuits change in response. 

These shifts are not a peripheral issue for contemporary art that can be put aside by artists and cultural practitioners with alternative interests. The indebting of economies and provisions such as education itself depends upon the very autonomy that is the received condition of art’s political and cultural (in)effectivity.

Suhail Malik is 2012-14 Visiting Faculty at CCS Bard, New York, and Programme Co-Director of the MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths, London, where he holds a Readership in Critical Studies. Publications include: Co-editor of Real-ism Materialism Art and The Flood of Rights (both 2014); “The Ruling Elite Have Feelings Too” in The New Reader (2014); “Ape Says No” in Red Hook Journal (2013); On the Necessity of Art’s Exit from Contemporary Art at Artists Space, NY (2013); “The Politics of Neutrality: Constructing a Global Civility’ in The Human Snapshot (2013): “Tainted Love: Art’s Ethos and Capitalization” (with Andrea Phillips) in Art and Its Commercial Markets (2012); “Why Art? The  Primacy of Audience” at Global Art Forum, Dubai (2011); “The Wrong of Contemporary Art: Aesthetics and Political Indeterminacy” (with Andrea Phillips) in Reading Rancière (2011); “Screw (Down) The Debt: Neoliberalism and the  Politics of Austerity” in Mute (2010); “You Are Here” for Manifesta 8 (2010).

Advertise on Platform