PHILOSOPHY OF ART, ART HISTORY, AND CONTEMPORARY ART GO BEYOND AESTHETICS
Dr. Eman Mustafa Tubeishat
In debates of art, the term “contemporary” is commonly used to refer to more nebulous, universal concepts such as “the current situation” or “contemporaneity.” Often, brief citations of significant works by philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Rancière, and Peter Osborne serve as indicators of the boundaries of theoretical discourse. Before analyzing what these three current theorists have recently said about contemporaneity in general, contemporary art in particular, and the connections between the two, this article explains how I want to approach these subjects. Authors who have made significant contributions to these dialogues, such as artist-theorist Jean-Phillipe Antoine, Néstor Garca Canclini, and Jean-Luc Nancy, are also discussed. The analysis progresses from Agamben’s poetic reference to “contemporariness” as a Nietzschean experience of “untimeliness” in relation to one’s times, through Nancy’s emphasis on art’s constant return to its roots, Rancière’s attribution of disagreement to the current regime of art, Osborne’s adamant assertion of the “post-conceptual” nature of contemporary art, to Canclini’s preference for historical art. When presentist immanence attempts to be inclusive, it is essential to restate Antoine’s instruction to artists and others to “weave together a particular variety of periods” and to reflect on history.
Keywords: contemporaneity; contemporary; art; time; temporalities; modernity; modernism; post-conceptual; presentism.