Today, the managerial rhetoric of creativity is fading quickly with yesteryear’s economic optimism. Still, the social is hardly a cold case. The 2012 Berlin Biennial will be curated by the artist Artur Zmijewski, author of the manifesto ‘The Applied Social Arts’ (2007). Here he encourages artists to strive for ‘social impact’, arguing that ‘since the 1990s, art has been growing increasingly institutionalized [and] anodyne’. However, it remains an open question whether one can cure art with the ‘radical forms of expression’ Zmijewski recommends, seeing that the social was a constitutive theme in the decade that, in his own analysis, turned the screw of institutionalization.
An interesting, challenging article about how we have yet to transcend the problems brought in by the “social turn” of art in the 90s. It had never really occurred to me that relational aesthetics preceded social media, but our emergent critique of the latter can also provide a critique of the former. And actually vice versa, too.
Good suggestion, Sally. We should also see this all as mixed together with marketing and advertising culture, both grassroots and corporate, more generally.