Via ReadySteadyBlog: Some days I just want to move to London and ensconce myself in the contemporary theory community that I imagine. Then I could go to things like the Tate Triennial running right now. The subject of the exhibit is “altermodernity.” To announce that postmodernity is over (as Nicholas Bourriard, the curator and theorist, claims) is a ballsy statement to make, and I for one would like to see what he thinks comes next.
From what I can gather from the Altermodern Manifesto – I do love a good manifesto – the Triennial is about cultural hybridity and a “new universalism.” I can’t really judge that yet, as I can’t make it out for the show, but it sounds unconvincing. Cultural hybridity is nothing new and plenty of postmodern theorists (Gloria Anzaldua for one) have tackled the subject. It looks like the critical theory version of this post-politics crap we’ve had to listen to this election cycle.The manifesto mentions “globalisation” or “globalised” three times but “power” or something like it not once. That said, I’m a sucker for contemporary art, and the show sounds awesome. Here’s part of a review in the London Times,
Marcus Coates flicks back and forth from ancient folklore to the political future in a performance that brings together a shamanic spirit and an Israeli mayor. Mike Nelson creates an installation that has you constantly questioning what is inside and what is outside, what is real and what is imagined, what is rational and what is completely paranoid. He certainly puts you in the right frame of mind to visit Joachim Koester’s Hashish Club or Gustav Metzger’s tranced-out Liquid Crystal Environment.
The non-existent and invisible become present and perceivable as Katie Paterson creates a glittering map of dead stars or Loris Gréaud, having recorded his brain activity while thinking about an artistic project, translates his mental wonderings into physical vibrations that the spectator can tap into as he steps into the room. Pascale Marthine Tayou digs up contemporary culture and displays it like trophies in a museum of the future. Rachel Harrison challenges our systems of classification and disrupts the orders of progression. And Charles Avery takes us on a journey to the imaginary island that for the past several years he has been elaborating in his head.
Yeah, that sounds fucking awesome. There is a book that outlines some of the theoretical background for the show, which I’ll stick on my Amazon wish-list. Anyone who’s heading to London, stop by and then tell me all about it.