If, as Walter Benjamin claimed, ‘it is the function of artistic form… to make historical content into philosophical truth’ then it is the function of criticism to recover and to complete that truth. Contemporary art makes this work more difficult then ever. Today’s art is a point of condensation for vast array of social and historical forces, economic and political forms, and technologies of image production. Contemporary art, Osborne maintains, expresses this condition through its distinctively postconceptual form. These essays — extending the scope and arguments of Osborne’s Anywhere or Not At All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art — move from a philosophical consideration of the changing shape of art institutions, to reinterpretation and analysis of particular works by Akram Zaatari, Xavier Le Roy and Ilya Kabakov, and the postconceptual situation of a crisis-ridden New Music.
VERSO 2018, ©Peter Osborne
PETER OSBORN is Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CREMP), Kingston University London. His books include The Politics of Time, Anywhere or Not At All, Philosophy in Cultural Theory, Conceptual art, and Marx.