Un réel pour le XXI sciècle
IXe Congr�s de l'AMP � 14-18 avril 2014 � Paris � Palais des Congr�s � www.wapol.org

Art at the time of the Disorder in the Real
Alasdair Duncan
Artwork by Alasdair Duncan, ouret penelen en

The twentieth century idea of the Modern in 'visual' art gave way to the auction house periodization of the Contemporary. No artist calls him or herself Contemporary, yet the term defines the field. It relates to an undoing of the strictures of the Modern – perhaps coming to relate to a shift from art as a site of alterity that maintains desire through holding resolutions and reductions at bay, to a Contemporary art, often almost identical, for which that alterity is a guarantee of easy consumption with minimum remainder. All the fun of the fair. Perhaps this takes from art the ideals, ideas, principles, or repressions of what might be called the order of the Other. This undoing of the Symbolic order in a miasma of semblants seems at least congruent with the premise of the disorder in the Real.

Artists might ask how to respond to this. What can this new (relation to) art do? What is at stake in accepting or resisting this Contemporary as a mode of production or reception, to the extent that resistance is even possible?

Alasdair Duncan
artist, UK