Art History [Istoria tis Technis] journal
Do we need a theoretical, rather than just a methodological, Bildwissenschaft? How is this question being posed today in relation to the study of images in and as science? Can the tradition of critical theory be reinvested in such an approach? The article points to some preliminary responses to these questions.
Lia Yoka is associate professor of art history and theory at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her interests include the history of 19th and 20th century European and modern Greek painting, the history of comics, the relationships between art and technoscience, critical theory and media semiotics. [email@example.com]
The museum as a battlefield and other stories about the image
The article focuses on the discussion regarding the oculocentric western culture, which has been of particular interest not only for the art field but also for other fields of humanities and science. The insatiable appetite for visual forms of knowledge are a particular phenomenon that describes the present condition of image excess where the subjects are sunken in the recycling of numerous images through the internet, social media, image banks and all sorts of image flow channels, described as the new circulationism. Τhe article analyses the works of Allan Sekula, Ursula Biemann, Atlas Group, Santiago Sierra, Hito Steyerl a.o. The different practices which are presented describe the course of the image from the politics of representation to the politics of knowledge. A shift which has been connected to the crises of globalisation and contributed to the development of art practices where culture, politics and economy are dynamically interweaved. The works examined in the article do not necessarily share the same methodologies and in some cases they contradict each other. Nevertheless, these different practices presented in the essay, share a common ground. The image and the museum is proposed and counted as a battlefield, a field of action that twines the social processes aiming in a redeployment of the inner –the autonomy, and of the outer – the social engagement and of the production processes of the work of art. This twist challenges the democratic ideals and opens up a space for more radical democratic claims. In these indicative artistic examples, a field (not merely artistic) of praxis and theory is activated which aims not only to the distribution of the sensible but also to the interference of the irrational desires, where the contradictive positions are revealed and conflicted.
Elpida Karaba is an art theorist and independent curator. She is specializing in the relationship between art and systems of knowledge, she has worked extensively with archival art and art in the public domain. She is teaching theory of art and architecture at the University of Thessaly, School of Architecture and Contemporary Art in ASFA. In 2014 she has initiated the Temporary Academy of Arts (Prosorini Akadimia Technon-PAT), a hybrid of artistic, curatorial and educational practice that develops an experimental para-institutional action. Part of PAT is the Society of Cultural Workers a quasi institution that advocates for the promotion and support of labor rights of cultural workers in Greece. She is a collaborator of the Contemporary Greek Art Institute (Institouto Sygchronis Ellinikis Technis-ISET), for the research/curatorial series Archive Rights. [firstname.lastname@example.org]