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Almost NothingObservations on precarious practices in contemporary art$
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Anna Dezeuze

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088575

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088575.001.0001

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Joins in the age of ‘liquid modernity’

Joins in the age of ‘liquid modernity’

(p.168) (p.169) 4 Joins in the age of ‘liquid modernity’
Almost Nothing

Anna Dezeuze

Manchester University Press

This chapter provides a reading of precarious practices developed in the 1990s by artists Francis Alÿs, Gabriel Orozco, Thomas Hirschhorn and Martin Creed as both responses to forms of aggressive capitalism that had become widespread since the 1980s, and reactions to some of the more visible art practices that had emerged during that decade. Zygmunt Bauman’s 2000 analysis of the ‘liquid’ characteristics of contemporary capitalism is shown to extend Arendt’s earlier discussion of the modern human condition in its emphasis on ever-faster cycles of consumer gratification at the expense of durable products and stable social relations. This chapter demonstrates some of the ways in which 1990s practices extended the dematerialisation of 1960s assemblage and ‘borderline’ practices, through explorations of a ‘join’ between art and the world, as Martin Creed called it, through discreet interventions (Francis Alÿs, Gabriel Orozco), or sprawling assemblages (Thomas Hirschhorn). Most importantly, this join may serve as a rub in the smooth global flows of capital.

Keywords:   Immaterial, Everyday, Globalisation, ‘Unmonumental’, ‘liquid modernity’, ‘semionauts’

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