Collaborating with the Flow of Time

Boris Groys, In the Flow, 2016

[C]ontemporary art escapes the present not by resisting the flow of time but by collaborating with it. If all present things are transitory and in flux, it is possible and even necessary to anticipate their eventual disappearance. Modern and contemporary art practices precisely the prefiguration and imitation of the future in which things now contemporary will disappear. Such an imitation of the future cannot produce artworks. Rather, it produces artistic events, performances, temporary exhibitions that demonstrate the transitory character of the present order of things and the rules that govern contemporary social behaviour. Imitation of the anticipated future can manifest itself only as an event and not as a thing. The artists of Futurism and Dada produced artistic events revealing the decay and obsoleteness of the present. But the production of art events is even more characteristic of contemporary art, with its culture of performance and participation. (PP. 3-4)

(…) Art does not predict the future, but rather demonstrates the transitory character of the present — and thus opens the way for the new. (p. 7)

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