Trend in sight

Creation typology

Contemporary Art | The burgeoning interest in art, rapidly increasing numbers of artists and art training courses, transformation of the art market and era of « Mass Art » have led to changing relationships with art and art objects and a shake-up in the way in which creation and the artist are perceived. We take a look at the changes taking place.

Anthony McCall, Line describing a cone, 1973 © Anthony McCall
Anthony McCall, Line describing a cone, 1973
© Anthony McCall

The popularisation of art has accelerated in recent years as a result of the supremacy of image - the common tongue on social networks - and thus changed the way in which we interact with works of art. If you « share yourself » , participate, visit an exhibition, take part in popular events such as the all-night-long Nuit Blanche, take « selfies » or simply like a picture, you are part of a widespread movement. The pieces that we share portray topics that we understand, express a collective unconscious, create an experience and generate empathy or a quick emotion. We are unknowingly liking present-day allegories, simulacra or grotesque representations, and dramatised performances. These popularised artistic compositions speak directly to society, exorcising collective fears. Social networks are thus based on a strong need to express oneself which appears to be a symptom of the need to stand out, exist and make a mark to combat the fear of disappearing without a trace. In this cross-generational maelstrom, the artist’s reputation is promoted by way of the general public, to the point that this term is applied to many. But while many people are expressing their artistic talents, not everybody is an artist.
To identify the signs of creation against this contemporary sociological background, it is wise to make a distinction between :
1) Recreational aspirations and the egocentric expression of creativity;
2) Creative people and the birth of a sensitivity to the world;
3) Communicative creative people and the creation of a system of influence;
4) In this « free-for-all » , the artist - in the modern sense of the world - remains a complex being whose work can be likened to that of an experimenter who resides permanently in the unknown and the unconscious; they thus map out invisible transformations, putting themselves at risk in the process : taking a pioneering role is the abandonment of the weight of culture.
Globalisation, new technologies and the communications society embody a number of these present-day allegories - in connection with reality - whether they relate to identity, commitment, sociological issues or criticism; a generalised form often reactivated as changes occur in civilisation (Mannerism in Modern Times, Fire-fighters in the Industrial Revolution). More and more people are viewing art, more and more creative propositions are arising and a new class of buyer is emerging. So are artists in the Western sense of the word - those who capture reality in the making - such as Shaman Showman (as Alighiero &Boetti referred to himself) endangered in the current ecosystem?

Nina Rodrigues-Ely
Publié le 11/06/2014
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Anthony McCall, Line describing a cone, 1973 © Anthony McCall

Anthony McCall, Line describing a cone, 1973
© Anthony McCall

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