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2010-11-16
HOW DO YOU CREATE A CREATOR? REPRESSED SECRETS OF INDIVIDUAL AUTORSHIP

Umberto Boccioni - I, We, Boccioni (1905-7)

Readings for Artworkers is a series of seminars at the Free/Slow University of Warsaw. At the forthcoming seminar we will critically analyze the mechanisms of the contemporary art world responsible for creating and maintaining the myth of "individual creator".

One of the founding myths of contemporary art is the belief in the position of the author – a brilliant artist whose signature turns a lavatory pan, straw cubes or an encyclopedia entry into a work of art. Pierre Bourdieu suggests that art, as the foremost creation of contemporaneity, does not differ significantly from the magic of primeval societies. In the view of anthropology, one has to shift the critical eye from the magician to the entire magic community, in search for the rules of the magic world. In our case, it boils down to examining the very domain of art.

At the forthcoming Readings, we will debate on Pierre Bourdieu’s argument that both the artist themselves and their “work” are secondary to artistic circulation. A work of art does not exist without museums, art dealers, specialist journals and artistic schools. On the basis of the example of the emergence of conceptual art in the 1970s, we will discuss who, how and why creates the creator. 

HOST
Kuba Szreder, Teresa Święćkowska

SUGGESTED READINGS
Alexander Alberro, "Conceptual art and politics of publicity", pages 2 - 42: PDF
Pierre Bourdieu, "The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field": PDF (text in polish translation!)
Excerpts: "The Production of Belief", "Historical Anamnesis and the Return of the Repressed", "The Social Genesis of the Eye"

ADDITIONAL READING
Serge Guilbaut, "How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art"