Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden

Contemporaneity and Art: Actualisation and Anachrony

A public lecture by Dan Karlholm

Departing from a critical assessment of the most widespread and initiated definitions of contemporary art from the last decade and a half, sustaining a world-wide discourse on contemporary art and contemporaneity, I will focus on two aspects of an immodest proposal captured by the keywords actualisation and anachrony. While current discussions on contemporary art are arguably reproducing modernist assumptions on the primacy of novelty and innovation, bolstered by a veiled avant-garde logic, my proposal to regard contemporary art as actualised art upsets not only ideas on what art after postmodernism might mean, but the whole edifice of historicist historiography. An anachronic perspective, a bi- or polychronic situatedness of the work of art, could be used to liberate art from being defined according to its unique descent, and to embrace, instead, a chronologic open to art’s continuous ‘life’ through its successive aesthetic accessions and actualisations in time.

Dan Karlholm is professor of Art History at Södertörn University. His research interests include the history and theory of art history, critical museum studies and issues to do with temporality. The open lecture is part of Prof Nina Möntmann’s masterseminar ‘BECOMING PUBLIC: How Exhibitions Relate to the Contemporary Moment’

Wednesday, November 16, 10.00 – 12.00 

Start Time:
Location: Lecture room 1, 4th floor