December 14, 2010

Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (Lukas & Sternberg, 2009).

The three sections of this book are informed by Bourriaud's reading of three figures: Victor Segalen, Marcel Duchamp and Louis Althusser. Bourriaud critiques the post-modernist period for falling into an identity politics that played more to tokenism and marginalization than creating a system for inclusion and evaluation. His answer draws on the plant world: artists need to root (even if temporarily) in other cultures and translate the new culture into their modus operandi. That he thinks cultural translation is a new idea is odd considering his in depth discussion of Modernism's problems (Pound, for one thought we could draw on just more than European traditions). He even points to Duchamp in New York as an example of the "semionaut" artist he is championing.



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