Szeemann, I Will Personally Lead Baudrillard Through Documenta XII

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Jean Baudrillard, who died in March 2007, produced a diverse group of writings on art. Despite the enormous impact of his ideas on the art world of the 1980s and 1990s -- from theories of hyperreality to notions of the "conspiracy of art" -- some have questioned his relevance for contemporary art practices. Revisiting Joseph Beuys's production of Dürer, ich führe Baader + Meinhof durch die Dokumenta V, I take up the notion of the "philosopher-terrorist" and its implications for contemporary art practice, as well as questions of the social value for the visitor to the large art exhibition. This allows for a consideration, on one hand, of Baudrillard's assertion that the "work of art no longer has any privilege as a singular object" and, on the other hand, his questions about the way that art makes "use of its own disappearance and the disappearance of its object." These questions will be examined not only in the context of Beuys and his work at Documenta V in 1972, but also in the light of the ideas of Harald Szeemann (who died suddenly in 2005) and the dramatic changes he introduced at that exhibition.


Keywords: Jean Baudrillard, Joseph Beuys, Harald Szeemann, Documenta V, Documenta XII
Stream: Constructing Art Worlds
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Leslie Curtis

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Art History, John Carroll University
University Heights, Ohio, USA

I have written about the work of the French Symbolist artists, from Odilon Redon to Jeanne Jacquemin. My writings on contemporary art have appeared in journals ranging from Dialogue: Arts in the Midwest to Art in America, Art Papers and The New Art Examiner. I have also contributed to exhibition catalgues, including Masterpieces of Impressionism and European Modernism from the Columbus Museum of Art and Impressionism and European Modernism: The Sirak Colleciton. My current research interests include: Janet Cardiff, Don DeLillo, Jean Baudrillard, Word and Image Studies, and Art and Terrorism. I teach courses in Nineteenth-Century Art, Modern and Contemporary Art at John Carroll University

Ref: A07P0090