Informations and abstract
Keywords: Art and coronavirus, Art and the Anthropocene, Art and the Nonhuman, Contemporary art and the Paleolithic, Richard Powers, Jerry Saltz.
With a growing awareness that going “back to normal is impossible because normal was the problemµ, the first weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic generated some of the most engaging reflections in the art world. Some of them were meant to mark deep breaks with the (more or less recent) past; some others stressed tendencies that had already emerged in the last decades, but that the pandemic helped reveal in their full significance. I will attempt to sketch three attitudes, that can perhaps be captured by three terms: essential, original, nonhuman. They are mere signposts that I consider significant, among many possible others. They point to regions with fuzzy borders, partially overlapping. The first term refers to the attempt at rediscovering “the essentialµ value or function of art, behind the glamorous merry-go-round of the art-world; the second one, at creating a short circuit between the most ancient (“originalµ) artistic-technological human operations and some forms of contemporary art, both basic and technologically advanced; the third one, at finding a legitimation “that lies beyond the humanµ.