Under Pressure: Pictures, Subjects, and the New Spirit of Capitalism

Contributions by Luc Boltanski, Sabeth Buchmann, Tim Griffin, W. J. T. Mitchell, Sighard Neckel, Martin Saar, Paolo Virno

Under Pressure gathers together the contributions to the same-titled conference held at the Institut für Kunstkritik from 2006-07.

Starting from the premise that cultural producers are currently more exposed to external pressures, the conferences proposed that today these external constraints have to be considered as an integral part of artistic production. The aim was to discuss the value system resulting from the “New Spirit of Capitalism” and to confront theoretical models with ad-hoc conditions of production.

Can “exit” and “disobedience”, as envisioned by Virno, be considered as options from an artistic point of view? And what would an insistence on “status” or long-term projects as invoked by Boltanski/Chiapello look like if artists were to take on this strategy? How much can one count on pictures alone, as Mitchell seems to do—and, can pictures really change the “ways of worldmaking”?

Design by Surface, Frankfurt am Main/Berlin

Under Pressure
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