Whatever happened to theory

Whatever happened to theory

Seminar with François Cusset
in progress
Judith Barry "A l'ombra de la ciutat… vamp r y", 1985

During the 1980s, ideas surrounding art within an Anglo-American context were profoundly transformed by the influence of French, and to a lesser extent, German philosophy and critical theory. The reception of these ideas was accompanied by a deep renovation of the discourse and central concerns of critical theory of the history of art. But even further, it normalised the idea of a discourse surrounding art of a strictly theoretical nature: a ‘theory of art’.

The influence of this thought in the dominant Anglo-American context, its comings and goings, its connection to psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonial discourse and, finally, its global academic expansion, has given shape to the discursive/theoretical context which we still inhabit today when discussing art. This series of seminars attempts, on one hand, to re-evaluate the validity of the concepts, problems, antagonisms and debates that marked the decade of the 1980s and, on the other, to point to possible directions of renovation at a moment when the postures that formerly seemed ‘radical’, today comfortably inhabit the most academic environments.

5 March 2012 – 6 March 2012
MACBA Auditorium. Free admission. 200 seating. With simultaneous translation
Whatever happened to theory
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