Goldsmiths Department of Art MA Lectures 2013-14
21 October, 2013

…Contemporary with what?

The term ‘contemporary’ appears to float free somewhere outside of “historical determination, conceptual definition and critical judgment.” [Hal Foster] This lecture will aim to generate some understandings of how “the contemporary” functions today by considering what the use of the term may open up, or indeed, close down. I will be discussing parameters for understanding the rapidly evolving category “contemporary” as it begins to dominate art historical interests and, in its heterogeneity, displaces once more stable and encompassing categories like “postmodernity” and forces us to question our usual dependency on historicising perspectives for a sense of value and purpose.

John Slyce is a writer and critic who lives in London. He has written extensively on the work of Sarah Sze, Gillian Wearing, Sarah Jones, David Shrigley, Darren Almond, Michael Landy, Carey Young, Cullinan and Richards, Allen Ruppersberg, Rodney Graham, Pipilotti Rist, Charles Avery and Becky Beasley and regularly contributes essays, reviews and interviews to the major art magazines and journals. He is a tutor in fine art at the Royal College of Art and a senior lecturer in the master’s programme in Modern and Contemporary Art and Art World Practice at Christie’s Education.