Links between art, contemporaneity, and the common lie at the heart of Chantal Pontbriand’s writings as a critic, editor, and curator. This collection of essays written in the first decade of the twenty-first century looks at the different issues that arise when examining what binds the practice of art to issues in the contemporary world, and how that bond articulates itself.
At the forefront is being-in-common, whether one considers globalization, work, war, and other social phenomena, as well as the development of art practices and their modes of implementation. Other ways of seeing, understanding, and making appear, and these innovative pathways are Pontbriand’s main concern. She describes contemporaneity as a flow, a performative being in opposition to modernism or postmodernism—a space-time being that is never fixed or fixated. Artworks are case studies for understanding what is at play in our current condition of being-in-the-world, which is impacted by politics and economy. The place of the body is of particular concern—the body as thermometer of the world being lived in and lived with, in a dynamics of change and sharing.
Selected writings on artists appear in this volume, including Claire Fontaine, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, Ion Grigorescu, Carsten Höller, Mike Kelley, Sigalit Landau, Rabih Mroué, Yvonne Rainer, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, together with Pontbriand’s insights into the seminal issues stirring the field of contemporary art.
The upcoming launches are part of a series that includes previous book presentations at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Istanbul in September 2013; Power Plant/Toronto Art Fair “Power Talks” series in October 2013; La Central del Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid in December 2013, with a collective performance by Dora García; and Fondation Ricard in Paris in January 2014, with a conversation with Claire Fontaine, Joana Hadjithomas, and Khalil Joreige.
Chantal Pontbriand cofounded PARACHUTE contemporary art magazine in 1975 and acted as publisher/editor until 2007, publishing 125 issues. She has curated numerous international contemporary art exhibitions, festivals, and conferences, mainly in photography, video, performance, dance, and multimedia installation. In 1982 she cofounded FIND (Festival international de nouvelle danse) in Montreal and was its president and director until 2003. From 2010 to 2012 she was head of exhibition research and development at Tate Modern in London. She recently founded PONTBRIAND W.O.R.K.S. [We_Others and myself_Research_Knowledge_Systems]. Since 2012 she has been associate professor in curatorial studies at the Sorbonne/Paris IV. In 2013 she received the Canadian Governor General’s Award for outstanding contribution in the visual and media arts.
The Contemporary, the Common: Art in a Globalizing World
October 2013, English
15.5 x 22 cm, 456 pages, 115 color and 30 b/w ills., softcover