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14 Oct 2013

Claire Bishop for Still Searching

'Why this incessant retrospectivity?'
Fotomuseum Winterthur


Claire Bishop will blog from September 15 to October 31. In order to read and leave comments go to


fotomuseum (at)

+41 52 234 10 60
+41 233 60 97

Fotomuseum Winterthur
Grüzenstrasse 44+45
8400 Winterthur (Zürich)

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'Why this incessant retrospectivity?'

Yet another retrospective tendency in contemporary art. In her contributions for the blog Still Searching, Claire Bishop (Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, 2012) will raise questions about the ubiquitous genre of modernist utopias in contemporary art. Or in her own words: 'Sometimes it feels as if every art magazine I open, and every exhibition I visit, features at least one artist whose work earnestly addresses 'failed utopias', who is fascinated by 'Modernist movements and collectives', who is committed to 'the re-enactment of historic high Modernist principles', or who is drawn to 'forgotten Modernist constructions that have crumbled over time'. Why this incessant retrospectivity? Are these revisitations in any way political, a response to the limitations of postmodern eclecticism? Or should they be viewed more critically, as an avoidance of contemporary politics by escaping into nostalgia celebration of the past?'