Glossary of Common Knowledge

Beyond the conventional usage of the language in contemporary art

A list of terms associated with six referential fields, as proposed by a number of narrators in the course of several seminars, to negotiate various positions, contexts and local narratives about contemporary art referential fields. The aim of proposing six referential fields (historicization, subjectivization, geopolitics, constituencies, commons, and other-institutionality) is to meet the need for discussions that can address various localities and temporalities. Contemporary art contains a variety of social, historical, cultural and political references that exist as referential fields outside the focal ideas, concepts, and artworks themselves. These references also condition the form and practice of artistic production.

Even if the prefix “Geo” appears today as too simplistic to comprehend the contemporary locus of politics, it is urgent to re-address the geographies of power in a period in which frontiers and territorial dispossession and exploitation intensify their violence. The crisis of hegemonic views on globalization and the quick dissemination of new vocabularies of antagonism and resistance coming from local struggles provide a new scenario for “Geo”-politics.

The seminar is going to address issues about the impact artists and art system has on economic and political situation in the world and vice versa; how to critically position oneself towards the subordination of the art system to the ideological, epistemological and capital positions of power while it has to be emphasized that art and ideas of different cultural spaces are not distributed equally in different parts of the world.