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Becoming PastHistory in Contemporary Art$
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Jane Blocker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816696970

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816696970.001.0001

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History as Prosthesis

History as Prosthesis

(p.1) Introduction History as Prosthesis
Becoming Past

Jane Blocker

University of Minnesota Press

The Introduction examines the difficulties in defining contemporary art as “contemporary” and the unique problem this poses for contemporary art historians. It discusses how history is an impossible problem. This is due to the misapplication of historical methods in the present, which have been mistakenly and stubbornly retained from the past. These traditional historical methods privilege stable and coherent origins, and consider the past as a fixed ideal from which the historical cannot deviate. These are ideas that the art history community is currently questioning, making the traditional application of historical methods not ideal for the current study of contemporary art history. It discusses the need for deploying unorthodox historical methodologies for analysing contemporary art history and in historical discourse on this subject.

Keywords:   contemporary, art, historical methods, historical methodologies, past, present, historians, history

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