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SITE 24.2008

Sven-Olov Wallenstein (Ed.)

Residual spaces always seem to be invested with a romantic and disruptive energy: as flipsides of modernity, crevices opened up in the apparently seemless narrative of technological progress, they radiate a virtual power of thinking differently, of a temporal fabric brushed against the grain.

From Walter Benjamin’s angelic inversion of time in the “Theses on the Philosophy of History” to Robert Smithson’s descent into the time of geology and entropy, the passion of contestation seems to have been on the side of the residual. Art institutions have by no means refrained from exploiting and even instrumentalizing this condition, and the ubiquity of the second machine age industrial space turned exhibition space, with its strategic commodification of memory as spectacle, is a sure sign of this. (The cycle seems to have become even shorter today: industrial ruins need not be more than a decade old to begin to shimmer with retroactive authenticity.)

 

Language: English