“It seems to me that the end of the Cold War produced a very important effect: the Internet. The Internet was released and realized because of the end of the Cold War—it was declassified. The Internet brought about a kind of extreme democratization of art. Now anybody, not just artists, can make photographs and videos and put them online, offering their videos and images to global audiences….So, what distinguishes a professional artist from everyone else? Today’s professional artists are those who reflect on and respond to the economic, political, and social conditions of contemporary image production.
The reaction to this new phenomenon—the extreme democratization of art production—still has to be defined. But the politicization of art is perhaps the only feasible response to the extreme democratization of image production, which is a huge de-legitimization of the art system as such. How can you legitimize your existence as a professional artist if everyone else is doing the same thing? That is a very difficult question.”
-Philosopher, art critic, and media theorist Boris Groys, interviewed by Judy Ditner in the exhibition catalogue for “Ostalgia,” on view through September 25 at the New Museum
Pictured: An untitled work from Sergey Zarva’s “Ogonyok” series, 2001. (Courtesy the artist and the New Museum)