Shades

Why the idea of art survives: Because even a dead horse can be put to use. It breeds maggots. It facilitates social activity.

At any given art opening, I find myself gazing at the more flamboyant of the attendees far more than the work on display. When relational aesthetics became the vogue in the ‘90s, it validated what had been happening in art since the ‘60s, if not earlier: the occultation of the work of art by the art milieu. Warhol appears to have fully grasped the implications of this when, at the end of the ‘70s, he came up with Shadows, a work that once adorned the walls of Studio 54. As usual, he was ahead of his time. He did not need to wait for Bourriaud to inform him that the production of art had become ancillary to the staging of an art scene.