Mocked and ridiculed, the 1980s met a pitiful end at the hands of a generation of artists who considered a market-friendly, object-based art their ideological nemesis, and punished it summarily for its false richness. This is an exaggeration, of course, but ask around in my (Northern European) corner of the world, and I would guess that many of those who were working back then will confirm this picture of a generational showdown. By contrast, faded and forgotten as they may be, ‘the long nineties’ remain unsubverted.1 The symbolic revival of Félix Gonzáles-Torres at the 2011 Istanbul Biennial, for instance, echoed his status as a guiding star of curating and art theory of that decade. However, during the last five years, as the historicization of the ’90s gains momentum, the jury has gradually reconvened. The case being weighed is that of art’s relationship to the social.
more from Lars Bang Larsen at Frieze here.