‘What Comes After Farce?’ by Hal Foster

Oliver Eagleton at The Guardian:

If oppositional art can neither parody nor demystify the operation of power, what glimpses of the future can it provide? Whereas Foster’s previous books surveyed the art scene by identifying a small number of key trends, his approach here is more scattergun: we get 18 telegraphic essays on as many artists, whose work is used to illustrate competing forces in the culture industry. This kaleidoscopic perspective has its pitfalls. Breadth of analysis is often privileged over depth of insight. Sculptors, painters, conceptual artists and cultural theorists all make cameo appearances, yet the links between their work go unelaborated. Even so, the rapid pace of Foster’s prose captures the frenzied historical moment he is exploring; and his reluctance to offer simple answers acknowledges that multiple possibilities for reshaping our culture are currently ranged against each other.

more here.