Boris Groys – Going Public | Part 1

Going Public by Boris Groys

This is by no means a review of the book, but rather a personal reflection upon reading this book.

Boris Groys has been one of my favorites in terms of writers in the subject of art.  His writings are simple and easy to digest unlike many other philosophy writers out there. This is just part one of the few parts where I would write my personal thoughts on this book, Going Public, published in 2010 by e-flux. I will divide my thoughts into chapters for convenience's sake.

The Production of Sincerity

In this chapter, Groys talked about a few things including politics which are in fact, aestheticized. In fact, politicians tend to act like artwork themselves, standing into the gaze and scrutiny of the public.  Just like politicians, artists themselves, too, becomes the artwork where self-design played a big part in their career.

After the death of God, conspiracy theories flourished. Do people need to cast doubts and suspicion as part of their daily lives? Can people actually live without a doubt? 

Hence, a well-designed self creates suspicion, as it became too perfect for people to look at. Is design deceitful?

Could an example of self-design be the way we present ourselves in our personal Facebook or Instagram?

Politics of Installation

The inclusion of any artwork into public space must be publicly explained and justified.

Hence, the authority of artists has been dampened by curators. An artwork is not powerful enough to command the gaze of everyone in the room. Hence, the curator cures such powerlessness of the artworks.

Groys find art as not elitist as most of the viewers it caters to our day to day people. Artist also does not create art to cater to collectors but to everyday people who may or may not intend to collect them despite whether or not they have the funds to collect artworks.

This chapter also touches on installation, whether or not it's part of the artist's design or the design of a curator, and its aura. Of course, Walter Benjamin's renowned essay was referenced in this part of the chapter.

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