i Lawrence Lek, ‘Geomancer’, 2017. Still from CGI film. Courtesy of the artist.

Courtauld Contemporary

It has been 10 years since the ‘Questionnaire on the contemporary’ was published in the fall issue of the journal October, featuring responses from a range of critics who largely centred their observations on the institutionalisation and periodisation of ‘contemporary art’ as an art historical category; globalisation and its discontents; and the impact of neoliberalism on cultural production and display. Yet, the ‘contemporary’ remains a highly contested term.

Contemporary art has never been more popular, but what is its role today and what forces will shape its future? In an era of hyper-visibility, does contemporary art still have the capacity to engage with and challenge the critical issues that have come to define our contemporary moment? By bridging the gap between art historical scholarship and practice, this research cluster will facilitate an open dialogue between art historians, artistic practitioners, interdisciplinary scholars, students and the public at large, whilst highlighting The Courtauld’s leading research in the constantly evolving field of global contemporary art.

Photo of Vancouver and shadow artwork
Esther Shalev-Gerz, ‘The Shadow’, 2018. UBC, Vancouver, detail, photo Robert Keziere, courtesy of the artist.