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The Return of Wastes: An Expansion of the Heterological Strategies in Contemporary Art

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2023, (53), pp.47-74
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : May 2, 2023
  • Accepted : May 22, 2023
  • Published : June 30, 2023

Jung Eun Young 1

1한국교원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to study heterogeneous strategies employed by contemporary art to visualize anthropogenic garbage and waste in the economic system of global capitalism and the ecological crisis of the Anthropocene. Today, waste is managed and treated by each nation, moved and traded among nations, and landfilled or discharged into the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere, threatening the ecological system. Contemporary art reveals the complex economic, social, and geopolitical relationships embedded in trash and waste, and problematizes them through strategic practices of heterology. In order to examine such critical interventions by contemporary art, the author critically examines Georges Bataille's heterology and sheds light on how physiological, social, and economic appropriation and excretion can be connected to the waste discharge of industrial society. The author shows that contemporary art deals with garbage and waste in terms of object/media, nature/ecology, and labor/flow, and discusses these three aspects respectively as 'garbage as mixed media', 'an apocalypse of the Anthropocene', and 'the flow of waste and the visualization of labor'. This study reveals that contemporary art has pushed heterological practices into an expanded field by incorporating such discourses as archaeology and taxonomy, Anthropocene and ecology, global capitalism and postcolonialism.

Citation status

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