“Under the Gaze of Theory” by Boris Groys at e-flux

Boris Groys, “Under the Gaze of Theory,” e-flux 35 (May 2012) [journalpdf].

Joos van Craesbeeck, The Temptation of St. Anthony (c.1650)

[T]heory was never so central for art as it is now. So the question arises: Why is this the case? I would suggest that today artists need a theory to explain what they are doing—not to others, but to themselves. In this respect they are not alone. Every contemporary subject constantly asks these two questions: What has to be done? And even more importantly: How can I explain to myself what I am already doing? The urgency of these questions results from the acute collapse of tradition that we experience today.

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