PRINT September 2009



New York Stock Exchange closing numbers, April 9, 2009. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters.

SEPTEMBER MARKS A FULL YEAR since our encounter with economic cataclysm prompted many in the art world to suggest that seemingly retardataire notions of critique, resistance, and transformation—often easily dismissed as abstract or archaic—were now not so highfalutin. Rather, it was suggested, at a historical juncture when dynamics in finance were clearly rattling the very foundations of the global economy, even the most speculative conceits of art assumed a pragmatic air. Such dizzying questions as “How do we want to be governed?”—to cite just one matter raised in this publication around that time (by Charles Esche, in reference to Documenta 12)— were seemingly suited all too well for our hour of societal vertigo. (That a US presidential election coincided with the financial meltdown just amplified a sense of these issues’ timeliness.) As a colleague once said

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