TABLE OF CONTENTS

BURDEN OF PROOF: CONTEMPORARY ART AND RESPONSIBILITY

Photograph of the mining town of Omarska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, entered into court records in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, July 26, 1996. From Forensic Architecture (Centre for Research Architecture/Working Group Four Faces of Omarska/Monument Group), “The Omarska Memorial in Exile” project.

Art, today, has the task of answering to this world or of answering for it.

Jean-Luc Nancy

ONTOLOGICAL TROUBLE

In our age of fatigue and collapse, it is harder than ever to know what we mean when we speak about “art.” Art has always been entangled with power, its autonomy and self-definition thus perpetually troubled. But today, as finance capitalism displays a baffling and disastrous vitality in the face of its triumphant failure and annihilates its last vestiges of moral legitimacy, the art world’s deep interdependence with the sectors of society benefiting most from the crises caused by capital—from the debt-induced deterioration of labor, the elimination of the middle class, and the global commerce of war to the fracking of our natural environment—has become obvious, a scandalous fact. What, if anything, can art do in the face of such crises? What are art’s

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