View of “Specters of the Nineties,” 2011.

“Specters of the Nineties”


View of “Specters of the Nineties,” 2011.

In the wake of the recent dramatic decline of Dutch government support for the arts and contemporary art in particular, which culminated in the announcement in June 2011 of draconian cutbacks, some commentators in the Netherlands pointed out the alacrity with which artists and other art professionals have previously met political demands to prove their social and economic relevance. According to such critics, artists have made themselves vulnerable by succumbing, since the early 1990s, to the prevailing logic that art could either be a constructive trouble-shooter for social problems or become part of the “creative industries.” This is the language of a politics that had collapsed in the face of tenacious right-wing populism and intensified neoliberalism. In an essay published in conjunction with “Specters of the Nineties,” the artist and writer Hans-Christian Dany describes the

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