This reader brings together American and French scholars to discuss therecent paradigmatic shifts from anthropocentric theories toward new models of realism, objectivity, and even metaphysics, occurring in the realm of contemporary art and philosophy—with the school of thought called NewExistentialism as a guiding topic.
In the face of radical transitions in social organization, technology, and the living environment, numerous thinkers have moved away from semiotic and psychoanalytic critical models in order to question human agency and imagine a broader material one existing in the world. Yet the language attending such endeavors—often put forward in the spirit of “scientific” or “objective” exercise—suggests we would benefit from revisiting another era’s interrogations of rationalism to engage the dilemmas of our own time.
The New Existentialism takes stock of contemporary art in light of these philosophical dialogues, proposing how the tenuous human subject is again faced with the prospect of defining its parameters and context in order to arrive at different terms for ethical thinking, conduct, and meaning.
Edited with a preface by curator and author Tim Griffin, The NewExistentialism follows on from the eponymous conference organized at TheKitchen in the context of the ART2 festival in New York in April 2014.
Contributions from Emily Apter, Patricia Falguières, Tristan Garcia, Patrice Maniglier, Matthew Ritchie.