This is New Minds Eye Four featuring two longer works: Sam Robinson’s examination of the potential of T.S. Eliot as a non-liberal voice and Alex Stursburg’s exploration of the nature of value in the contemporary art market.
Robinson’s essay offers penetrating and intelligent observations on the ideological push and pull that surround T.S. Eliot’s life and work. This critical discourse is used to re-evaluate problems that are rife within contemporary art: its highly selective inclusivity, the one dimensional literalism and a largely unquestioning attitude. Eliot’s conservative traditionalism is reassessed as potentially radical in a transgressive, contrarian sense. Eliot also offers a valid critical framework, that even if it is flawed, that is often less imperious than the strategies employed within the neo-liberal sphere of contemporary art today.
Stursburg argues that an artwork’s value is determined through an intersecting web of symbolic and economic value types. By turning his focus on today’s globalized commercial art world, and how high market values have become the dominant focus, he finds that this has had an impact how we absorb other less quantifiable value-types. Is the art market stronger than ever before, or has high prices inhibited how can we reassert other value types that shape our relationship to art? Art remain relevant and impactful and the key may lie in remaining critical, but still engaged.