Relational Aesthetics / Postproduction by Nicolas Bourriaud

  • Year2016
  • LanguageRussian
  • Edition3000
  • Pages216
  • BindingPaperback
  • Price410 RUB
Buy book
Garage publishing program in collaboration with Ad Marginem Press. GARAGE PRO Series

“Isn't art, as Duchamp once said, "a game among all men of all eras?" Postproduction is the contemporary form of this game,” states Nicolas Bourriaud in Postproduction, published in Russian together with his earlier essay, Relational Aesthetics.

In Relational Aesthetics, French curator, critic and historian Nicolas Bourriaud introduces the reader to the idea of participation in art and discusses works by a number of artists who were active in the 1990s, including Philippe Parreno, Liam Gillick, Felix González-Torres, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Carsten Höller. Instead of material objects, like paintings or sculptures, these artists offered the viewer models of human relations, returning to the ideas of collective—or even communal—creative practices, anticipated by the avant-garde artists of the early 20th century.

Postproduction explores the phenomenon of appropriation, or artists borrowing existing forms, including making precise copies of other’s works. “We only desire what is desired by others”—what is already part of history and its hierarchies—was the main message of replicas by Sherrie Levine, Jeff Koons, Haim Steinbach, and Maurizio Cattelan. Bourriaud calls such artists “tenants of culture,” who borrow and modify its products; “brokers of desire,” who consume the world “in place of the viewer and for him”. And since there is no money involved in this situation, he proclaims the age of “formal collectivism,” where people are free to make use of all existing forms.

Despite variations in their strategies, participation and appropriation artists are essentially doing the same thing. They first create situations that allow human relations to transcend the rules of the market economy and find a basis in mutual interest, friendship, or empathy.



Nicolas Bourriaud (b. 1965) is a curator and art critic, who has curated numerous exhibitions and biennials all over the world. He co-founded, and from 1999 to 2006 was co-director of, the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. He was also founder and director of the contemporary art magazine Documents sur l'art (1992–2000) and correspondent in Paris for Flash Art from 1987 to 1995. Bourriaud was the Gulbenkian curator of contemporary art from 2007-2010 at Tate Britain, London, and in 2009 he curated the fourth Tate Triennial , entitled Altermodern. He was the Director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, an art school in Paris, France, from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, he was appointed director of the future Contemporary Art Center of Montpellier, France, due to open in 2019, and director of La Panacée art center.