Jon Cooper


The Square

This newly released film evokes a complex relationship with its subject, conceptual art. In concerning itself with neither narrative suspense, dramatic synergy, passionate mood, nor exquisite atmosphere, it mirrors conceptual art, which similarly privileges abstraction as a mode of expressing and exploring questions of system: of power, control, knowledge, and their spatial orderings. Yet the film also problematises conceptual art, its curatorial worlds, and the socioeconomic relations connected to its production, marketing, and consumption. The film seems to suggest conceptual art is guilty of the very crime it wishes to reproach by seeking to obscure the systemic conditions of its own existence, concealing its own complex origins in relations of power, control, and knowledge.

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