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Ocula ReportLa dotta, la rossa, la grassa: the 42nd Arte Fiera, Bologna15 Feb 2018 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
Bologna is a city with many names. First, there is 'la dotta' (or 'the learned one') in honour of its university, the oldest in the western world (established in the 11th century), which counts Petrarch, Copernicus, Dante and, more recently, the cult (and controversial) Bologna-born filmmaker, Pier Paolo Pasolini, among its alumni. Its second...
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Ocula ConversationCory ArcangelArtist, USA{{document.location.href}}
Going through Cory Arcangel's website feels like riding across waves of digital archaeologies, where things endlessly fold and unfold. The site meticulously presents every aspect of Arcangel's practice, including detailed information about exhibitions and artworks for which the artist has become known. These include his 'game modifications' (or...
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Ocula ReportBeyond the Zone: the 5th Material Art Fair15 Feb 2018 : Robert Ayers for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
Now in its fifteenth year, Zona Maco México Arte Contemporáneo (7–11 February 2018) is rightly regarded as one of the more important events on the international art fair circuit. Without a doubt, it is the grande dame of Mexico City's early-February Art Week, claiming to be 'the epicentre of collecting in Latin America'. But this year, fairgoers...
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Defining contemporary art is both complex and controversial, but the decision to include an artwork within the category usually rests on one temporal requirement: namely, that the artwork was created in the current century. Beyond this simplistic definition, however, it can difficult to pin down any universal principles that bind the pieces produced by twenty-first-century artists - though perhaps diversity itself might be understood as a general theme. Developing in parallel with the prevalent theory of postmodernism, contemporary art shares a commitment to pluralism and variety (rather than, that is, to stability and straightforward truth).

Some commentators speak of "modern contemporary art", with this term's conflation of the modern and the contemporary art models pointing to the murky boundary that separates the early-twentieth-century modernist movement from the sprawling latter movement that has ruled the art scene in recent decades. The two are indeed connected - with the contemporary fine arts essentially an outgrowth of the modern movement - but what definitively separates them is the clear set of principles that all modernist artworks share, as opposed to the relatively absent criteria surrounding contemporary artworks.

For all its experimentalism, though, contemporary art is not entirely anti-traditional, as semblances of prior artistic conditions - be that modernism, impressionism, or realism - can be found hidden within many works. Long-established ideas like the anti-establishment role of art and the artist in society continue to prevail in the contemporary art scene, with visionary creatives across the globe often using their talents to make political statements through art.

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