Socio-Historical Context and Dematerialization of the Art Object

Zoran Đureinović


The new socio-historical context of the world, multipolarity, the decentralization and, above all, rapid technological development, inevitably led to a change in the way art is shaped. The new socio-historical context meant putting an end to the linear interpretation of art, often marking it as the end of art. The world is fragmenting; the traditional ways of expressing creativity have been exhausted and perfected technological production is taking over this function. Considering the existing attitudes about the end of art as we know it, we could rather speak about the end of the material, i.e., the end of the art object, but not the end of the idea or the concept itself.  Due to the newly emerged social context, the meaning of the artwork has shifted from the material, i.e., from the object to a discursive and abstract field. In other words, the concept, idea, and theory are primary; they form the essence of the artwork, not the object itself. It is about the fact that the world we live in and the discourses – within which artwork is created – have changed due to the aforementioned reasons, and accordingly, the design of the artwork has also changed. Conceptual artwork and related art practices are the best examples of this. Art itself has become an object of enjoyment and contentment in the world of a modern consumer society, globalization, complete commercialization, and popular culture, in which traditional artwork as an art object no longer exists. Instead, in the modern consumer society, all is about experiencing a sensual and pleasant event, whether it is a tourist visit to a museum or attending an exhibition.


Article received: December 12, 2019; Article accepted: January 31, 2020; Published online: April 15, 2020; Review article

How to cite the article: Đureinović, Zoran. "Socio-Historical Context and Dematerialization of the Art Object. " AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 21 (2020): 135-146. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i21.370


socio-historical context; art; thought; conceptual art; dematerialization of an art object.

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