“Unbeknownst to them, the arbitrary has multiplied singularities, but made them whatever singularities: every artist develops his or her own language and nurtures the impression of being the only one to speak it. We no longer write or create in order to intensify life, for life is no longer something we all share, something in which we all accompany one another, but an individualized affair of accumulation, labor, and self-affirmation.

We live like this with no hope for political change (however necessary) in our lives, nor a common language capable of naming this need or allowing us to define together what is particular to our present. This condition is new, no doubt unique in Western history; it is so painful and engenders such a profound solitude and loss of dignity that we sometimes catch ourselves doubting the sincerity of artworks that are created under such conditions – for we know that their fate is uncertain, and will most likely disappoint.”

Claire Fontaine, “Our Common Critical Condition,” trans. Kit Schulter, e-flux journal #73, May 19, 2016.

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