The State of Exception
The introduction defines the Nueva Figuración movement and gives an overview of the group's shifting reputation, from initial fame in Buenos Aires in the early 1960s to regional importance, limited international recognition in the middle 1960s, and subsequent decline. Frank argues for reconsideration of New Figuration as part of a wider reassessment of the worldwide cosmopolitan development of modern art. The best method for such reassessment, Frank argues, is contextual analysis because many of the Nueva Figuración artists’ works refer both directly and indirectly to contemporary events, cultural products, and sociological trends. Drawing on the work of Carl Schmitt, who first defined Nueva Figuración, and of Giorgio Agamben, who later elaborated on it, Frank describes its temporal backdrop in Argentina as a “state of exception.” The introduction closes on Frank’s summary development of the chronological organization of succeeding chapters.
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