Realism Today?

For this roundtable we invited several respondents to reflect upon both the history and the present of artistic realism. We ask how its various revivals might be regarded as part of a long trajectory of “Western” art and aesthetics, and how such revivals might be triggered by discourses outside of contemporary art. If a new aesthetics of realism were possible today, how would it differ from its multiple historical antecedents? Is realism in its various modes an obsolete artistic form or style of the past (like baroque painting or modernist collage) that is as such incompatible with the modes of production and the augmented social reality of late capitalism? We are very grateful to Dave Beech, Christoph Cox, Sami Khatib, John Roberts and Marina Vishmidt for accepting to participate in this roundtable held over electronic mail.

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