The key themes that Hal Foster introduces in his essay Contemporary Art and Spectacle are Fascism, the loss of the real, and Marx theory about the social system and utopia. Foster explains that our culture is fascinated by any form of media, about fascism from the films of Rainer Fassbinder and Habs Jurgen Syberberg to the contemporary art of artists Anselm Kiefer and Gilbert & George. He says that our fascination with fascism cannot be explained as not many people agree with its key ideologies, but he wants to think about “fascinating fascism” as the irreality of contemporary culture. Fascism is a government led by a dictator that supresses opposition and criticism. Foster introduces Jean Baudrillard theory of the loss of the real into his debate about our fascination with fascism and how we have to compensate for this loss by fetishising about it. The fetish Freud identifies the fetish as a substitute for a trauma or loss. Another key theme which Hal Foster introduces into the text is how utopia is one of the most corrupted modern ideologies. Utopia is is a community or society possessing highly desirable or near perfect qualities. Marx wanted a society, which had near perfect qualities but as shown in Russian revolution this did not work. Using these key themes, Fascism, the loss of the real and the utopia I will demonstrate how the artists representing Peru and Greece have responded to these concepts and how they have utilised some of them in their work shown at the Venice Biennale.
Peru’s Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2015