Symbolic Spaces in Late Capitalism, Where Art is A Proposal and not a Conclusion


  • Mariano O. de Blas Senior Professor and vice dean, College of Fine Arts, Complutense University, Madrid. Spain.



Imaging other possible realities, web, virtual, space, Capitalism


Capitalism is the predominant conceptual system configuring and forming our reality. It is difficult, perhaps almost impossible, to imagine another one, because we are immersed in the conceptual approaches of this reality, the one of capitalism. Art is able to represent, symbolically and accurately this conceptual reality, but also to encourage us to imagine other realities even if it is only able display this one accurately (without critic). The concept of this reality is based now on consumption through virtual identities. The value of art is affected by this premise, meaning that the artist is valuable mainly because he is converted into a logo, a valuable signature on the work. This phenomenon not only reflects our conceptual approach to reality but also unveils it, revealing new aspects of our reality and what we think about it. However, art is able to go further and present different approaches to our concepts about reality. It could mean that art promotes us to imagine other realities, at least unconsciously, for both art producers and viewers. Finally, this scheme has to be included in a new revolutionary tool, the web, a virtual multidimensional space, where contemporary art takes part. Therefore, in the “space” of the web, art can communicate more than ever and can transform itself and present this transformation beyond the established limits, contributing to produce a more flexible and imaginative way of thinking.