The aim of the author is to show that contemporary art works on a collage base. But the collage can be made with everything: paper, metals, plastic, words, movies, ready-made, other art works, and so on.
The collage has its own meanings: it is often light (compared to heaviness of Sixties’ art) and one of its main feature is the transitoriness. It gives you the idea of a fragmented reality and it often requires interactivity, as if the public is a little piece of the whole collage.
Contemporary art is often a developing process, not an object, and here you see the frequent use of -ing form (happening, dripping…).
I found particularly interesting the part that explains how some artists put their works in very hard-to-reach places (for instance in the desert, far away from autoroutes or airports); with a two-faces purpose: to show a critic to institutional art places and to educate the public, that must be ready to make some efforts to go there to “admire” the art work.
The result? Very little public. Anyway… I appreciate the attempt.
At the end, Angela Vettese try to sum up the direction of contemporary art. It seems that this art doesn’t want to show the author anymore. The point is not the subject anymore, it must be something else; the society, maybe, with its trends and fears. Maybe this is only modesty. Or, more probable, loneliness.
The problem of this essay is that Vettese wants to put too many examples to explain what she is telling. They are so many, that I doubt that the average reader knows all artists and art works that she mentions. And the book cannot show a picture for each art work, otherwise it would have been 20 times longer.
As a result, I think that this book is an essay for contemporary art lovers, not for someone who wants to get an idea of this odd world.