Ancient and modern: Gustav Metzger’s Liquid Crystal Environment. The 82-year-old artist has been hailed as the “godfather” of the altermodern by the inventor of the term, Nicolas Bourriaud
(The Tate Triennial)...an international show that attempts to define the new art of the post-economic apocalypse, christening it “altermodern”.
It is a new world of “wandering in time, space and mediums”. “Altermodernity,” Bourriaud continues, “arises out of negotiations between different agents from different cultures and geographical locations.”Artists, by this reckoning, have become nomads, a mobile community of outsiders within a vast globalised society, choosing their images, like words, from roughly the same visual language. It’s the next stage, Bourriaud claims, for civilisation after postmodernism, and artists who mocked its own claims to greatness (the people who canned their own poo, put donkeys in art galleries or exhibited their smoked cigarettes).
(Altermodern is at Tate Britain (020 7887 8888, www.tate.org.uk) until 26 April. Open daily 10am-6pm (first Friday of every month until 10pm). Admission £7.80, concs available.)