Art Term


Altermodern is a term coined by curator Nicolas Bourriaud in 2009, to describe art made as a reaction against standardisation and commercialism, in the context of globalisation

Bob and Roberta Smith, ‘Make Art Not War’ 1997
Bob and Roberta Smith
Make Art Not War 1997
© Bob and Roberta Smith

The term was coined by Nicolas Bourriaud on on the occasion of the Tate Triennial in 2009.

Altermodern is against cultural standardisation and massification, but also opposed to nationalisms and cultural relativism. Altermodern artists position themselves within the world’s cultural gaps. Cultural translation, mental nomadism and format crossing are the main principles of altermodern art.

Viewing time as a multiplicity rather than as a linear progress, the altermodern artist navigates history as well as all the planetary time zones producing links between signs faraway from each other. Altermodern is ‘docufictional’ in that it explores the past and the present to create original paths where boundaries between fiction and documentary are blurred.

Formally speaking, it favours processes and dynamic forms to one-dimensional single objects and trajectories to static masses.

Selected artworks in the collection