It might sound somewhat tautological, but contemporary art is experiencing a boom. There is hardly any city that does not boast of having a contemporary art museum. More and more, biennials worldwide are devoted to assessing the current situation and thus are able to attract large international audiences. Professorships and research programs are being established to explain it all. But what does the term contemporary art mean, and, above all, to what “contemporaneity”—to what present—does it refer?

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