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Hans-Jürgen Hafner Border Patrol What status do works of art hold today? What kind of ma- neuvering space do art productions currently have and un- der what conditions are they carried out? And what roles do such time-tested models as ‘conceptuality’ or ‘critical- ity’ still play in the practice of art and its discourses? What institutional framework is conducive to rendering art leg- ible for a contemporary audience? Answers to these ques- tions do not come easily and, unsurprisingly, are not en- tirely unambiguous. They point to the circumstance that the term ‘art – as well as its practice – is in the throes of a massive transition on production-technical, discursive and commercial levels alike. The aesthetic development and practice of art in the 1960s and 70s was fundamentally determined by a debate – or critique – of the object of art. Not only did the commodi- fication of art come under crossfire. A work of art as ‘the making tangible’, or ‘materialization’ of artistic ideas and objectives seemed to be slowly becoming superfluous – especially from the standpoint of an art practice that is grasped as ‘conceptualized’, ‘processual’ and ‘performa- tive’. Since this time, it has not been possible to reduce art to just an artifact or to its ‘thingly’ character, especially in the sense of a material commodity. It was not only the production side, the artists themselves, who were affected by the changing issues with regard to art formats under conceptual, processual and performative conditions. Ob- viously, new demands on art’s maneuvering space necessi- tated a radically different presentation form. But they also entailed a fundamental redefining of the role and function of the observer and art mediatory institutions. At the lastest, Michael Fried’s analysis of the theatrical- ity in the works of Minimal Art and Joseph Beuys‘ no- tion of ‘social sculpture’ make abundantly clear just how profoundly the aesthetic and institutional regime of art is changing and drawing in its wake a re-shaping of art’s pro- duction and reception conditions. In fact, the current stage of aesthetic production (or its debate) already refers to this updated configuration.1 Now as before, art production is still largely defined by means of its ‘practice’ genre and the model of conceptu- ality, which is derived from its historical agenda as well as the aesthetic and practical achievements of concept art since the 1960s. By way of contrast, the status of artwork2 (ranging from the site-specific modes of representation of various aesthetic practices all the way to a concrete ‘work in-and-of-itself’) has become quite contentious of late. This is especially so against the background of the booming art market of the 2000s decade. It is still the consciousness of - and practical dealings with – boundaries, or spheres of competence, de- fined not just by aesthetics but also by social and financial aspects within the historically-evolved ‘institution of art’ that shapes the foundation and scope of all artistic (and discursive) production. The growing influence of business interests with in the art establishment,