Tag Archives: The Square (Östlund)


“Art doesn’t need interpretations. It has enough problems proving that it exists, that it still is legitimate. It’s all voracious cannibalization, cross-references, and cryptic connotations crying to be interpreted…

“Art history fronts for art, and often replaces it altogether. Everything is being historicized now that there is nothing left that’s worth historicizing, and the same goes for the pollution of exhibitions…

“Artists themselves become historians of their own impossibility to survive their art.” — Sylvère Lotringer*

From Lotringer’s lips to the big screen…

THE SQUARE—an uproarious look at at the supposed customs, pretensions, and fears of the inhabitants at the art world’s highest levels—is Ruben Östlund’s follow-up to Force Majeure, and a huge leap forward for the European director.

This farce of miscommunication is largely set in the Museum X-Royal, the former residence of Sweden’s royal family (who have been decommissioned), and derives its title from an actual artwork Östlund created in 2014.



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*Sylvère Lotringer and Paul Virilio, “A Pitiless Art?,” in The Accident of Art (New York: Semiotext(e), 2005), 33.

Elizabeth Moss (left) and Claes Bang in The Square (2017). Image credit: Magnolia.