Delirium and Resistance

Delirium and Resistance : Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism

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In the aftermath of the 2016 US elections, Brexit, and a global upsurge of nationalist populism, it is evident that the delirium and the crisis of neoliberal capitalism is now the delirium and crisis of liberal democracy and its culture. And though capitalist crisis does not begin within art, art can reflect and amplify its effects, to positive and negative ends.

In this follow-up to his influential 2010 book, Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, Sholette engages in critical dialogue with artists' collectives, counter-institutions, and activist groups to offer an insightful, firsthand account of the relationship between politics and art in neoliberal society. Sholette lays out clear examples of art's deep involvement in capitalism: the dizzying prices achieved by artists who pander to the financial elite, the proliferation of museums that contribute to global competition between cities in order to attract capital, and the strange relationship between art and rampant gentrification that restructures the urban landscape.

With a preface by noted author Lucy R. Lippard and an introduction by theorist Kim Charnley, Delirium and Resistance draws on over thirty years of critical debates and practices both in and beyond the art world to historicize and advocate for the art activist tradition that radically - and, at times, deliriously - entangles the visual arts with political struggles.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 27.94mm | 598.74g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745336884
  • 9780745336886

Table of contents


Lucy R. Lippard Preface: Is Another Artworld Possible?

Kim Charnley: Art On The Brink: "Bare Art" And The Crisis Of Liberal Democracy

Part I: Artworld

Introduction I: Welcome to Our Art World

1. Fidelity, Autonomy, Betrayal: Within and Beyond the Post Cold- War Art Museum

2. Let's do it again comrades, let's occupy the museum!

3. Bare Art, Debt, Oversupply, Panic!: (On the contradictions of a 21st Century Art Education)

Part II: Cities Without Souls

4. Introduction II: Naturalizing the Revanchist City

5. Nature as an icon of urban resistance on NYC's Lower East Side 1979-1984

6. Mysteries of the Creative Class or I have Seen the Enemy and They is Us

7. Occupology, Swarmology, Whateverology: the city of disorder versus the people's archive

8. Art After Gentrification

Part III: Resistance

9. Introduction III: Critical Praxis/Partisan Art

10. Counting On Your Collective Silence: Notes on Activist Art as Collaborative Practice

11. Dark matter: Activist art and the counter-public sphere

12. On Maidan Uprising and Imaginary Archive, Kyiv

13. Delirium and Resistance after the Social Turn



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Review quote

'A timely contribution to this ongoing global conversation between several generations of art activists around the ways in which their practice weaves between the contexts of art display, political campaigning and social movements' -- Frieze 'Shifting between artistic practice, curating, writing, and activism Gregory Sholette has been surfing the waves of activist art for more than three decades' -- Gerald Raunig, philosopher and author of DIVIDUUM: Machinic Capitalism and Molecular Revolution, Part 1 (2016) 'Sholette is representative of a new artist type that emerged after Conceptualism in that his work as a critic, theorist, and curator is central to his practice as an artist. He is one of the most cogent artist-theorists currently working in the domain of social practice art' -- Andrew Hemingway, Professor Emeritus of Art History, University College London 'Read this book and you will never see contemporary art the same way again.' -- Guerrilla Girls
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About Gregory Sholette

Gregory Sholette is a New York City based artist, writer and core member of the activist art collective Gulf Labor Coalition. He is the author of It's The Political Economy, Stupid, co-edited with Oliver Ressler (Pluto, 2013), and Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto, 2010). He currently teaches in the Queens College Art Department, City University of New York. Kim Charnley is a UK-based art theorist and art historian whose work examines the relationship between politics and contemporary art.
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