In his chapter from Josh McPhee’s important exhibition and book Paper Politics (2009) about socially and politically engaged printmaking in the US, artist and activist Eric Triantafillou takes his cue from street art in San Francisco’s Mission District and raises pertinent questions about the role of such art in a society that ‘only claims to be democratic’ (288). He asks what a truly political art might mean today, especially when such art is frequently appropriated by the system that it itself criticises. It then becomes a mere ‘aesthetic commodity’ (289).
The notion of a ‘printmare’ – in analogy to a nightmare – is the pretext and theme for the artist and tutor at London’s Royal College of Art, Nicky Coutts. In a poetically conceived and intricately argued reflection, she considers the multiple nature and mutual enfolding of prints and humans, humans and animals, reality and imagination, past and future print and other technologies.