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Global days of action and photographs of resistance

parties happened around the world from Bogotá, Columbia to Melbourne, Australia and from Stockholm, Sweden to Tel Aviv, Israel. On 18 June 1999, the Carnival Against Capital (J18) took place in the city of London and simultaneously in over seventy-five cities around the globe, an immediate precursor of the global actions in Seattle in 1999 and in Genoa in 2001. This chapter examines the photographic documents of the J18 party available on the website of Reclaim the Streets, offering an analysis of the recurrent themes and examining photography’s role in the production

in Photography and social movements
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Locating global ­contemporary art in global China

-sponsored exhibitions, namely the 2000 Shanghai Biennial and 2010 World Expo; and spectacular art installations by transnational art stars Gu Wenda and Cai Quo-Qiang. I argue that these projects erect glamorizing artifices that obfuscate Shanghai’s local histories and concerns while branding the city as an international economic and cultural capital. I further look to counter-models, including avant-garde Introduction: Locating global ­contemporary art in global China painting, subversive sculpture, curatorial interventions, and experimental video and film by Pang Xunqin, Liu

in Above sea
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Valletta, Rangoon and new capitals

chapter seeks to assess the buildings of two contrasting smaller and less well-known colonial cities. The focus will be on the development of architectural forms in the key colonial fortress of Malta and the rapidly developing colonial capital city of Burma, Rangoon. In the second part of the chapter the creation of new capitals of Australia in Canberra, India at New Delhi and Northern Rhodesia at Lusaka will be examined to determine their meanings for the later imperial period. THE CASE OF VALLETTA Malta was a vital strategic Mediterranean colony where British

in The British Empire through buildings
William Roscoe, civic myths and the institutionalisation of urban culture

was not merely a gateway for international trade, but was also a key outlet for the bulk transport of sea-borne goods to Ireland and the south of England, ensuring that Liverpool merchants developed close connections with the key cultural centres of Dublin and London.11 In many respects the economic structure of Liverpool was closer to those of the two capital cities than to that of late eighteenth-century Manchester; like London and Dublin, Liverpool was primarily a commercial city, not an industrial one. Liverpool’s commercial elites tended to see their city as

in High culture and tall chimneys
The politics of trans/nationalism and global expositions

Staging art and Chineseness is about the politics of borders ascribed to Chinese contemporary art and the identification of artists by locations and exhibitions. The paradoxical subject of Chineseness is central to this inquiry, which begins with the question, what does the term Chinese Art mean in the aftermath of the globalized shift in art? Through an exploration of embodied and performative representations (including eco-feminist performances) by artists from China and diasporic locations, the case studies in this book put to the test the very premise of the genealogical inscription for cultural objects attributed to the residency, homeland, or citizenship of the Chinese artist. Acknowledging the orientalist assumptions and appropriations that Chineseness also signifies, this study connects the artistic performance to the greater historical scope of ‘geographical consciousness’ envisioned by past and present global expositions. The emergence of China’s shiyan meishu experimental art movement in the 1980s–1990s has largely been the defining focus for ‘global art’ during the period when artfairs, biennials, and triennials also came into prominence as the new globalized art institution (exemplified by China’s first biennial in Guangzhou). The political aim is to recognize the multiple contradictions and repetitions of history engendered by art, nationalism, and capital in the legacy of Althusserian/Maoist interpellations – the reifications of global capitalist illusions in the twenty-first century are conveyed in this book by performative artistic expressions and the temporal space of the exposition.

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Contemporary art, urban culture, and the fashioning of global Shanghai

Shanghai, long known as mainland China’s most cosmopolitan metropolis, has recently re-emerged as a global capital. Above sea: Contemporary art, urban culture, and the fashioning of global Shanghai offers the first in-depth examination of turn of the twenty-first-century Shanghai-based art and design—from state-sponsored exhibitions to fashionable cultural complexes to cutting-edge films and installations. This book offers a counter-touristic view of one of the world’s fastest developing megacities, one that penetrates the contradictions and buried layers of specific locales and artifacts of visual culture. Informed by years of in-situ research, including interviews with artists and designers, the book looks beyond contemporary art’s global hype to reveal persistent socio-political tensions accompanying Shanghai’s explosive transitions from semi-colonial capitalism to Maoist socialism to Communist Party–sponsored capitalism. Analyses of exemplary design projects such as Xintiandi and Shanghai Tang and artworks by Liu Jianhua, Yang Fudong, Gu Wenda, and others reveal how Shanghai’s global aesthetics construct glamorizing artifices that mask historically rooted cross-cultural conflicts between vying notions of foreign-influenced modernity versus anti-colonialist nationalism, and the city’s repressed socialist past versus its consumerist present. The book focuses on Shanghai-based art and design from the 1990s–2000s, the decades of the city’s most rapid post-socialist development, while also attending to pivotal Republican and Mao-era examples. Challenging the “East-meets-West” clichés that characterize discussions of urban Shanghai and contemporary Chinese art, this book illuminates critical issues facing today’s artists, architects, and designers and provides an essential field guide for students of art, design, art history, urban studies, and Chinese culture.

capital or migration, terrorist attacks or unjustified wars, the Internet or the ecological disasters of the ‘affluent society’, precarious works of this period were intrinsically embedded in their contemporary context. The chapters in the second part of this book seek to shed light on this relationship, by focusing specifically on the borderline practices of Orozco, Creed, Hirschhorn and Alÿs. In the next chapter, the political resonances of the terms ‘precarious’ and ‘precarity’ will be addressed directly. This chapter will take as its starting point the 1990s return

in Almost nothing
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Staging art and Chineseness

Chinese Communist Party via the People’s Liberation Army literally took aim at the Tiananmen Square protesters who were seeking the same sort of freedom of expression as Lu. But the curator’s statement at the time was in defense of criticism by Westerners who thought China’s avant-garde artists had sold out to the politics of capitalism: ‘All of these critics should know, however, that sales, capital and profit have been chasing the tail of the Venice Biennale since its first installment. Except for the “storm” of anti-capitalist sentiment and protest that swept through

in Staging art and Chineseness
From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

Profits or perks?

recreation grounds were ‘sold’ to the workforce and to the public might suggest that they were landscape versions of the Panopticon, where the workers were under surveillance, and where hidden impositions of power were ‘dressed up’ as social norms, rendering the workforce accepting of power and susceptible to its effects. But the power relations and structures between labour and capital and between men and women in the use and management of the gardens and recreation grounds are much more complex than Foucault’s theories would suggest because they do not explain how and

in The factory in a garden