Art and migration: revisioning the borders of community is a collective response to current and historic constructs of migration as disruptive of national heritage. This interplay of academic essays and art professionals’ interviews investigates how the visual arts – especially by or about migrants – create points of encounter between individuals, places, and objects. Migration has increasingly taken centre stage in contemporary art, as artists claim migration as a paradigm of artistic creation. The myriad trajectories of transnational artworks and artists’ careers outlined in the volume are reflected in the density and dynamism of fairs and biennales, itinerant museum exhibitions and shifting art centres. It analyses the vested political interests of migration terminology such as the synonymous use of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ or the politically constructed use of ‘diaspora’. Political and cultural narratives frame globalisation as a recent shift that reverses centuries of cultural homogeneity. Art historians and migration scholars are engaged in revisioning these narratives, with terms and methodologies shared by both fields. Both disciplines are elaborating an histoire croisée of the circulation of art that denounces the structural power of constructed borders and cultural gatekeeping, and this volume reappraises the historic formation of national identities and aesthetics heritage as constructed under transnational visual influences. This resonates with migrant artists’ own demands for self-determination in a display space that too often favours canonicity over hybridity. Centring migration – often silenced by normative archives or by nationalist attribution practices – is part of the workload of revisioning art history and decolonising museums.
participating in the very activity that is being denounced in order to denounce it ’, this co-opting was unavoidable. 5 In other words, artists who engaged in institutional critique had no other option than to be conscripted into the capitalist machine, given that there would be no outside position from which to launch their critique.
In Eastern Europe, there was generally no artmarket to speak of. In the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, the main patron of the arts was the state. Some form of a market economy did exist in Yugoslavia, but still none comparable to
artmarket practices as
well as from their image-making perspective. Their pronouncements sound general, but were
clearly not intended to comment upon the wider market of photographically illustrated books,
textbooks, guidebooks, and so on, which have protean social uses beyond ‘quiet
consolations’. The photobook is not always conceived as an artistic endeavour –
on the contrary, it has multiple forms, and showing this diversity is central to this
Cole’s use of the adjective ‘quixotic’ is symptomatic
Political agitation and public intervention in the new millennium
in a western democracy and call for things no one else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom’,
reiterates Vaucher's outlook. While it was at odds with the dominant ideology in the artmarket in the 1990s, it was symptomatic of the emerging zeitgeist of the new, politically engaged era.
Vaucher's desire to subsume her individual identity in order to communicate political ideas effectively is seen in several, public realm projects that she was involved with in the 2000s. She had
This volume proposes that the photobook is best understood as a collective endeavour, a confluence of individuals, interests and events. By looking beyond canons and artistic definitions, by factoring in the public and by paying closer attention to the texts and the contexts, the aim of this book is to challenge and ultimately broaden the category of the ‘photobook’. While the market is geared today for photographer-driven books, and is buoyed by the theoretical framework proposed by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, this book casts a wider net, and pays particular attention to anonymous photographers, institutional publications, digital opportunities, unrealised projects, illegal practices, collectives, poets, and the reader. The chapters uncover forgotten social objects, and show how personal histories are bound to broader historical movements. Certain chapters deliberately engage with canonical authors (Claudia Andujar and George Love, Mohamed Bourouissa, Walker Evans, Roland Penrose, the Visual Studies Workshop, for example) to reveal the origination contexts and the ‘biographies’ of the photographs. Together, the chapters examine the North American, British or French photobook from 1900 to the present. The chapters address the ecosystem of the photobook art market; commitment and explicit political engagement; memory and the writing of history; materiality and how material form affects circulation. The contributors are specialists in the history of photography, book studies and visual studies, researchers in sociology, US history, anthropology, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, feminism, architecture and comparative literature, and there are contributions from practising photographers and curators.
Identity and community among migrant Latin American artists in New York c. 1970
Aimé Iglesias Lukin
In the effervescent and politically active cultural scene of late 1960s’ and early 1970s’ New York, a series of artists of Latin American origin created artworks that can only be understood as responding to their dual cultural origin encompassing both North and South. While actively participating in major neo-avant garde circles such as minimalism and conceptualism, these artists also forged a redefinition of Latin American art by challenging the folklorist and traditionalist understandings enforced by most US cultural institutions as well as the art market. This chapter focuses on two publications created by artists collectives: Contrabienal (1971) and Cha Cha Cha (1974). By uncovering these artists’ networks and communities, these publications demonstrate these artists’ efforts to gain a voice of their own and are proof of a much more rich, diverse, and cosmopolitan New York art scene than the one depicted in most existing historiographies.
Barbara Norfleet, Elsa Dorfman, Bea Nettles, Clarissa Sligh and Susan Meiselas
This chapter discusses the work of photographers and book artist pioneers Elsa Dorfman, Bea Nettles Clarissa Sligh and Susan Meiselas. As women who work in a frankly autobiographical style, they fit neatly into a canon of feminist artists of the 1970s and 1980s; any re-examination of their work immediately calls these canonical habits into question. However, the primary aim of this chapter is to show how their mid-century bookwork challenged the existing idea of art-photography, and opened genuinely new aesthetic vistas at a crucial moment in the history of art photography and the art market. These photographers emerged at a time when art photography itself was beginning to rise in value and stature, while the conventions defining the genre (the fine print, the rare print, the high modernist move to abstraction and the reverence for a handful of masters) had grown stale. Autobiography, self portraiture, emphasis on children and family, mixing media and, in Sligh’s case, adding race to the range of subjects, entered photographic practice in this era through the work of these pioneers, among many others. This chapter does not aim to set up a cause-and-effect chain of influence, but to show how the open practice and welcoming marketplace that all art photographers now enjoy owes part of its freedom to a group of women book artists who broke existing conventions because there was no other way for them to work.
the general context of digital capitalism (Avanessian and Malik 2016 ). The time of circulation is comparable to the time of stock exchanges, where values and stocks are flipped in nanoseconds. In artistic networks, and especially on the global artmarket, people speculate about future values of artistic trajectories and art objects, commodifying them both. Every project shreds time into bits and pieces. Past achievements are recycled to secure future prospects while applications entomb artistic processes by formulating schedules into the future, well before anyone
Over the last decade, Gee Vaucher has been increasingly recognised in academia, the art world and the media. Despite her raised profile, she remains an elusive figure, who prides herself on her political and creative autonomy. She retains some reticence to her work being held in public collections, while refusing outright to sell it for private collectors and institutions – something which makes it hard to value in art market terms. Steeped in the counterculture of the 1970s, punk politics specific to Crass in the 1980s and the anti-establishment ethos of street and protest art popularised by Banksy in the 2000s, her critique of power imbalance at a personal, familial, societal and political level is evident throughout her oeuvre, while her much-vaunted autonomy is something that continues to guide her approach. The introduction to this first-ever monograph on this singular artist provides an overview of Vaucher’s work with performance art collectives and her involvement in the free festivals movement; her time working as a successful freelance illustrator for mainstream magazines in New York, immersed in the punk-Bohemian world of the lower east side (1977–79); the intense six-year period when she defined the Crass’ aesthetic, and exerted influence on the direction of punk and music graphics; her more introspective period in the 1990s, when her work took on a vast array of mediums; and her reconnection with more collaborative and political art practices in the 2000s. The author’s personal connection to the subject matter is also discussed.
wrote about the autonomous fields of art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Bourdieu 1996 ). Symbolic capital is a field-specific token of reputation and an embodied capacity to make future gains (→ C is for capital ). Symbolic capital, according to Bourdieu, is based – at least superficially – on giving up direct material benefits. Artists were expected to make art for the love of art (→ A is for Artyzol ). Money came into this equation, but at later stages, and often mystified by the topsy-turvy economy of the artmarket where art-things cost a lot