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Conceptualism and the political referent in contemporary art

This book examines the impact of Civil Rights, Black Power, the student, feminist and sexual-liberty movements on conceptualism and its legacies in the United States between the late 1960s and the 1990s. It focuses on the turn to political reference in practices originally concerned with abstract ideas. The book traces key strategies in contemporary art to the reciprocal influences of conceptualism and identity politics. The central concept is a reversal of the qualitative assessment made by artist and theorist Joseph Kosuth in 1969. The book overviews the 1960s-1970s shift from disciplinary-based Conceptual Art to an interdisciplinary conceptualism, crediting the influence of contemporaneous politics dominated by identity and issue-based politics. It offers a survey of Adrian Piper's early work, her analytic conceptual investigations, and her transition to a synthetic mode of working with explicit political reference. The book explores how Conceptual Art is political art, analysing several works by synthetic proposition artists. It then surveys several key 1980s events and exhibitions before taking in depth the 1993 Whitney Biennial as its central case study for understanding the debates of the 1980s and the 1990s. Examining the ways in which Hans Haacke's work referenced political subject matter, simultaneously changing the conception of the processes and roles of art-making and art, the book argues against critics who regarded his work to be "about" politics. It also looks at the works of Charles Gaines, David Hammons, Renée Green, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Silvia Kolbowski, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Lorna Simpson, and Andrea Fraser.

Jamie Heckert

. Finally, I conclude with a call for an anarchist, issue-based politics of sexuality. Opposites and sex In structuralism, following Levi-Strauss, ‘binary oppositions were thought to structure psychic and social life in a patterned, universal way’ (Seidman, 1998: 221). Thus, those who were among the first to challenge dualist thought (e.g., Derrida, 1976) provided the basis for poststructuralism. Criticism of dualist thought has since become central to much feminist theory (especially critiques of the division between public and private), postcolonial theory (in that the

in Changing anarchism
Abstract only
Nizan Shaked

Introduction movement in 2011 and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2012, reflecting the questions and possibilities of identity-based issues on the national and international stage, for which American identity politics is a historical model. The first chapter “Conceptual Art and identity politics,” overviews the 1960s–70s shift from disciplinary-based Conceptual Art to an interdisciplinary conceptualism, crediting the influence of contemporaneous politics dominated by identity and issue-based politics. I draw a distinction between how terms such as identity or

in The synthetic proposition
Abstract only
Loyalty and fandom in the free speech culture wars
Penny Andrews

and people who are well known, even in a niche and local context, are involved. It is clear that the logics of fandom also work on a less intense scale for everyone interested in current affairs and issues-based politics. The popularity of Greta Thunberg with her fans and supporters shows that fandom can be a positive if handled well. Political parties and campaigns would struggle with recruitment and retention of volunteers to do canvassing, leafletting or online campaigning without it. Fandom has always been with us in politics and parapolitics; it has as long

in The free speech wars
Janam and the politics of the street theatre in India
Tony Fisher

be to understand issue-based politics as a form of populist reason, where an issue represents the rhetorical and popular idiom for what Ernesto Laclau termed a ‘democratic interpellation’. 3 The implications of this immediately complicate standard understandings of the activist theatre and its tactical interventions. By articulating itself in relation to issues, the activist

in The aesthetic exception
The Indian experience
Shirin M. Rai

, such strong party systems tend to marginalize issue-based politics or to expropriate movements that are based on singular issues. The women’s movement in India has had to confront this issue (Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), 1994, 1995). In particular, women’s groups face this issue because many mass organizations of women are affiliated to particular political parties, providing them with assured funding and membership, but also creating political competition and constraints in forming alliances with other women’s organizations.1 Another feature of

in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?
Representation and the real in the twentieth-century avant-gardes
Liz Tomlin

act time. Elaine Aston is only one commentator among many who argued that the ideologically driven arts cuts led by the Thatcher government in the 1980s was ‘in part responsible for the displacement of issue-based, political theatre and the rise of a theatre which prioritised style over (political) content’ (Aston, 1999: 14), and Amelia Howe Kritzer, looking back on the 1980s, concurred that ‘new theatre companies tended to direct their energy towards aesthetic experimentation rather than social or political goals’ (2008: 6) The spread and influence of Performance

in Acts and apparitions