Spheres of Action
Art and Politics
160 pp., 6 x 9 in, 40 b&w illus.
- Published: February 1, 2013
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Rights: for sale only in the US and Canada
A snapshot of current debates about the relationship of politics to contemporary art, with original writings by major European thinkers.
Contemporary art is increasingly part of a wider network of cultural practices, related through a common set of references in cultural theory. Within Europe, relations between national theoretical traditions have become more fluid and dynamic, creating an increasingly transnational—or postnational—space for European cultural and art theory. This book offers a snapshot of recent influential work in contemporary art and political theory in France, Italy, and Germany, in the form of original writings by major representatives of each of the three overlapping national traditions.
In France, debates center on the status and possibilities of the image. Éric Alliez, Georges Didi-Huberman, Elisabeth Lebovici, and Jacques Rancière each adopt a distinctive approach to the making, undoing, and remaking of aesthetic images in contemporary art and their political significance. From Italy, Antonio Negri, Maurizio Lazzarato, Judith Revel, and Franco Berardi each address the “immaterial” situation of contemporary art. From Germany, Peter Sloterdijk, Peter Weibel, and Boris Groys reassess the contemporary legacy of postwar art, demonstrating appropriations of vitalism, structuralism, and deconstruction, respectively.
As dense with academic traditions as it is flush with insight, this collection offers an overview of significant theoretical work on the thriving intersections of art and politics in France, Italy, and Germany…The essays are striking in that their collective topical coherence is married successfully to a range of historical moments, artists, and political preoccupations.