The first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads.
“Practice” is one of the key words of contemporary art, used in contexts ranging from artists' descriptions of their practice to curatorial practice, from social practice to practice-based research. This is the first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads.
Reframing the question of practice offers new ways of reading the history of art and of evaluating particular forms of practice-based art. Once used to denote “doing,” as distinct from thinking and making, today the term can convey associations of political action (praxis), professional activity, discipline, or rehearsal, and signal a shift away from the self-enclosed artwork or medium to open-ended actions, series, processes, and projects. Although the turn to practice might promise freedom from finality or eventfulness, it also reflects the neoliberal pressures to train oneself, to perform, and to rehearse a marketable set of skills. This book offers an indispensible guide to the art history and theoretical framework of art-as-practice, clarifying the complex issues at stake in thinking about and enacting practice.
Artists surveyed include Arakawa, Rebecca Belmore, AA Bronson, Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Andrea Fraser, Madeline Gins, Tehching Hsieh, Mary Kelly, Henri Michaux, Linda M. Montano, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, Raivo Puusemp, Rammellzee, Gerhard Richter, Miriam Schapiro, Carolee Schneemann, Gregory Sholette, Aliza Shvarts, Situationist International, Jonas Staal, Stelarc, Fiona Tan, Min Tanaka, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Cecilia Vicuña
Writers include Kathy Acker, Giorgio Agamben, Louis Althusser, Hannah Arendt, Alain Badiou, Lauren Berlant, Gregg Bordowitz, Pierre Bourdieu, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Judith Butler, Jennifer Doyle, Okwui Enwezor, Saidiya V. Hartman, Maulana Karenga, Julia Kristeva, Saba Mahmood, Viktor Misiano, Fred Moten, Paul B. Preciado, Lane Relyea, Suely Rolnik, Peter Sloterdijk, Isabelle Stengers, Winnie Won Yin Wong
Marcus Boon is Professor of English at York University, Toronto. His books include In Praise of Copying.
Gabriel Levine is an artist whose object-theater shows have toured North America, Europe, and the Middle East. An Assistant Professor of Drama Studies at Glendon College of York University in Toronto, he coedited Practice, copublished by the MIT Press and Whitechapel Gallery.