Johanna Burton

Johanna Burton is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum in New York and the series editor for the Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture.

  • Trap Door

    Trap Door

    Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility

    Reina Gossett, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton

    Essays, conversations, and archival investigations explore the paradoxes, limitations, and social ramifications of trans representation within contemporary culture.

    The increasing representation of trans identity throughout art and popular culture in recent years has been nothing if not paradoxical. Trans visibility is touted as a sign of a liberal society, but it has coincided with a political moment marked both by heightened violence against trans people (especially trans women of color) and by the suppression of trans rights under civil law. Trap Door grapples with these contradictions.

    The essays, conversations, and dossiers gathered here delve into themes as wide-ranging yet interconnected as beauty, performativity, activism, and police brutality. Collectively, they attest to how trans people are frequently offered “doors”—entrances to visibility and recognition—that are actually “traps,” accommodating trans bodies and communities only insofar as they cooperate with dominant norms. The volume speculates about a third term, perhaps uniquely suited for our time: the trapdoor, neither entrance nor exit, but a secret passageway leading elsewhere. Trap Door begins a conversation that extends through and beyond trans culture, showing how these issues have relevance for anyone invested in the ethics of visual culture. 

    Contributors Lexi Adsit, Sara Ahmed, Nicole Archer, Kai Lumumba Barrow, Johanna Burton, micha cárdenas, Mel Y. Chen, Grace Dunham, Treva Ellison, Sydney Freeland, Che Gossett, Reina Gossett, Stamatina Gregory, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Robert Hamblin, Eva Hayward, Juliana Huxtable, Yve Laris Cohen, Abram J. Lewis, Heather Love, Park McArthur, CeCe McDonald, Toshio Meronek, Fred Moten, Tavia Nyong'o, Morgan M. Page, Roy Pérez, Dean Spade, Eric A. Stanley, Jeannine Tang, Wu Tsang, Jeanne Vaccaro, Chris E. Vargas, Geo Wyeth, Kalaniopua Young, Constantina Zavitsanos

    • Hardcover $49.95 £40.00
  • Public Servants

    Public Servants

    Art and the Crisis of the Common Good

    Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson, and Dominic Willsdon

    Essays, dialogues, and art projects that illuminate the changing role of art as it responds to radical economic, political, and global shifts.

    How should we understand the purpose of publicly engaged art in the twenty-first century, when the very term “public art” is largely insufficient to describe such practices?  Concepts such as “new genre public art,” “social practice,” or “socially engaged art” may imply a synergy between the role of art and the role of government in providing social services. Yet the arts and social services differ crucially in terms of their methods and metrics. Socially engaged artists need not be aligned (and may often be opposed) to the public sector and to institutionalized systems. In many countries, structures of democratic governance and public responsibility are shifting, eroding, and being remade in profound ways—driven by radical economic, political, and global forces. According to what terms and through what means can art engage with these changes? This volume gathers essays, dialogues, and art projects—some previously published and some newly commissioned—to illuminate the ways the arts shape and reshape a rapidly changing social and governmental landscape. An artist portfolio section presents original statements and projects by some of the key figures grappling with these ideas.

    • Hardcover $44.95 £38.00
  • CCS Readers: Perspectives on Art and Culture

    CCS Readers: Perspectives on Art and Culture

    Interiors

    Johanna Burton, Lynne Cooke, and Josiah McElheny

    Encounters with art engage various conditions of interiority—whether through psychic spaces or specific physical environments, such as museums and private residences. The exhibition “If you lived here, you'd be home by now,” presented at the Hessel Museum of Art, CCS Bard, in 2011, was the catalyst for the current volume, providing a paradigmatic case study for probing issues of the personal and subjective within realms of the sociological and the cultural. Through diverse discursive modes—commissioned essays, conversations and talks, historical writings, and artistic projects—this anthology, the first CCS Readers volume, examines the poetics and politics of interior experience within the frame of contemporary art.

    Contributors Anni Albers, Doug Ashford, Gaston Bachelard, Angelo Bellfatto, Nova Benway, Gregg Bordowitz, Johanna Burton, Theresa Choi, Beatriz Colomina, Lynne Cooke, Moyra Davey, Tom Eccles, Diana Fuss, Jennifer Gross, Elizabeth Grosz, Roni Horn, Jenny Jaskey, Susanne Küper, Elisabeth Lebovici, Nathan Lee, Zoe Leonard, Dorit Margreiter, Josiah McElheny, Helen Molesworth, Georges Perec, Juliane Rebentisch, David Reed, Lisa Robertson, Joel Sanders, Virginia Woolf, Amy Zion

    • Paperback $34.00
  • Cindy Sherman

    Cindy Sherman

    Johanna Burton

    Critical essays on Cindy Sherman and one of contemporary art's most innovative bodies of work.

    With her Untitled Film Stills of the 1970s, Cindy Sherman became one of the era's most important and influential artists. Since then, her metamorphosing self-portraits and appropriation of genres can be seen as a continuous investigation of representation and its complicated relationship to photography. Sherman and her work are often discussed in terms of postmodern theories and ideas that were coming to increasing prominence as her career began—feminism, subjectivity, mass media, new forms of mechanical reproduction, and even trauma, among others. Yet her refusal to acknowledge any of these themes as particular concerns raises questions about the relationships between the meanings projected upon a work of art and those produced by it. Cindy Sherman's art fascinates us in part because of its capacity to suggest—while at the same time slipping away from—so many possible readings. The discussions in these illustrated essays span Sherman's almost three-decade-long career, from her striking debut in the black-and-white Untitled Film Stills through her color photographs using back-projection, prosthetic body parts, and the ever-ingenuous modes of disguise and self-fashioning seen in such later series as Centerfolds, Fairy Tales, and Disasters. The essays—by such well-known critics as Douglas Crimp, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss—respond not only to Sherman's work but also to the arguments and postulations made about it, becoming part of the ongoing critical conversation about an artist of major significance.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $24.95 £20.00

Contributor

  • Saturation

    Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value

    C. Riley Snorton and Hentyle Yapp

    Essays, conversations, and artist portfolios confront questions at the intersection of race, institutional life, and representation.

    Controversies involving race and the art world are often discussed in terms of diversity and representation—as if having the right representative from a group or a larger plurality of embodied difference would absolve art institutions from historic forms of exclusion. This book offers another approach, taking into account not only questions of racial representation but also issues of structural change and the redistribution of resources. In essays, conversations, discussions, and artist portfolios, contributors confront in new ways questions at the intersection of art, race, and representation.

    The book uses saturation as an organizing concept, in part to suggest that current paradigms cannot encompass the complex realities of race. Saturation provides avenues to situate race as it relates to perception, science, aesthetics, the corporeal, and the sonic. In color theory, saturation is understood in terms of the degree to which a color differs from whiteness. In science, saturation points describe not only the moment in which race exceeds legibility, but also how diversity operates for institutions. Contributors consider how racialization, globalization, and the production and consumption of art converge in the art market, engaging such topics as racial capitalism, the aesthetics of colonialism, and disability cultures. They examine methods for theorizing race and representation, including “aboutness,” which interprets artworks by racialized subjects as being “about” race; modes of unruly, decolonized, and queer visual practices that resist disciplinary boundaries; and a model by which to think with and alongside blackness and indigeneity.

    Copublished with the New Museum

    • Hardcover $49.95 £40.00
  • Mass Effect

    Mass Effect

    Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century

    Lauren Cornell and Ed Halter

    Essays, discussions, and image portfolios map the evolution of art forms engaged with the Internet.

    Since the turn of the millennium, the Internet has evolved from what was merely a new medium to a true mass medium—with a deeper and wider cultural reach, greater opportunities for distribution and collaboration, and more complex corporate and political realities. Mapping a loosely chronological series of formative arguments, developments, and happenings, Mass Effect provides an essential guide to understanding the dynamic and ongoing relationship between art and new technologies.

    Mass Effect brings together nearly forty contributions, including newly commissioned essays and reprints, image portfolios, and transcribed discussion panels and lectures that offer insights and reflections from a wide range of artists, curators, art historians, and bloggers. Among the topics examined are the use of commercial platforms for art practice, what art means in an age of increasing surveillance, and questions surrounding such recent concepts as “postinternet.” Other contributions analyze and document particular works by the artists of And/Or Gallery, Cory Arcangel, DIS, Cao Fei, the Radical Software Group, and others.

    Mass Effect relaunches a publication series initiated by the MIT Press and the New Museum in 1984, which produced six defining volumes for the field of contemporary art. These new volumes will build on this historic partnership and reinvigorate the conversation around contemporary culture once again.

    Copublished with the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

    Important Notice: The digital edition of this book is missing some of the images found in the physical edition.

    Contributors Cory Arcangel, Karen Archey, Michael Bell-Smith, Claire Bishop, Dora Budor, Johanna Burton, Paul Chan, Ian Cheng, Michael Connor, Lauren Cornell, Petra Cortright, Jesse Darling, Anne de Vries, DIS, Aleksandra Domanović, Harm van den Dorpel, Dragan Espenschied, Rózsa Zita Farkas, Azin Feizabadi, Alexander R. Galloway, Boris Groys, Ed Halter, Alice Ming Wai Jim, Jogging, Caitlin Jones, David Joselit, Dina Kafafi, John Kelsey, Alex Kitnick, Tina Kukielski, Oliver Laric, Mark Leckey, David Levine, Olia Lialina, Guthrie Lonergan, Jordan Lord, Jens Maier-Rothe, Shawn Maximo, Jennifer McCoy, Kevin McCoy, Gene McHugh, Tom Moody, Ceci Moss, Katja Novitskova, Marisa Olson, Trevor Paglen, Seth Price, Alexander Provan, Morgan Quaintance, Domenico Quaranta, Raqs Media Collective, Alix Rule, Timur Si-Qin, Josephine Berry Slater, Paul Slocum, Rebecca Solnit, Wolfgang Staehle, Hito Steyerl, Martine Syms, Ben Vickers, Michael Wang, Tim Whidden, Anicka Yi, and Damon Zucconi

    • Hardcover $49.95 £40.00
  • Meaning Liam Gillick

    Meaning Liam Gillick

    Monika Szewczyk

    The first critical reader on one of today's most pivotal (and perplexing) contemporary artists.

    Liam Gillick emerged as part of the generation of “Young British Artists” who energized the British art scene in the 1980s and 1990s. He is now one of the most influential (and perplexing) artists in all of contemporary art. Gillick's discursive mode of art practice—often associated with “relational aesthetics”—complicates object production, embraces the exhibition as medium, and explores the social role and function of art. His body of work includes variations on “discussion platforms” (architectural structures that question or facilitate social interaction), text sculptures, and published texts that reflect on the increasing gap between utopian idealism and the real world. Artist, writer, curator, and provocateur, Gillick explores how an artistic practice can be conducted and represented, while at the same time questioning curatorial practice and the conventions of applied design. This reader coincides with a year-long, multi-venue, mid-career retrospective that serves both as a continuous investigation into Gillick's practice and an in-depth study of his work to date. The book offers a range of critical perspectives on Gillick's work. Among them: political scientist Chantall Mouffe develops her notion of radical democracy and antagonism; sociologist Maurizio Lazzarato (whose theorization of immaterial labor influenced Gillick) comments on the current economic crisis; philosopher and artist Benoît Maire links Gillick to continental philosophy; and Johanna Burton questions Gillick's practice in the context of feminist critique.ContributorsPeio Aguirre, Julieta Aranda, Johanna Burton, Nikolaus Hirsch, John Kelsey, Maurizio Lazzarato, Maria Lind, Sven Lütticken, Benoît Maire, Chantall Mouffe, Barbara Steiner, Marcus Verhagen

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • Appropriation

    Appropriation

    David Evans

    Important documents and appraisals of appropriation art from Duchamp's readymades to feminist and postcolonial critique.

    Scavenging, replicating, or remixing, many influential artists today reinvent a legacy of “stealing” images and forms from other makers. Among the diverse, often contestatory strategies included under the heading “appropriation” are the readymade, détournement, pastiche, rephotography, recombination, simulation and parody. Although appropropriation is often associated with the 1980s practice of such artists as Peter Halley, Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, and Cindy Sherman, as well as the critical discourse of postmodernism and the simulacral theory of Jean Baudrillard, appropriation's significance for art is not limited by that cultural and political moment. In an expanded art-historical frame, this book recontextualizes avant-garde photomontage, the Duchampian readymade, and the Pop image among such alternative precursors as Francis Picabia, Bertolt Brecht, Guy Debord, Akasegawa Genpei, Dan Graham, Cildo Meireles, and Martha Rosler. In the recent work of many artists, including Mike Kelley, Glenn Ligon, Pierre Huyghe, and Aleksandra Mir, among others, appropriation is central to their critique of the contemporary world and vision for alternative futures

    Artists surveyed include Akasegawa Genpei, Santiago Álvarez, Art Workers Coalition, Ross Bleckner, Marcel Broodthaers, Victor Burgin, Maurizio Cattelan, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Douglas Gordon, Johan Grimonprez, Peter Halley, Hank Herron, Pierre Huyghe, Mike Kelley, Idris Khan, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Steve McQueen, Alexandra Mir, Keith Piper, Richard Prince, Jorma Puranen, Cindy Sherman, John Stezaker, Retort, Martha Rosler, Philip Taaffe.

    Writers include Malek Alloula, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Nicolas Bourriaud, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Johanna Burton, Douglas Crimp, Thomas Crow, Guy Debord, Georges Didi-Huberman, Marcel Duchamp, Okwui Enwezor, Jean-Luc Godard, Isabelle Graw, Boris Groys, Raoul Hausmann, Sven Lütticken, Cildo Meireles, Kobena Mercer, Slobodan Mijuskovic, Laura Mulvey, Jo Spence, Elisabeth Sussman, Lisa Tickner, Reiko Tomii, Andy Warhol.

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Canvases and Careers Today

    Canvases and Careers Today

    Criticism and Its Markets

    Daniel Birnbaum and Isabelle Graw

    Canvases and Careers Today brings together contributions from the eponymous conference organized by the Institut für Kunstkritik, Frankfurt am Main. Its goal is to provide deeper insights and more complexity to current debates on the relationship between criticism, art, and the market.

    “It was especially interesting for us to watch a kind of transatlantic divide happening. While the US-American participants mostly declared criticism as obsolete while hoping for turning its weakness into a strength, most European participants departed from the opposite diagnosis: that criticism has never been as strong as it is today, since it is now part of a knowledge-based economy.”—Isabelle Graw/Daniel Birnbaum

    Contributors George Baker, Johanna Burton, Merlin Carpenter, Melanie Gilligan, Isabelle Graw, Tom Holert, Branden W. Joseph, John Kelsey, André Rottmann, Julia Voss

    Institut für Kunstkritik Series

    • Paperback $19.95