Lane Relyea

Lane Relyea is Associate Professor and Chair of Art, Theory, and Practice at Northwestern University and the Editor-in-Chief of Art Journal. His essays and reviews have appeared in such journals as Artforum, Parkett, Frieze, Art in America, and Flash Art.

  • Your Everyday Art World

    Your Everyday Art World

    Lane Relyea

    A critic takes issue with the art world's romanticizing of networks and participatory projects, linking them to the values of a globalized, neoliberal economy.

    Over the past twenty years, the network has come to dominate the art world, affecting not just interaction among art professionals but the very makeup of the art object itself. The hierarchical and restrictive structure of the museum has been replaced by temporary projects scattered across the globe, staffed by free agents hired on short-term contracts, viewed by spectators defined by their predisposition to participate and make connections. In this book, Lane Relyea tries to make sense of these changes, describing a general organizational shift in the art world that affects not only material infrastructures but also conceptual categories and the construction of meaning.

    Examining art practice, exhibition strategies, art criticism, and graduate education, Relyea aligns the transformation of the art world with the advent of globalization and the neoliberal economy. He analyzes the new networked, participatory art world—hailed by some as inherently democratic—in terms of the pressures of part-time temp work in a service economy, the calculated stockpiling of business contacts, and the anxious duty of being a “team player” at work. Relyea calls attention to certain networked forms of art—including relational aesthetics, multiple or fictive artist identities, and bricolaged objects—that can be seen to oppose the values of neoliberalism rather than romanticizing and idealizing them. Relyea offers a powerful answer to the claim that the interlocking functions of the network—each act of communicating, of connecting, or practice—are without political content.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99

Contributor

  • America Starts Here

    America Starts Here

    Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler

    Ian Berry and Bill Arning

    Works by public art pioneers and collaborators Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, whose influential community-based interventions were marked by a poetic combination of conceptual and political ideas.

    During their decade-long collaboration (1985-1995), Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler produced some of the most influential conceptual art projects of the time. Among their witty and stimulating installations and outdoor projects was Camouflaged History, a house painted in a U.S. Army-designed camouflage pattern using 72 commercial paint colors included in the municipally-approved "authentic colors" of historic Charleston, South Carolina. The commercial name of each paint, commemorating an aspect of the city's history, is also painted on the house, revealing and illuminating the lingering Civil War-era past of the region. Like the Earthwork pioneers, Ericson and Ziegler took the whole country as their working space; but rather than impose a conspicuous work of art upon a site or situation, they devised projects that altered sites subtly, creating a patchwork of poetic narratives and histories to be excavated. The windows rescued from the old National Licorice factory in Philadelphia in the title piece America Starts Here—which takes its name from the slogan used to promote Pennsylvania tourism during the 1980s—are hung according to the location of the original windows in the factory; the cracks in the glass echo the famous cracks in two of Philadelphia's tourist attractions, the Liberty Bell and Marcel Duchamp's The Large Glass.

    Kate Ericson's death from cancer in 1995 at age 39 made the body of Ericson and Ziegler's collaborative work finite. America Starts Here offers a generous selection of Ericson and Ziegler's work, with much of it reproduced in color, and provides a critical analysis of the artists' still under-appreciated position in the history of twentieth-century art. It accompanies the first retrospective exhibition of Ericson and Ziegler's work.

    Copublished with The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College and List Visual Arts Center at MIT.

    • Hardcover $46.95 £38.00