Collectivism after Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945

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Overview

“Don’t start an art collective until you read this book.” —Guerrilla Girls

“Ever since Web 2.0 with its wikis, blogs and social networks the art of collaboration is back on the agenda. Collectivism after Modernism convincingly proves that art collectives did not stop after the proclaimed death of the historical avant-gardes. Like never before technology reinvents the social and artists claim the steering wheel!” —Geert Lovink, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam

“This examination of the succession of post-war avant-gardes and collectives is new, important, and engaged.”  — Stephen F. Eisenman, author of The Abu Ghraib Effect

Collectivism after Modernism crucially helps us understand what artists and others can do in mushy, stinky times like ours. What can the seemingly powerless do in the face of mighty forces that seem to have their act really together? Here, Stimson and Sholette put forth many good answers.” —Yes Men

Spanning the globe from Europe, Japan, and the United States to Africa, Cuba, and Mexico, Collectivism after Modernism explores the ways in which collectives function within cultural norms, social conventions, and corporate or state-sanctioned art. Together, these essays demonstrate that collectivism survives as an influential artistic practice despite the art world’s star system of individuality. Collectivism after Modernism provides the historical understanding necessary for thinking through postmodern collective practice, now and into the future.

Contributors: Irina Aristarkhova, Jesse Drew, Okwui Enwezor, Rubén Gallo, Chris Gilbert, Brian Holmes, Alan Moore, Jelena Stojanovi´c, Reiko Tomii, Rachel Weiss.

Blake Stimson is associate professor of art history at the University of California Davis, the author of The Pivot of the World: Photography and Its Nation, and coeditor of Visual Worlds and Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology.  Gregory Sholette is an artist, writer, and cofounder of collectives Political Art Documentation/Distribution and REPOhistory. He is coeditor of The Interventionists: Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life.

 

“To understand the various forms of postwar collectivism as historically determined phenomena and to articulate the possibilities for contemporary collectivist art production is the aim of Collectivism after Modernism. The essays assembled in this anthology argue that to make truly collective art means to reconsider the relation between art and public; examples from the Situationist International and Group Material to Paper Tiger Television and the Congolese collective Le Groupe Amos make the point. To construct an art of shared experience means to go beyond projecting what Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette call the “imagined community”: a collective has to be more than an ideal, and more than communal craft; it has to be a truly social enterprise. Not only does it use unconventional forms and media to communicate the issues and experiences usually excluded from artistic representation, but it gives voice to a multiplicity of perspectives. At its best it relies on the participation of the audience to actively contribute to the work, carrying forth the dialogue it inspires.” —BOMB

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816644612
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/2007
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Preface     xi
Introduction: Periodizing Collectivism   Blake Stimson   Gregory Sholette     1
Internationaleries: Collectivism, the Grotesque, and Cold War Functionalism   Jelena Stojanovic     17
After the "Descent to the Everyday": Japanese Collectivism from Hi Red Center to The Play, 1964-1973   Reiko Tomii     45
Art & Language and the Institutional Form in Anglo-American Collectivism   Chris Gilbert     77
The Collective Camcorder in Art and Activism   Jesse Drew     95
Performing Revolution: Arte Calle, Grupo Provisional, and the Response to the Cuban National Crisis, 1986-1989   Rachel Weiss     115
The Mexican Pentagon: Adventures in Collectivism during the 1970s   Ruben Gallo     165
Artists' Collectives: Focus on New York, 1975-2000   Alan W. Moore     193
Production of Social Space as Artwork: Protocols of Community in the Work of Le Groupe Amos and Huit Facettes   Okwui Enwezor     223
Beyond Representation and Affiliation: Collective Action in Post-Soviet Russia   Irina Aristarkhova     253
Do-It-Yourself Geopolitics: Cartographies of Art in the World   Brian Holmes     273
Contributors     295
Index     299
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