Art and activism

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Writings on socially engaged, political art and practice

Journals[edit]

  • ArtLeaks Gazette, 6+ nos., eds. Corina Apostol, Vladan Jeremić, Rena Rädle, a.o., Tallinn/Belgrade, May 2013-. A collective platform initiated by an international group of artists, curators, art historians and intellectuals in response to the abuse of their professional integrity and the open infraction of their labor rights.
  • Arts of the Working Class, 29+ nos., eds. María Inés Plaza Lazo, Pauł Sochacki, a.o., Berlin, Apr 2018-. A multi-lingual street journal on poverty and wealth, art and society. Published every two months and contains contributions by artists and thinkers from different fields. (multiple languages)
  • Chto delat / What is to be done?, 38+ nos., ed. Dmitry Vilensky, a.o., Aug 2003-. Newspaper on issues central to engaged culture, with a special focus on the relationship between a repoliticization of Russian intellectual culture and its broader international context. (Russian),(English)
  • FIELD: A Journal of Socially-Engaged Art Criticism, 25+ nos., ed. Grant Kester, Mar 2015-. "We are living through a singular cultural moment in which the conventional relationship between art and the social world, and between artist and viewer, is being questioned and renegotiated. FIELD responds to the remarkable proliferation of new artistic practices devoted to forms of political, social and cultural transformation." Commentary: Bolt 2015, Kester 2015.
  • Red Thread, 6+ nos., Istanbul: Depo İstanbul, 2009-. E-journal for social and cultural theory. Initiated by WHW (what, how and for whom) and Osman Kavala in 2009 as part of 11th Istanbul Biennial. (English)/(Turkish)
  • Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture, ed. Rasheed Araeen, a.o., Routledge, 1987-. [1]
  • transversal, 59+ nos, Vienna: eipcp – European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Nov 2000-. (multiple languages)
Past
  • Arkzin, 107 nos., eds. Vesna Janković, Dejan Kršić, a.o., Zagreb, 1991-1998, Log. Magazine for politics, culture, theory and art. (Croatian),(English)
  • Documents: A Magazine of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, 23 nos., eds. Miwon Kwon, Helen Molesworth, a.o., New York (later Los Angeles), 1992-2004. See also Kwon 2012, Molesworth & Zion 2012. WP.
  • Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics, 27 nos., New York: Heresies Collective, 1977-1993. The founding members of the Heresies Collective included Patsy Beckert, Joan Braderman, Mary Beth Edelson, Elizabeth Hess, Harmony Hammond, Joyce Kozloff, Arlene Ladden, Lucy Lippard, Mary Miss, Marty Pottenger, Miriam Schapiro, Joan Snyder, May Stevens, Michelle Stuart, Susana Torre, Elizabeth Weatherford, and Sally Webster.

Books, issues[edit]

See also publications on movements and tendencies such as Constructivism, Productivism, Situationist International, Feminist art, Institutional critique, Video activism, Cyberfeminism, Tactical media, Relational aesthetics, Decolonial aesthetics, Community servers, Shadow libraries.

1960s-1980s[edit]

  • Art Workers' Coalition, Open Hearing, New York, 1969, 142 pp. Collection of statements originally published in the wake of the first public meeting of the Art Workers’ Coalition, at the School of Visual Arts in New York on 10 April 1969. Contributing artists: Carl Andre, Architects’ Resistance, Robert Barry, Gregory Battcock, Jon Bauch, Ernst Benkert, Don Bernshouse, Gloria Greenberg Bressler, Selma Brody, Bruce Brown, Bob Carter, Frederick Castle, Rosemarie Castoro, Michael Chapman, Iris Crump, John Denmark, Joseph Di Donato, Mark Di Suvero, George Dworzan, Farman, Hollis Frampton, Dan Graham, Chuck Ginnever, Bill Gordy, Alex Gross, Hans Haacke, Clarence Hagin, Harvey, Gerry Herman, Frank Hewitt, D. Holmes, Robert Huot, Ken Jacobs, Joseph Kosuth, David Lee, Naomi Levine, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Tom Lloyd, Lee Lozano, Len Lye, James McDonald, Edwin Mieczkowski, Minority A, Vernita Nemec, Barnett Newman, John Perreault, Stephen Phillips, Lil Picard, Peter Pinchbeck, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Barbara Reise, Faith Ringgold, Steve Rosenthal, Theresa Schwarz, Seth Siegelaub, Gary Smith, Michael Snow, Anita Steckel, Carl Strueckland, Gene Swenson, Julius Tobias, Jean Toche, Ruth Vollmer, Iain Whitecross, Jay Wholly, Ann Wilson, and Wilbur Woods. JOOAP (2007). PI (2008). UbuWeb. Commentary: Dyment. [2]
  • Art Workers' Coalition, Documents 1, New York, 1969, 121 pp. Collection of correspondence, press, and ephemera surrounding the foundation and rise of the Art Worker’s Coalition (AWC), published at the height of the group’s activity in mid-1969. PI. UbuWeb.
  • Women Artists in Revolution, A Documentary HerStory of Women Artists in Revolution, New York: Women’s Media Center, 1971; 2nd ed., Pittsburgh: Women’s Interart Center, 1973, 88 pp; facs. repr. of 2nd ed., Brooklyn, NY: Primary Information, 2021. Active from 1969 to 1971, W.A.R. was founded as the women's caucus of the Art Workers' Coalition. Members of W.A.R. included Juliette Gordon, Sara Saporta, Therese Schwartz, Muriel Castanis, Cindy Nemser, Dolores Holmes, Betsy Jones, Silvia Goldsmith, Jan McDevitt, Lucy Lippard, Grace Glueck, Poppy Johnson, Brenda Miller, Faith Ringgold, Emily Genauer, Agnes C. Denes, Doloris O’Kane, and Jacqueline Skiles. Publisher. [3]
  • an anti-catalog, New York: Artists Meeting for Cultural Change, 1977, 80 pp. Protest agasint the Whitney Museum of American Art's bicentennial exhibition, which was titled Three Centuries of American Art. The Whitney show featured John D. Rockefeller III's collection of mainly eighteenth and nineteenth-century American art--a collection that featured only one African American and one woman artist. Written, designed, and produced by Rudolf Baranik, Sarina Bromberg, Sarah Charlesworth, Susanne Cohn, Carol Duncan, Shawn Gargagliano, Eunice Golden, Janet Koenig, Joseph Kosuth, Anthony McCall, Paul Pechter, Elaine Bendock Pelosini, Aaron Roseman, Larry Rosing, Ann Marie Rousseau, Alan Wallach, Walter Weissman.
  • Jon Hendricks, Jean Toche, GAAG: The Guerrilla Art Action Group, 1969-1976: A Selection, New York: Printed Matter, 1978.
  • Paul Von Blum, The Critical Vision: A History of Social and Political Art in the U.S., Boston, MA: South End Press, 1982, xviii+169 pp. Examines the development of the treatment of political and social issues in paintings, graphic arts, and documentary photographs ranging from the eighteenth century to the 1970s. Essay (1993).
  • Arlene Raven (ed.), Art in the Public Interest, Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1989, 373 pp; repr., New York: Da Capo Press, Aug 1993, vi+373 pp, IA. Essays divided into two sections: "Art in the Public Interest: New Public Art in the 1980s, and "Art in Public: Conflict and Questions Today". Contributors include Carol Becker, Linda Burnham, Suzanne Lacy, Lucy R. Lippard, Moira Roth, a.o. Review: Berman (JAE).
  • Sue Williamson, Resistance Art in South Africa, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989, 159 pp, IA; Cape Town: David Philip, 1989; repr., new pref., Cape Town: Double Storey Books, Oct 2004, 158 pp.

1990s[edit]

  • If You Lived Here: The City in Art, Theory, and Social Activism: A Project by Martha Rosler, ed. Brian Wallis, Seattle: Bay Press, and New York: Dia Art Foundation, 1991, 312 pp; repr., New York: New Press, 1999, x+312 pp. Documents the present crisis in American urban housing policies and portrays how artists within the context of neighborhood organizations, have fought against government neglect, shortsighted housing policies and unfettered real estate speculation. Essays, photographs, symposiums, architectural plans and the reproduction of works from the series of exhibitions organized by Martha Rosler. With contributions by Christine Benglia Bevington, Marie Annick Brown, Andrew Byard, Cenén, The Chinatown History Project, Clinton Coalition of Concern, Rosalyn Deutsche, Dan Graham and Robin Hurst, Alexander Kluge, The Mad Housers, Tony Masso, The Nation, Richard Plunz, William Price, Yvonne Rainer, Mel Rosenthal, Allan Sekula, Camilo José Vergara, and Dan Wiley.
  • Carol Becker (ed.), The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility, New York: Routledge, Jun 1994, xx+258 pp, IA. Contributors: Kathy Acker, Carol Becker, Page duBois, Michael Eric Dyson, Felipe Ehrenberg, Elizam Escobar, Coco Fusco, Henry A. Giroux, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Eva Hauser, Evva Kuryluk, Njabulo S. Ndebele, B. Ruby Rich, Martha Rosler, and Ahmad Sadri. Publisher, [6]. Editor. Reviews: Fisher (JAAC), Kowalski (Humanity & Society).
  • Suzanne Lacy (ed.), Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, Seattle: Bay Press, Nov 1994, 296 pp. "Departing from the traditional definition of public art as sculpture in parks and plazas, new genre public art brings artists into direct engagement with audiences to deal with the compelling issues of our time. This is the first definitive collection of writings on the subject by critics, artists, and curators who are pioneers in the field. Includes essays by Judith Baca, Estella Conwill Májozo, Suzi Gablik, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Mary Jane Jacob, Allan Kaprow, Jeff Kelley, Lucy Lippard, Patricia C. Phillips, and Arlene Raven." Editor. Reviews: Green (Art J), Gold Calo (Public Art Dialogue), Kirkus. Commentary: Smith (Afterall).
  • George McKay, Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance since the Sixties, London: Verso, Jun 1996. Publisher. Reviews: Aufheben, Curtis (Body & Society).
  • Rosalyn Deutsche, Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics, MIT Press, Dec 1996, xxiv+394 pp. Examines how aesthetic and urban ideologies were combined during the last decade to legitimize urban redevelopment programs that claimed to be beneficial to all, yet in reality tried to expunge traditional working classes from the city.
  • Grant H. Kester (ed.), Art, Activism and Oppositionality: Essays from Afterimage, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, Mar 1998, 328 pp, IA. Sixteen essays on activist and community-based art from the pages of Afterimage, spanning fifteen years—roughly from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential win to the 1994 Republican victories in Congress, a period marked by waning public support for the arts and growing antagonism toward activist art. Contributors: Maurice Berger, Richard Bolton, Ann Cvetkovich, Coco Fusco, Brian Goldfarb, Mable Haddock, Grant H. Kester, Ioannis Mookas, Chiquita Mullins Lee, Darrell Moore, Lorraine O’Grady, Michael Renov, Martha Rosler, Patricia Thomson, David Trend, Charles A. Wright Jr., Patricia R. Zimmerman. TOC. Introduction (draft). Publisher. [7]
  • Francis Frascina, Art, Politics and Dissent: Aspects of the Art Left in Sixties America, Manchester: Manchester University Press, Dec 1999, 256 pp, IA. Excerpt. Publisher.

2000s[edit]

  • Agenda. Perspektiven kritischer Kunst, ed. Christian Kravagna, Vienna: Wiener Secession, and Folio, Mar 2000, 202 pp. Contributions to the lecture series "Agenda" at the Vienna Secession, 1997. (German)
  • Beth Anne Handler, The Art of Activism: Artists and Writers Protest, the Art Workers' Coalition, and the New York Art Strike Protest the Vietnam War, Yale University, 2001. PhD dissertation.
  • Borderline: Strategien und Taktiken für Kunst und soziale Praxis, ed. AG Borderline-Kongress, Wiesbaden, 2002, 328 pp. [8] [9] [10] (German)
  • Politik-um / New Engagement, Prague: Nadace pro současné umění, 2002. Catalogue for annual exh. of SCCA Prague, 15 May-10 Jun 2002; curated by Ludvík Hlaváček and Keiko Sei. [12] (Czech)/(English)
  • Holger Kube Ventura, Politische Kunst-Begriffe. In den 1990er Jahren im deutschsprachigen Raum, Vienna: Selene, 2002, 349 pp. Based on PhD thesis (Kassel U, 2001). Reviews: Klix (ArtHist.net), Probst (Kunstforum). (German)
  • Marina Gržinić, Situated Contemporary Art Practices: Art, Theory and Activism from (the East of) Europe, Ljubljana: ZRC, and Frankfurt am Main: Revolver, 2004, 155 pp. A collection of revised recent texts, published in international magazines and anthologies. Discusses art projects by IRWIN, Tanja Ostojic, Emil Hrvatin, Laibach, Dragan Zivadinov, Ilya Kabakov, Oliver Ressler, Aurora Reinhardt, Walid Ra’ad, a.o. TOC. Publisher. Book launch. [13]
  • Grant H. Kester, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, Aug 2004, 239 pp, IA; new ed., upd., Apr 2013, 264 pp, IA. Discusses a disparate network of artists and collectives—including The Art of Change, Helen and Newton Harrison, Littoral, Suzanne Lacy, Stephen Willats, and WochenKlausur—united by a desire to create new forms of understanding through creative dialogue that crosses boundaries of race, religion, and culture. Traces the origins of these works in the conceptual art and feminist performance art of the 1960s and 1970s and draws from the writings of Mikhail Bakhtin, Jürgen Habermas, and others as he explores the ways in which these artists corroborate and challenge many of the key principles of avant-garde art and art theory. Publisher. Reviews: Dahlberg (Leonardo), Schrank (Public Hist), Pollard [14]
  • Blake Stimson, Gregory Sholette (eds.), Collectivism after Modernism: Art and Social Imagination after 1945, University of Minnesota Press, Feb 2007, xvii+312 pp. Explores the ways in which collectives function within cultural norms, social conventions, and corporate or state-sanctioned art. Contributors: Irina Aristarkhova, Jesse Drew, Okwui Enwezor, Rubén Gallo, Chris Gilbert, Brian Holmes, Alan Moore, Jelena Stojanovic, Reiko Tomii, Rachel Weiss. Review: Petruniak (CAA).
  • Will Bradley, Charles Esche (eds.), Art and Social Change: A Critical Reader, London: Tate Publishing, and Afterall, 2007, 479 pp. Gathers an international selection of artists’ proposals, manifestos, theoretical texts and public declarations that focus on the question of political engagement and the possibility of social change. Publisher. Exh. Forms of Resistance: Artists and the desire for social change from 1871 to the present held at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 22 Sep 2007-6 Jan 2008. Exh. reviews: Foster (Artforum), Lütticken (Texte zur Kunst). Commentary: Deseriis & Holmes (Mute). [17]
  • Elizabeth Chodos (ed.), Talking With Your Mouth Full: New Language for Socially Engaged Art, Chicago, IL: The Green Lantern Press, 2008, 74 pp. Essays by Lori Waxman, Claire Pentecost, and Carrie Lambert-Beatty.
  • Gregory Sholette, Radical Social Production and the Missing Mass of the Contemporary Art World, London: Pluto Press, 2009. Examines the “social production” of art and the transition from “modernity” to contemporary culture.

2010s[edit]

  • Jacques Rancière, Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics, ed. & trans. Steven Corcoran, London/New York: Continuum, Jan 2010, vi+230 pp. Selected texts. Publisher.
    • Disenso: ensayos sobre estética y política, Ciudad de México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2019, 275 pp. (Spanish)
  • Susan Noyes Platt, Art and Politics Now: Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis, New York, NY: Midmarch Arts Press, Mar 2011, xxiii+311 pp. Author, TOC. Review: Kane (AMCA).
  • Alan W. Moore, Art Gangs: Protest and Counterculture in New York City, Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, May 2011, vii+185 pp. Blog. Street-level history of artists’ groups and collective activity by artists in New York from 1969 to 1985. Publisher. Review: Battista (Art M).
  • Grant H. Kester, The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context, Duke University Press, Sep 2011, 320 pp, IA. Provides an overview of the broader continuum of collaborative and collective art, ranging from the work of artists and groups widely celebrated in the mainstream art world, such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Superflex, Francis Alÿs, and Santiago Sierra, to the less-publicized projects of groups, such as Park Fiction in Hamburg, Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts in Myanmar, Ala Plastica in Argentina, Huit Facettes in Senegal, and Dialogue in central India. Publisher.
  • Camera Austria International 117: "What Can Art Do for Real Politics?", eds. Artur Żmijewski and Joanna Warsza, Graz: Camera Austria, Mar 2012. Publisher, TOC. [24] (English)/(German)
  • Forget Fear. 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Reader, eds. Joanna Warsza and Artur Zmijewski, Cologne: Walther Koenig, 2012, 416 pp. Exh. held in Berlin, 27 Apr-1 Jul 2012. Publisher. [25] [26]
  • Bevidsthedsudvidelse og verdensomlægning. Kunsten som revolutionens selvkritik, Copenhagen: Nebula, 2012, 204 pp. philosophers, art theorists, activists and artists analyse and discuss the relationship between artistic practice and political commitment. The starting point is Mikkel Bolt's En anden verden, which charts the intense struggles of the past 30 years between neoliberal counter-revolution on the one hand and anti-capitalist artistic and activist protests on the other. [27] (Danish)
  • Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, London: Verso, Jul 2012, 390 pp. A historical and theoretical overview of socially engaged participatory art, known in the US as “social practice.” Discusses Futurism and Dada; the Situationist International; Happenings in Eastern Europe, Argentina and Paris; the 1970s Community Arts Movement; the Artists Placement Group; as well as long-term educational projects by contemporary artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tania Bruguera, Paweł Althamer and Paul Chan.
  • Gregory Sholette, Oliver Ressler (eds.), It's the Political Economy, Stupid: The Global Financial Crisis in Art and Theory, London: Pluto Press, Feb 2013, 192 pp. Exh. catalogue. [28]. Exhibition. Reviews: Patrick (Art Monthly), Powhida (Hyperallergic).
  • Rachel Schreiber (ed.), Modern Print Activism in the United States, Routledge, Apr 2013, 270 pp. Introduction. Publisher, [29].
  • Tatiana Bazzichelli, Geoff Cox (eds.), Disrupting Business: Art & Activism in Times of Financial Crisis, New York: Autonomedia, Oct 2013, 232 pp. Contributors: Saul Albert, Christian Ulrik Andersen, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Heath Bunting, Paolo Cirio, Baruch Gottlieb, Brian Holmes, Geert Lovink, Dmytri Kleiner, Georgios Papadopolous, Søren Bro Pold, Oliver Ressler, Kate Rich, René Ridgway, Guido Segni, Stevphen Shukaitis, Nathaniel Tkacz, and Marina Vishmidt.
  • Filip Pospíšil (ed.), Umění protestu, Prague: Rubato, Dec 2013, 184 pp. Publisher. (Czech)
  • Anthony Downey, Art and Politics Now, London: Thames & Hudson, Oct 2014, 240 pp. A survey of more than 200 contemporary artists whose works address the political. Introduction. Publisher. Author. Reviews: Roberts (Oxford Art J), Sumpter (ArtReview).
  • Catherine Flood, Gavin Grindon (eds.), Disobedient Objects, London: V&A Publishing, 2014, 144 pp. Explores the material culture of radical change and protest – from objects familiar to many, such as banners or posters, to the more militant, cunning or technologically cutting-edge, including lock-ons, book-blocs and activist robots. Focusing on social movements since 1980. Essays by Mark Traugott, Anna Feigenbaum, Francesco Raparelli, David Graeber, Nicholas Thoburn, and Ana Longoni.
  • Manif d'art 7: Résistance: et puis, nous avons construit de nouvelles formes / Resistance: And then, We Built New Forms, ed. Marc James Léger, Québec: Manif d’art, 2014, 239 pp. Exh. catalogue. Publisher. Reviews: Paré (espace), Leblanc (Ciel variable). (French)/(English)
  • Lena Jonson, Art and Protest in Putin’s Russia, London: Routledge, Feb 2015, 399 pp. Publisher. Review: Gerner (Baltic Worlds).
  • Art Workers: Material Conditions and Labour Struggles in Contemporary Art Practice, eds. Minna Henriksson, Erik Krikortz, and Airi Triisberg, Stockholm: Konst-ig, Mar 2015, 232 pp. Presents case studies from the local art contexts of Estonia, Finland and Sweden, collects artist-testimonies, discusses activist practices and maps out contemporary and historical forms of organising within the international art field. Contributions by Corina L. Apostol, Michael Baers, Fokus Grupa, Minna Heikinaho, Vladan Jeremić, Elina Juopperi, Jussi Kivi, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Jussi Koitela, Raakel Kuukka, Marge Monko, Zoran Popović, Precarious Workers Brigade, Taaniel Raudsepp & Sigrid Viir, Krisdy Shindler, Tereza Stejskalová, Lotta Tenhunen.
  • Anthony Gardner, Politically Unbecoming: Postsocialist Art against Democracy, MIT Press, Mar 2015, 337 pp. Examines work from the 1980s to the 2000s by artists who have challenged democracy as the defining political, critical, and aesthetic frame for their work. Based on PhD thesis from U New South Wales (2008). Publisher. Reviews: Roberts (Oxford Art J), Hughes (Australian & NZ J Art), Beech (J Contemp CEE), Platt (Common Knowledge), Millar (Art Monthly).
  • Nato Thompson, Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century, Brooklyn, NY: Melville House, Aug 2015, ix+165 pp, ARG, IA. Publisher. Reviews: Léger (Afterimage), Gavin (Brooklyn Rail), Aldouri (Field), Bruggeman (Community Change).
    • İktidarı görmek: 21. yüzyılda sanat ve aktivizm, trans. Erden Kosova, Istanbul: Koç Üniversitesi, 2018, 161 pp. (Turkish)
    • Guan kan quan li de fang shi: gai bian she hui de 21 shi ji yi shu xing dong zhi nan [觀看權力的方式: 改變社會的21世紀藝術行動指南], trans. Jiaxin Zhou (周佳欣), Taipei: Xing ren wen hua shi yan shi, 2021, 231 pp. (Chinese)
  • Alan Moore, Alan Smart (eds.), Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces, Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, and Other Forms, Oct 2015, 355 pp. An anthology of voices from the post-1968 squatting movement in Europe and beyond. It focuses on creative production and cultural innovation driven by squats.
  • Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson, Dominic Willsdon (eds.), Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good, forew. Lisa Phillips, MIT Press, Nov 2016, 544 pp. Publisher. Reviews: Brody (Public Art Dialogue), Millar (Art Monthly).
  • Sven Lütticken, Cultural Revolution: Aesthetic Practice after Autonomy, Berlin: Sternberg Press, Mar 2017, 184 pp. Publisher. Book launch. Review: Elsaesser (Artforum). [34]
  • Elisabeth Lebovici, Ce que le sida m'a fait – Art et activisme à la fin du XXe siècle, Dijon: Les presses du réel, and Paris: Fondation Antoine de Galbert, May 2017, 360 pp; 2nd ed., new postf. & chronology, 2021. Discusses a variety of artists, protest organizations, artworks, and direct actions: ACT UP, “phone trees”, Richard Baquié, Gregg Bordowitz, Alain Buffard, Douglas Crimp, “political burials”, General Idea, Nan Goldin, Félix González-Torres, Gran Fury, L'Hiver de l'amour, Roni Horn, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Zoe Leonard, Mark Morrisroe, William Ollander, “The Patchwork of Names”, The Real Estate Show, Lionel Soukaz, Philippe Thomas, Georges Tony Stoll, Paul Vecchiali, David Wojnarowicz, Dana Wyse, zaps, a.o. (French)
  • Izabel Galliera, Socially Engaged Art After Socialism: Art and Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe, I.B. Tauris, May 2017. Reclaiming public life from the ideologies of both communist regimes and neoliberalism, their projects have harnessed the politically subversive potential of social relations based on trust, reciprocity and solidarity. Drawing on archival material and exclusive interviews, this book traces the development of socially engaged art from the early 1990s to the present in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.
  • Kareem Estefan, Carin Kuoni, Laura Raicovich (eds.), Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production, New York: OR Books, Jun 2017, 276 pp. Explores boycott and divestment as essential tools for activists around the globe. Essays by Nasser Abourahme, Ariella Azoulay, Tania Bruguera, Noura Erakat, Kareem Estefan, Mariam Ghani with Haig Aivazian, Nathan Gray and Ahmet Öğüt, Chelsea Haines, Sean Jacobs, Yazan Khalili, Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich, Svetlana Mintcheva, Naeem Mohaiemen, Hlonipha Mokoena, John Peffer, Joshua Simon, Ann Laura Stoler, Radhika Subramaniam, Eyal Weizman and Kareem Estefan, and Frank B. Wilderson III. Book launch. Publisher.
  • Bill Kelley Jr., Grant H. Kester (eds.), Collective Situations: Readings in Contemporary Latin American Art, 1995-2010, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, Nov 2017, 456 pp. Scholars, artists, and art collectives present a range of socially engaged art practices that emerged in Latin America during the Pink Tide period, between 1995 and 2010. Contributors: Gavin Adams, Mariola Alvarez, Gustavo Buntinx, Fabian Cerejido, Kency Cornejo, Daniel Correia Ferreira Lima, Raquel de Anda, Ricardo Dominguez, María Fernanda Cartegena, Jose Figueroa, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, David Gutierrez Castaneda, Suzanne Lacy, Interdisciplinario La Linea, Ana Longoni, Rodrigo Marti, Elize Mazadiego, Alberto Muenala, Prerana Reddy, Marina Reyes Franco, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Federico Zukerfeld, Pilar Riaño-Alcalá. Publisher. Reviews: Montgomery (CAA), Zilberg (Leonardo).
  • Justin Jesty, Art and Engagement in Early Postwar Japan, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, Sep 2018, 336 pp. Centers on a group of social realists on the radical left who hoped to wed their art with anti-capitalist and anti-war activism, a liberal art education movement whose focus on the child inspired innovation in documentary film, and a regional avant-garde group split between ambition and local loyalty. Publisher.
  • kollektiv orangotango+ (ed.), This Is Not an Atlas: A Global Collection of Counter-Cartographies, Bielefeld: transcript (Cultural Geography), Sep 2018, 346 pp. Gathers more than 40 counter-cartographies from all over the world. Shows how maps are created and transformed as a part of political struggle, for critical research or in art and education: from indigenous territories in the Amazon to the anti-eviction movement in San Francisco; from defending commons in Mexico to mapping refugee camps with balloons in Lebanon; from slums in Nairobi to squats in Berlin; from supporting communities in the Philippines to reporting sexual harassment in Cairo. Project website.
  • Eric J. Schruers, Kristina Olson (eds.), Social Practice Art in Turbulent Times: The Revolution Will Be Live, Routledge, Jul 2019, 256 pp, Publisher, [42].
  • Karen van den Berg, Cara M. Jordan, Philipp Kleinmichel (eds.), The Art of Direct Action: Social Sculpture and Beyond, Berlin: Sternberg Press, Jul 2019, 308 pp. Publisher. Review: Checa-Gismero (Field).

2020s[edit]

  • Katy Deepwell (ed.), Feminist Art Activisms and Artivisms, Amsterdam: Valiz, Spring 2020, 448 pp. Publisher.
  • Let the River Flow. An Indigenous Uprising and its Legacy in Art, Ecology and Politics, eds. Katya García-Antón, Harald Gaski, and Gunvor Guttorm, Oslo: Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), and Amsterdam: Valiz, Nov 2020, 296 pp. Contributors: Sebastián Calfuqueo Aliste, Matti Aikio, Ivar Bjørklund, Mari Boine, Daniela Catrileo, Carolina Caycedo, Raven Chacon, Eva Maria Fjellheim, Katya García-Antón, Harald Gaski, Gunvor Guttorm, Aslak Holmberg, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Sofia Jannok, Rauna Kuokkanen, Wanda Nanibush, Beaska Niillas, Synnøve Persen, Katarina Pirak Sikku, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Niillas A. Somby, Paulus Utsi, Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, Magne Ove Varsi. Publisher. Publisher.
  • Carin Kuoni, Jordi Baltà Portolés, Nora N. Khan, Serubiri Moses (eds.), Forces of Art: Perspective from a Changing World, Amsterdam: Valiz, Nov 2020, 456 pp. Publisher. Review: Gruber (Artalk).
  • Jeanne van Heeswijk, Maria Hlavajova, Rachael Rakes (eds.), Toward the Not-Yet: Art as Public Practice, MIT Press, and Utrecht: BAK, Nov 2021, 224 pp. Publisher.
  • Rena Rädle, Adela Demetja (eds.), Art Within Political Struggles. Solidary Artistic Practice at the Periphery: Tirana, Skopje / Arti përbrenda betejave politike. Praktika artistike solidare në periferi: Tirana, Shkupi, Tirana: Tirana Art Lab - Center for Contemporary Art, Dec 2021, 210 pp. Reflections by Adela Demetja, Ivana Vaseva, Rena Rädle and Valentina Bonizzi on their socially engaged artistic and curatorial practice in Albania and North Macedonia. Publisher. Editor, [51]. (English)/(Albanian)
  • Lisa Gaupp, Alenka Barber-Kersovan, Volker Kirchberg (eds.), Arts and Power: Policies in and by the Arts, Wiesbaden: Springer, Sep 2022, x+358 pp. Publisher.
  • Meiqin Wang (ed.), Socially Engaged Public Art in East Asia: Space, Place, and Community in Action, Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, Jun 2022. Excerpt. Publisher. Review: Liu (IIAS).
  • Katya García-Antón (ed.), Art and Solidarity Reader: Radical Actions, Politics and Friendships, Oslo: Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), and Amsterdam: Valiz, Aug 2022, 384 pp. Contributions by Reem Abbas, Toufoul Abou-Hodeib, Noor Abuarafeh, Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil, Ali Hussein Al-Adawy, Salvador Allende, Beth Brant, Wendy Carrig, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Emory Douglas, Ntone Edjabe, Ingrid Fadnes, Eva Maria Fjellheim, Katya García-Antón, Soledad García Saavedra, Gavin Jantjes, Shoili Kanungo, Geeta Kapur, Lara Khaldi, Ixchel León, Audre Lorde, Chelsea Manning, Olivier Marboeuf, Barbara Masekela, Naeem Mohaiemen, Mário Pedrosa, Ram Rahman, Laura Raicovich, farid rakun/ruangrupa, Aban Raza, Devika Singh, Irene Soria Guzmán, Kwanele Sosibo, Eszter Szakács, Dulce Celina Ureña Hernández, Alice Walker. Publisher. Publisher. Review: Bhullar (Third Text). Launch event. [52]
  • Gregory Sholette, The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art, Lund Humphries, Sep 2022, 176 pp. Publisher.
  • Sven Lütticken (ed.), Art and Autonomy: A Critical Reader, Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, and London: Afterall Books, Sep 2022, 424 pp. TOC. Publisher. Review: Boidy (Critique d'art).
  • Preparing to Exit: Art, Interventionism and the 1990s, ed. L'Internationale Online, forew. Nick Aikens and David Crowley, L'Internationale Online, Dec 2022, 203 pp, HTML. Six case studies of activities on the border between artistic practice and activism, sometimes operating as para-institutional organisations, presenting different motivations, forms and strategies for the possibility of ‘preparing to exit’ colonialist-capitalist state structures. Contributors: Nick Aikens, David Crowley, Clémentine Deliss, Fernanda Laguna, Asja Mandić, Leónidas Martín, Alessandra Pomarico, Seda Yıldız. Publisher. Announcement.
  • Fiona Geuß, Das dialogische Kunstwerk: Gesprächsformate in der Kunst nach 1968: Art Workers Coalition, Group Material, New Genre Public Art, Bielefeld: transcript, May 2023, 246 pp. Based on PhD thesis (Freie U, Berlin, 2019). Publisher, [54], [55]. (German)
  • Dorota Sajewska, Małgorzata Sugiera (eds.), Crisis and Communitas: Performative Concepts of Commonality in Arts and Politics, London: Routledge, May 2023, 304 pp. Publisher, [56]
  • Protestbereitschaft Zeitgenössischer Aktivismus zwischen Haltung und Stil, Berlin: SHIFT BOOKS, Berlin, Oct 2023, 176 pp. Exhibition. [57] (German)
  • Afonso Dias Ramos, Tom Snow (eds.), Activism, MIT Press, Oct 2023, 240 pp. Addresses an extraordinary moment in debates over the institutional frameworks and networks of art including large-scale direct actions, as well as a radical rethinking of art venues and urban spaces according to racial, class, or gender-based disparities, including demonstrations against the extractive and exploitative practices of neoliberal accumulation and climate catastrophe. Artists surveyed include: ACT UP, Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Allora & Calzadilla, Tania Bruguera, Black Audio Film Collective, Chto Delat, Andrea Fraser, Nan Goldin, Sanja Iveković, Gulf Labor, Amar Kanwar, Leslie Labowitz, Liberate Tate, Sethembile Msezane, Zanele Muholi, Jan Nikolai Nelles & Nora Al-Badri, Decolonize This Place, Michael Rakowitz, Oliver Ressler. Writers include: Dave Beech, Judith Butler, Amílcar Cabral, Elias Canetti, Douglas Crimp, Jodi Dean, Gilles Deleuze, T.J. Demos, Nina Dubrovsky, Süreyyya Evren, Catherine Flood, Matthew Fuller, David Graeber, Gavin Grindon, Félix Guattari, Brian Holmes, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Lucy Lippard, Yates McKee, MTL Collective, Gregory Sholette, Françoise Vergès, Peter Weiss, Eyal Weizman. Publisher.
  • Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK, 1970-1990, ed. Linsey Young, London: Tate Publishing, Nov 2023, 304 pp. Exh. held at Tate Britain, London, 8 Nov 2023-7 Apr 2024. Exh. guide. Exh. reviews: Williamson (Studio Int'l), Searle (Guardian), Cumming (Observer), Kellaway (Anticap Resist).
  • Sven Spieker, Art and Demonstration: A Revolutionary Recasting of Knowledge, MIT Press, Feb 2024. Publisher, [59].


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