Jonas Staal: Propaganda Art in the 21st Century (2019)

24 February 2021, dusan

“Propaganda art—whether a depiction of joyous workers in the style of socialist realism or a film directed by Steve Bannon—delivers a message. But, as Jonas Staal argues, propaganda does not merely make a political point; it aims to construct reality itself. Political regimes have shaped our world according to their interests and ideology; today, popular mass movements push back by constructing other worlds with their own propagandas.

Staal shows that propaganda is not a relic of a totalitarian past but occurs today even in liberal democracies. He considers different historical forms of propaganda art, from avant-garde to totalitarian and modernist, and he investigates the us versus them dichotomy promoted in War on Terror propaganda art—describing, among other things, a fictional scenario from the Department of Homeland Security, acted out in real time, and military training via videogame. He discusses artistic and cultural productions developed by such popular mass movements of the twenty-first century as the Occupy, activism by and in support of undocumented migrants and refugees, and struggles for liberation in such countries as Mali and Syria.

Staal proposes a new model of emancipatory propaganda art—one that acknowledges the relation between art and power and takes both an aesthetic and a political position in the practice of world-making.”

Publisher MIT Press, September 2019
ISBN 9780262042802, 0262042800
230 pages

Interview with author: Pierre d’Alancaisez (New Books Network, 2021, podcast).

Reviews: Christoph Chwatal (Third Text, 2020), Hailey Maxwell (The Drouth, 2020), Joerg Bader (Critique d’art, 2019, FR).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (12 MB)

Artists & Agents: Performance Art and Secret Services (2019)

14 February 2021, dusan

Artists & Agents puts the spotlight on a neglected aspect of performance art from the 1960s to the 1990s: the interaction between secret services and performance art – an art form which the secret service agencies of communist Eastern European countries considered especially dangerous. Eastern Europe is one of the few places where archival records have been made public, and they reveal how these agencies acted to “undermine” and “eliminate” dissident artists. To achieve this objective, however, the agents themselves sometimes had to become “performance artists.”

Building on in-depth research into the archival records of secret services in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Germany, this publication shines a light on the files which the secret services of these countries kept about such artists. It showcases instances of artistic subversion and agent infiltration, some of which have not been disclosed before, while more recent works demonstrate that the issue of ramping up intelligence gathering operations in politics and everyday life is highly topical. This catalogue includes an introduction, a glossary explaining secret service terminology, entries on the relevant works of art, and background information on all of the files presented.”

Edited by Inke Arns, Kata Krasznahorkai, Sylvia Sasse, and HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstverein)
Publisher Kettler, Dortmund, 2019
Open access
ISBN 9783862068395, 3862068390
224 pages

Interview with curators: Map (2021, DE).
Exh. review: Georg Imdahl (FAZ, 2019, DE).

Exhibition
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (11 MB)

Adam Pendleton: Black Dada: What Can Black Dada Do for Me Do for Me Black Dada, a Reader (2017)

17 December 2020, dusan

Black Dada Reader is a collection of texts and documents that elucidates “Black Dada,” a term that acclaimed New York–based artist Adam Pendleton (born 1984) uses to define his artistic output. The Reader brings a diverse range of cultural figures into a shared conceptual space, including Hugo Ball, W.E.B. Du Bois, Stokely Carmichael, LeRoi Jones, Sun Ra, Adrian Piper, Joan Retallack, Harryette Mullen, Ron Silliman and Gertrude Stein, as well as artists from different generations such as Ad Reinhardt, Joan Jonas, William Pope.L, Thomas Hirschhorn and Stan Douglas. The Reader also includes essays on the concept of Black Dada and its historical implications from curators and critics including Adrienne Edwards (Walker Arts Center / Performa), Laura Hoptman (MoMA), Tom McDonough (Binghamton), Jenny Schlenzka (PS122) and Susan Thompson (Guggenheim).”

Edited by Stephen Squibb
Publisher Koenig Books, London, 2017
ISBN 9783960981053, 3960981058
331 pages
via tilda

Interviews with author: Jess Wilcox (Art in America, 2009), Karlynne Ejercito (Artforum, 2016), Awa Konaté (Third Text, 2020).

Reviews: Yaniya Lee (Flash Art, 2017), Terence Trouillot (ArtNet, 2017), Robin Pogrebin (New York Times, 2018).

WorldCat

PDF (64 MB)