Łukasz Stanek: Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War (2020)

28 September 2020, dusan

“In the course of the Cold War, architects, planners, and construction companies from socialist Eastern Europe engaged in a vibrant collaboration with those in West Africa and the Middle East in order to bring modernization to the developing world. Architecture in Global Socialism shows how their collaboration reshaped five cities in the Global South: Accra, Lagos, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City.

Łukasz Stanek describes how local authorities and professionals in these cities drew on Soviet prefabrication systems, Hungarian and Polish planning methods, Yugoslav and Bulgarian construction materials, Romanian and East German standard designs, and manual laborers from across Eastern Europe. He explores how the socialist development path was adapted to tropical conditions in Ghana in the 1960s, and how Eastern European architectural traditions were given new life in 1970s Nigeria. He looks at how the differences between socialist foreign trade and the emerging global construction market were exploited in the Middle East in the closing decades of the Cold War. Stanek demonstrates how these and other practices of global cooperation by socialist countries—what he calls socialist worldmaking—left their enduring mark on urban landscapes in the postcolonial world.

Featuring an extensive collection of previously unpublished images, Architecture in Global Socialism draws on original archival research on four continents and a wealth of in-depth interviews. This incisive book presents a new understanding of global urbanization and its architecture through the lens of socialist internationalism, challenging long-held notions about modernization and development in the Global South.”

Publisher Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2020
ISBN 0691168709, 9780691168708
368 pages

Reviews: Gregor Harbusch (BauNetz, 2020), Alexander Adams (The Critic, 2020), Owen Hatherley (The Guardian, 2020).

Interview with author (Hilde Heynen & Sebastiaan Loosen, Architectural Histories, 2019)

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (55 MB)

Yates McKee: Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition (2016)

3 December 2019, dusan

“The collision of activism and contemporary art, from the Seattle protests to Occupy and beyond

What is the relation of art to the practice of radical politics today? Strike Art explores this question through the historical lens of Occupy, an event that had artists at its core. Precarious, indebted, and radicalized, artists redirected their creativity from servicing the artworld into an expanded field of organizing in order to construct of a new—if internally fraught—political imaginary set off against the common enemy of the 1%. In the process, they called the bluff of a contemporary art system torn between ideals of radical critique, on the one hand, and an increasing proximity to Wall Street on the other—oftentimes directly targeting major art institutions themselves as sites of action.

Tracking the work of groups including MTL, Not an Alternative, the Illuminator, the Rolling Jubilee, and G.U.L.F, Strike Art shows how Occupy ushered in a new era of artistically-oriented direct action that continues to ramify far beyond the initial act of occupation itself into ongoing struggles surrounding labor, debt, and climate justice, concluding with a consideration of the overlaps between such work and the aesthetic practices of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Art after Occupy, McKee suggests, contains great potentials of imagination and action for a renewed left project that are still only beginning to ripen, at once shaking up and taking flight from the art system as we know it.”

Publisher Verso Books, London and New York, 2016
ISBN 9781784781880, 1784781886
296 pages

Reviews: Marc James Léger (Marx & Philosophy, 2016), Philipp Kleinmichel (Radical Philosophy, 2018), Paloma Checa-Gismero (Field, 2016), John Ayscough (Visual Culture in Britain, 2017), Kristin Gecan (Chicago Review, 2016).
Discussion: Gregory Sholette, a.o. (e-flux supercommunity, 2016).
Book launch

Publisher
WorldCat

EPUB (6 MB)

If You Lived Here: The City in Art, Theory, and Social Activism: A Project by Martha Rosler (1991)

16 July 2016, dusan

“This volume 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. Through essays, photographs, symposiums, architectural plans and the reproduction of works from the series of exhibitions organized by Martha Rosler, the book serves a number of functions: it’s a practical manual for community organizing; a history of housing and homelessness in New York City and around the country; and an outline of what a humane housing policy might encompass for the American city.” (from the back cover)

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.

Edited by Brian Wallis
First published by Bay Press, Seattle, 1991
First New Press printing, 1999
Discussions in Contemporary Culture series, 6
ISBN 156584498X, 9781565844988
x+312 pages
via Dubravka

An archive project by the artist, 2009

Artist
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (75 MB)