solomon-godeau in Adema & Hall 2013

€˜Bookworks for the ’90s’, Afterimage, 25, 6, May/June (1998).
Stefan Klima, Artists Books: A Critical Survey of the Literature, Granary Books, New
York, 1998, pp54-60.
Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books, p78.


Following Abigail Solomon-Godeau, this process of commercialisation and
incorporation – or, as she calls it, ‘the near-total assimilation’ of art practice
(Solomon-Godeau focuses specifically on postmodern photography) and critique into
the discourses it professed to challenge – can be positioned as part of a general
tendency in conceptual and postmodern ‘critical art practices’. It is a development that
can be connected to the changing art markets of the time and viewed in terms of a
broader social and cultural shift to Reaganomics. For Solomon-Godeau, however, the
problem lay not only in changes to the art market, but in critical art practices and art
critique too, which in many ways were not robust enough to keep on reinventing
themselves. Nonetheless, even if they have become incorporated into the art market
and the commodity system, Solomon-Godeau argues that it is still possible for art
practices and institutional critiques to develop some (new) forms of sustainable
challenge from within these systems. As far as she is concerned, ‘a position of
resistance can never be established once and f

publishing seem to resemble those charted above with respect to the
artist’s book. As was the case with the publishing of artists’ books, digital publishing
has provided interested parties with an opportunity to counter the existing

Abigail Solomon-Godeau, ‘Living with Contradictions: Critical Practices in the Age of
Supply-Side Aesthetics’, Social Text, 21 (1989).


(publishing) system and its institutions, to experiment with using contemporary and
emergent media to publish (in this case acad

ly had the potential to bring
about a degree of transformation, yet it was unable to elude the cultural practices,
institutions and the market mechanisms that enveloped it for long (including those
developments in financialisation and the art market Solomon-Godeau connects to the
shift to Reaganomics). Consequently, instead of criticising or subverting the


established systems of publication and distribution, the artist’s book ended up being
largely integrated into them. 56 Throughout the course of this


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