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Sociopolitical Aesthetics

Since the turn of the millennium, protests, meetings, schoolrooms, reading groups and many other social forms have been proposed as artworks or, more ambiguously, as interventions that are somewhere between art and politics. This book surveys the resurgence of politicized art, tracing key currents of theory and practice, and mapping them against the dominant experience of the last decade: crisis.


Drawing upon leading artists and theorists within this field - including Hito Steyerl, Marina Vishmidt, Art & Language, Gregory Sholette, John Roberts and Dave Beech - this book argues for a new interpretation of the relationship between socially-engaged art and neoliberalism. Kim Charnley explores the possibility that neoliberalism has destabilized the art system so that it is no longer able to absorb and neutralize dissent. As a result, the relationship between aesthetics and politics is experienced with fresh urgency and militancy.

Sociopolitical Aesthetics

  • Kim Charnley

    Surveys the resurgence of sociopolitical aesthetics, tracing key currents of theory and practice, and mapping them against the politics and political crises of the 21st century.
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  • Book Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
    Publication Date: 11-02-2021
    Format: Hardback | 216 x 138mm | 272 pages
  • About the Author

    Kim Charnley is Staff Tutor in Art History at The Open University, UK.

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