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ARTIST AT WORK
Proximity of Art and Capitalism
Zero Books, 2015
The main affirmation of the artistic practice must today happen through the thinking about the conditions and the status of the artist’s work. Only then can it be revealed that what is a part of the speculations of capital is not art itself, but mostly artistic life. Artist at Work examines the recent changes in the labour of an artist and addressing them from the perspective of performance.
“Bojana Kunst, one of the most compelling writers today, has produced a book that will inform the critical discourse on art’s political ambitions for years to come. Artist At Work is a vital, searching treatise on the relation between artistic work and artistic labor in the proximity of capitalism. By challenging and scrutinizing the conditions of artistic practice, Kunst re-affirms artistic life with an unflinching determination and a tireless level of expertise, attentiveness and care.”
“Artist At Work by Bojana Kunst turns the neoliberal perspective upside down and thus has a perfect timing, i.e. in the period of austerity measures. It draws its conclusions mainly from the argument that art no longer needs to re-affirm itself as a socially relevant and useful activity because this would lock it with in immanent capitalist and populist production of value. Instead, art has to rediscover its material basis and ‘occupy’ exactly those abstractions which enable the preservation of the capitalist system and reproduction of capital.”
“This critically coruscating exposure of what it means to have come ‘after the event’ yet always prepared to work on contemporary art’s implications, is everything one might have hoped from one of Europe’s most incisive performance writers. Like all treasures it shines with the brilliance of a wholly unexpected economy.”
Bojana Kunst is a philosopher, dramaturg and performance theoretician. She is a professor at the Institute for Applied Theater Studies in Justus Liebig University Giessen, where she is leading an international master program Choreography and Performance.
Zero Books is an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd., Laurel House, Station Approach, Alresford, Hants, SO24 9JH, UK