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Art and Politics Now

Anthony Downey

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An accessible guide to politically engaged art of the 21st century, exploring some of the most daring and ambitious art projects of our time

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From photographers and filmmakers to the creators of immersive installations, today’s artists are engaging with some of the most pressing issues of our time – opening up new areas of discussion and debate and expanding our understanding of contemporary art as well as the role of those who create it.

Art and Politics Now is a richly illustrated and compelling survey of more than 200 contemporary artists whose works address the political. Themed chapters explore how, since the turn of the twenty-first century, artists have addressed real-world issues such as globalization, terrorism, conflict, the environment and knowledge, often using radical approaches and techniques to communicate their ideas.

Anthony Downey’s clear and insightful discussion of the major issues and themes is closely interwoven with detailed analysis of the artworks, which include projects by Ai Weiwei, Chantal Akerman, Harun Farocki, Omer Fast, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Steve McQueen, Teresa Margolles, Adrian Paci, Walid Raad, Doris Salcedo and Santiago Sierra.

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'Visually contemporary and stylishly designed … a timely overview of the art world’s involvement in politics'
E-International Relations

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 28.0 x 21.0 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Illustrations: 419

Publication date: 6 October 2014

ISBN: 9780500291474

Contents List

Introduction: Global Culture and Political Engagement • Globalization • Labour • Citizens • Activism • Conflict • Terror • History • Camps • Environments • Economies • Knowledge

About the Author

Dr. Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East at Birmingham City University. Recent publications include Don’t Shrink Me to the Size of a Bullet: The Works of Hiwa K (2017); Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (2016); and Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East (2015).