Art after Liberalism (Columbia Books on Architecture & the City and Columbia University Press, 2022)
“The essays that comprise Art after Liberalism address art’s role in political change. They ask how creative practices and curatorial framings have served to consolidate liberal spatial formations—the nation-state, the global city, the public sphere—and to connect these formations to underlying structures of racial capitalism and settler colonialism. Plotting these relationships means attending not just to an artwork’s immediate spatial context, but the whole substrate of labor, matter, capital, and affect that support art as an object of social and economic value.
“Art after Liberalism attempts to register these connections by following itinerant artists, artworks, and art publics as they move through comparative political environments. Each point of convergence poses questions about the political possibilities that may appear in the wake of liberal claims to universality and inevitability. How to wrest control of institutions, to redistribute their resources, or to leave them behind? How to decolonize museums, repatriating their fortunes and recovering the land beneath them? By marshaling the transformative capacities of art and aesthetics, by refusing neoliberal professionalization, by joining with social movements, by creating political community—by living in the world, and not outside of it.”
Art after Liberalism explores works by Tania Bruguera, Wolfgang Tillmans, Paul Chan, Manaf Halbouni, Laura Poitras, Forensic Architecture, Ren Hang, and others. It concludes with an interview featuring Amin Husain and Nitasha Dhillon of MTL Collective.
Read an excerpt here. See a preview by designer Luke Bulman here.