Across the Art/Life Divide

Performance, Subjectivity, and Social Practice in Contemporary Art

Martin Patrick

Across the Art/Life Divide

Martin Patrick

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

256 pages | 90 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $26.50 ISBN: 9781783208548 Will Publish February 2018
Martin Patrick explores the ways in which contemporary artists across media continue to reinvent art that straddles both public and private spheres. Examining the impact of various art movements on notions of performance, authorship, and identity, Across the Art/Life Divide argues that the most defining feature of contemporary art is the ongoing interest of artists in the problematic relationship between art and life. Looking at underexamined forms, such as stand-up comedy and sketch shows, alongside more traditional artistic media, he situates the work of a wide range of contemporary artists to ask: To what extent are artists presenting themselves? And does the portrayal of the “self” in art necessarily constitute authenticity? By dissecting the meta-conditions and contexts surrounding the production of art, Across the Art/Life Divide examines how ordinary, everyday life is transformed into art.
Review Quotes
Amelia G. Jones, Robert A. Day Professor of Art and Design, USC Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California
“Across the Art/Life Divide offers both an overview of performative practices and a theory connecting this work to political movements. Patrick addresses aspects of this history by exploring interconnected modes of conceptualizing art ­ – as process, happening, or flux – and his understanding of how the artists’ self presentational strategies relate to the political siting and affects of their work is groundbreaking. The book is a crucial read for anyone interested in understanding the relationship between innovations in the very concept of what art is in the contemporary period and politically motivated concerns around identity and structures of power in the art world.”
Chris Kraus, Author of After Kathy Acker
"In this inspired consideration of 20th and 21st century international avant-gardes, Martin Patrick reveals secret histories, tendencies, and subtexts that defy the weary exchangeability of institutional contemporary art.  Looking beyond the usual suspects, Patrick charts the charged space between art and life, and channels the artists and art works that describe the indescribable."
Matthew Jesse Jackson, University of Chicago
“The text is perhaps most remarkable due to its lucidity. From the opening invocations of Robert Rauschenberg and Allan Kaprow, to the later considerations of Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument, time and time again the text aims to make the sometimes ‘difficult’ claims of artworks and artists understandable to a non-specialist readership.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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