What's the Use? Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge. A Critical Reader.
What's the Use? Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge. A Critical Reader.

What's the Use? - Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge. A Critical Reader.

This publication is recommended by our curator Steven ten Thije:


" What’s the Use is one of the most substantial publications realised by the Van Abbemuseum in recent years in collaboration with partners from the museum confederation L'Internationale. It contains a rich and diverse exploration on the contested relation between art and use. Drawing from three exhibition projects and a conference, the book seeks to map three fields that are interrelated when thinking about art and its possible use: history, practice and exhibition/institution. The question concerning art’s use got its modern traction in the nineteenth century, when, in newly formed, democratic societies, art became autonomous. In this reader the emphasis is on forgotten and unforeseen ways in which art - autonomous or not - has functioned within civil society in the past and today. This alternative history of art is brought into dialogue with a large selection of contemporary artistic practices and finally discussed through the problematics of presenting these practices within the framework of museum institutions. With over 500 pages and with the inclusion of the complete lexicon on useful art by Stephen Wright, the publication is a serious contribution to this widely discussed topic and hopes to offer plenty of material for inspiration and debate."

With contribution from: Nick Aikens, Christina Aushana, Zdenka Badovinac, Manuel Borja-Villel, Tania Bruguera, John Byrne, Jesús Carrillo Castillo, Christina Clausen, constructLab, Tamara Díaz Bringas, Georges Didi-Huberman, Charles Esche, Annie Fletcher, Lara Garcia Diaz, Liam Gillick, Melinda Guillen, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Alistair Hudson, Thomas Lange, Li Mu, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Trevor Paglen, Manuel Pelmuş, Emily Pethick, Alexandra Pirici, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Adrian Rifkin, John Ruskin, Lucía Sanromán, Catarina Simão, Sara Stehr, Subtramas, Steven ten Thije, WHW (What, How & for Whom), Stephen Wright, George Yúdice

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What's the Use? Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge. A Critical Reader. What's the Use? Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge. A Critical Reader.

What's the Use? - Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge. A Critical Reader.

The reader is both propositional and speculative—and deliberately inconclusive. It is structured in three parts, which reflect the main fields of inquiry of this book. Chapter 1: Constellating History traces the exchange between art, use and knowledge in historical practices, theories and movements; Chapter 2: Practicing Art, Knowledge and Use explores how artistic knowledge is used and the artistic use of knowledge through looking at specific practices and via artistic contributions; and 3: Exhibiting and Instituting discusses how questions of art’s use or uselessness implicate exhibition and institutional practice today.

Author(s) Nick Aitkens, Thomas Lange, Jorinde Seijdel, Steven ten Thije
Publisher Valiz
Details 504 p. Illustrated, paperback
ISBN isbn: 9789492095121
Language English
Article no. 1447


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