September 24, 2012

How Can Art Affect Political Change?

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Claire Fontaine, Untitled (Clichy Sous Bois, Nov. 2005), 2006. Cardboard, gesso, pencil and smoke. Courtesy the artist.

Bringing together leading theorists of contemporary art and culture, curators and artists, How Can Art Affect Political Change? addresses the complex relationship between creative practice and political activism. The wave of Arab Spring revolutions and the growth of the global Occupy movements have ignited a reassessment of the intersection of art, economics and politics. Key presentations by Andrea Geyer, Marisa Jahn, Josh MacPhee, Mitch McEwen, Nicholas Mirzoeff, and Benjamin Young examine the shifting parameters of socially engaged art and theory within the context of these emerging political events. The discussion is introduced and moderated by Natalie Musteata.

The panel is organized in conjunction with the exhibition UNREST: Revolt against Reason, curated by Natalie Musteata, currently on view at apexart until October 27, 2012. The exhibition presents eight contemporary artists—mounir fatmi, Claire Fontaine, Shilpa Gupta, Iman Issa, Tala Madani, Ahmet Öğüt, Tomáš Rafa, and Alexandre Singh—who critically engage with issues of inequity, conflict, and instability in recent history. For more information about the exhibition, please visit

Andrea Geyer, artist and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, Parsons The New School for Design
Marisa Jahn, artist, writer, and community organizer
Josh MacPhee, artist, curator, and activist
Mitch McEwen, Founding Principal, A. Conglomerate
Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University
Natalie Musteata, PhD student, Art History, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Benjamin Young, PhD candidate, Department of Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley
Organized and presented by apexart and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, in conjunction with the center’s New School class “Art & the Political” and the exhibition UNREST: Revolt against Reason at apexart.

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