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Announcement
January 24, 2023

Aesthetics, Resistance, and Memory double book launch

The Graduate Center, CUNY

From left: Gregory Sholette, The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art. Andreas Huyssen, Memory Art in the Contemporary World. Courtesy of Lund Humphries. Cover designs: Wolfe Hall Studio.

Join Printed Matter for a double book launch and conversation with Andreas Huyssen and Gregory Sholette, presented and co-sponsored by Social Practice CUNY (SPCUNY). Approaching the politics of memory from two overlapping perspectives, Huyssen and Sholette will discuss their recent books, Memory Art in the Contemporary World and The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art, published by Lund Humphries. RSVP on eventbrite here.

Huyssen’s timely work proposes that artistic interventions into traumatic social memories in the global South have created a ‘new venue for political art today’, while Sholette’s investigation pivots on the under-studied backstories of activist art. Both authors consider the positive and negative aspects of critical art practice at a time of hyper-aestheticized capitalism, rising authoritarianism, and widespread historical amnesia.

Huyssen and Sholette’s books belong to the Lund Humphries series New Directions in Contemporary Art, and volumes will be available for purchase at Printed Matter. Both books will also be available at the CAA Conference via Scholar's Choice.

Gregory Sholette is an artist, writer, activist and professor of studio art at Queens College, CUNY where he co-directs Social Practice CUNY with Chloë Bass. He has participated in, documented, and written about activist art for over forty years.

Praise for The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art:
"The rich chapters of this indispensable book demonstrate where serious art is taking place and how it can inspire true change among other intellectual practices." —Santiago Zabala

Selected as one of The Art Newspaper's Top Art Books of 2022: "As a key member of the activist group Gulf Labor Coalition, Gregory Sholette has a unique perspective [...] This informed analysis spans more than 60 years of art activism" —The Art Newspaper

"Sholette manages to provide a well-crafted, comprehensive, and well-thought-out trajectory of western activist art that is not only deeply engaging, but maintains a critical insight and unique perspective throughout." —Field Journal

"Sholette's book is a tour de force." —We Make Money Not Art

Andreas Huyssen is the Villard Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he taught beginning in 1986. He is the founding director of the university’s Center for Comparative Literature and Society and one of the founding editors of the New German Critique.

Praise for Memory Art in the Contemporary World:
"Neither a monograph on a single artist nor an overview with its risk of generalisation, this book offers the best qualities of both genres: in-depth analysis with a comparative perspective, always keen on showing how art can, indeed, must remember the violence committed in situations where none was called for." —Mieke Bal

"The art of memory is an infinite field of shifting sands. Andreas Huyssen's illuminating essay takes us on a journey with artists from the global south who are confronting political violence with extraordinary works that are alternative models of thinking about the world. For Huyssen these projects, ranging from temporary performances to permanent public installations, create spaces of resistance and, ultimately, spaces of hope." —Alfredo Jaar

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