The introduction to my book Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy, which is forthcoming in early May with Duke University Press, is now available online here. The original French version of the book was recently published by CNRS Éditions. Click here for details.
Excerpt: “Radical History and the Politics of Art invites us to abandon many of the myths upon which debates on art and politics have relied for decades. The book successfully breaks with the binary logic behind the majority of studies on this subject and puts into question the widely accepted theory of aesthetic autonomy. Rockhill’s insightful critique of Jacques Rancière’s thought, his valuable reevaluation of the politics of avant-garde art, and his numerous concrete examples drawn from a variety of artistic traditions and commonly overlooked arts such as architecture, ensure that this work will quickly become a versatile reference. Overall this is a stimulating and forcefully argued book that clears the ground for future scholarship on the social politicity of art.”
Machete: Art in Times of Political Crisis
What can–or should be–the role of artistic practice in situations of political crisis? How are we to best understand and theoretically explicate the political contributions of the cultural world? To address these and related questions, the Machete Group proposes to explore a trans-cultural constellation of flashpoints in the global struggle of the arts:
-Participatory art in Latin America that merges with left social movements and works to denounce state and economic terrorism.
– The international political economy surrounding Guernica and the struggle against Nazism, which challenges the well-known critique of Picasso’s political impotence developed by Sartre and Adorno
– Omid Shekari’s paintings that embody an Iranian gaze that confronts Western viewers with the harsh realities of conflicts within the Middle East that have been sublimated and distorted by mainstream media.
Join Machete members David Dempewolf, Sebastien Derenoncourt, Jennifer Ponce de León, Gabriel Rockhill and Yuka Yokoyama for a challenging collective discussion concerning the role of cultural producers in the darkest of political times.