This is Not Art: Activism and Other 'Not-Art'
Art is not political action. Art is not education. Art does not exist to make the world a better place. Art disrupts and resists the status quo and if it fails in this prime objective it only serves to deaden a disenfranchised society further.
So argues This Is Not Art, a radical and vigorous critique that debunks myths about art in order to celebrate it. With the postmodern deconstruction of now-outdated shibboleths, new and neo liberal myths about art have arisen to take their place: that art's value is primarily monetary, or that art is important because it ameliorates social problems. Highlighting the social mechanisms of legitimization and dissemination that exclude the genuinely disruptive or defiant, This Is Not Art draws on Foucault and Marx to uncover an art world obsessed with profit and from which diversity, individuality and freedom have been erased.
Alana Jelinek returns to the question 'what is art?', retelling the history of art practice and exposing the ways in which neo liberal norms and values have seeped into every aspect of our lives. From the author's unique perspective as a practicing artist and theoretician, This Is Not Art offers a new way of understanding and practicing art - as the embodiment of power and agency within us, the possibility of thinking and acting differently, of finding new stories to tell.
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