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Usefulness in Contemporary Art and Politics

Abse Gogarty, L; (2017) Usefulness in Contemporary Art and Politics. Third Text , 31 (1) pp. 117-132. 10.1080/09528822.2017.1364920. Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores the emphasis on usefulness in contemporary art, focusing on social practice art in the United States and Europe through Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s establishment of the ‘Asociación de Arte Útil’ in 2011, and the rebranding of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) as a ‘useful museum’. The article addresses the affirmation of usefulness and ‘use values’ within these case studies and beyond in relation to Marxist, post-Marxist, and feminist theories of social reproduction and the state. By attending to issues of citizenship, race, and migration, the article asks how we should approach the aesthetic and political stakes of artworks that strive to be ‘useful’ through performing tasks associated with social reproduction as they have historically taken place in the home or via the welfare state.

Type: Article
Title: Usefulness in Contemporary Art and Politics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09528822.2017.1364920
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2017.1364920
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Larne Abse Gogarty, social practice, arte util, the avant-garde, Marxism, social reproduction, race, accelerationism, Tania Bruguera, Simone Leigh
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > The Slade School of Fine Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057337
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