Book review: Martha Rosler: The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems, written by Steve Edwards

in Historical Materialism
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Steve Edwards’s book, Martha Rosler: The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems, is a close study of Rosler’s 1976 artwork. The book takes up the social and political coordinates of the work’s production, focusing on the San Diego Group of which Rosler was a member, New York City during the fiscal crisis, and the broader contribution Rosler makes to what Edwards calls ‘second-wave political modernism’. This review considers Edwards’s analyses of the work, and locates its importance within the discussion around Rosler, as well as the broader history of radical American art.

Book review: Martha Rosler: The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems, written by Steve Edwards

in Historical Materialism

References

BrechtBertolt WilletJohn Willet ‘The Popular and the Realistic’ 1964 [1938] 1964

DenningMichael The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century 2011 London Verso

JamesonFredric Valences of the Dialectic 2009 London Verso

KraussRosalind E. The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths 1985 Cambridge, MA The MIT Press.

MarxKarl Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 1988 [1844] New York Prometheus Books

SekulaAllan ‘Dismantling Modernism, Reinventing Documentary (Notes on the Politics of Representation)’ The Massachusetts Review 1978 19 4 859 83

WilletJohn Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic 1964 London Methuen

1

Sekula 1978.

2

Krauss 1985.

3

Brecht 1964p. 109.

5

Denning 2011.

6

Marx 1988p. 86.

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