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On the Hostility to Handicraft, Aesthetic Labour and the Politics of Work in Art
Author: Dave Beech
This book provides a new history of the changing relationship between art, craft and industry focusing on the transition from workshop to studio, apprentice to pupil, guild to gallery and artisan to artist. Responding to the question whether the artist is a relic of the feudal mode of production or is a commodity producer corresponding to the capitalist mode of cultural production, this inquiry reveals, instead, that the history of the formation of art as distinct from handicraft, commerce and industry can be traced back to the dissolution of the dual system of guild and court. This history needs to be revisited in order to rethink the categories of aesthetic labour, attractive labour, alienated labour, nonalienated labour and unwaged labour that shape the modern and contemporary politics of work in art.
Author: Roberto Schwarz
Literary forms travel from core countries to the periphery of capitalism, where they are adopted under social conditions that differ from those in the countries of their origin. Besides being inevitable, the resulting maladjustments lead to new and original aesthetic problems, presenting to the reader the symptoms of the world’s complexity. When properly worked through, these allow for the rise of world-class art, as in the case of the great Brazilian novels by Machado de Assis.

First published in Portuguese in 1977 as Ao vencedor as batatas: Forma literária e processo social nos inícios do romance brasileiro by Duas Cidades/Editora 34, ISBN 978-85-7326-169-2, and presented here in a new English-language translation, To the Victor, the Potatoes! is a major work of one of the most significant Marxist literary critics of our time.
The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams's Chicago
In Eleanor Smith’s Hull House Songs : The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams’s Chicago, the authors republish Hull House Songs (1916), together with critical commentary. Hull-House Songs contains five politically engaged compositions written by the Hull-House music educator, Eleanor Smith. The commentary that accompanies the folio includes an examination of Smith’s poetic sources and musical influences; a study of Jane Addams’s aesthetic theories; and a complete history of the arts at Hull-House. Through this focus upon aesthetic and cultural programs at Hull-House, the authors identify the external, and internalized, forces of domination (class position, racial identity, patriarchal disenfranchisement) that limited the work of the Hull-House women, while also recovering the sometimes hidden emancipatory possibilities of their legacy.

With an afterword by Jocelyn Zelasko.
Mikhail Lifshitz is a major forgotten figure in the tradition of Marxist philosophy and art history. A significant influence on Lukács, and the dedicatee of his The Young Hegel, as well as an unsurpassed scholar of Marx and Engels’s writings on art and a lifelong controversialist, Lifshitz’s work dealt with topics as various as the philosophy of Marx and the pop aesthetics of Andy Warhol. The Crisis of Ugliness (originally published in Russian by Iskusstvo, 1968), published here in English for the first time, and with a detailed introduction by its translator David Riff, is a compact broadside against modernism in the visual arts that nevertheless resists the dogmatic complacencies of Stalinist aesthetics. Its reentry into English debates on the history of Soviet aesthetics promises to re-orient our sense of the basic coordinates of a Marxist art theory.
Hegelian Marxism and Situationist Theory
Author: Tom Bunyard
In Debord, Time and Spectacle Tom Bunyard provides a detailed philosophical study of the theoretical work of Guy Debord and the Situationist International. Drawing on evidence from Debord’s books, films, letters and notes, Bunyard reconstructs the Hegelian and Marxian ideas that support Debord’s central concept of ‘spectacle’. This affords a reconsideration of Debord’s theoretical claims, and a reinterpretation of his broader work that foregrounds his concerns with history and lived time. By bringing Situationist theory into dialogue with recent reinterpretations of Marx, this book also identifies problems in Debord’s critique of capitalism. It argues, however, that the conceptions of temporality and spectacle that support that critique amount to a philosophy of praxis that remains relevant today.
The present studies on Brazilian modern art seek to specify some of the dominant contradictions of capitalism’s combined but uneven development as these appear from the global ‘periphery’. The grand project of Brasília is the main theme of the first two chapters, which treat the ‘ideal city’ as a case study in the ways in which creative talent in Brazil has been made to serve in the reproduction of social iniquities whose origins can be traced back to the agrarian latifundia. Further chapters scrutinise the socio-historical basis of Brazilian art, and develop, against the grain of the most prominent art historical approaches to modern Brazilian culture, a critical approach to the distinctly Brazilian visual language of geometrical abstraction. The book contends that, from the fifties up to today, formalism in Brazil has expressed the hegemony of the market.
Art History as Social Praxis: The Collected Writings of David Craven brings together more than thirty essays that chart the development of Craven’s voice as an unorthodox Marxist who applied historical materialism to the study of modern art. This book demonstrates the range and versatility of David Craven’s praxis as a ‘democratic socialist’ art historian who assessed the essential role the visual arts play in imagining more just and equitable societies. The essays collected here reveal Craven’s lifelong commitment to exposing interstices between western and non-western cultures by researching the reciprocating influences between First- and Third-World artists, critics and historians.
Author: Christian Funke
In Ästhetik, Politik und schiitische Repräsentation im zeitgenössischen Iran zeigt Christian Funke die Verflechtungen von Politik, Protest und schiitischer Materialität in der Islamischen Republik auf. Das Buch legt anschaulich und vielschichtig dar, wie die Proteste von 2009 und die ›Grüne Bewegung‹ mit umfassenderen Diskursen über Demokratie, Identität, Geschichte und Gegenwart sowie Religion und Politik verknüpft waren.

Funkes Argument fußt auf Interviews und intensiver Feldforschung und umfasst ein breites Themenfeld von Farben über Banknoten bis hin zu städtischer Raumordnung. Funke bietet einen neuen Ansatz zur Theorie und Methodologie von Religionsästhetik und wirft ein neues Licht auf die › Grüne Bewegung‹ , indem er die islamischen Ressourcen freilegt, mittels derer sich ihr Protest artikulierte.

In Aesthetics, Politics, and Shiʿi Representation in Contemporary Iran Christian Funke explores the entangled relationship between politics, protest and Shiʿi materiality in the Islamic Republic. He shows how the post-election protests of 2009 and the ‘Green Movement’ were part of larger discourses on democracy, identity, the present and the past, and religion and politics.

Funke’s argument is based on extensive fieldwork and interviews. He covers a broad array of topics, ranging from the interpretation of colours to the use of banknotes to the emergence of an urban spatial order. Funke offers a novel approach to the methodology and theory of material religion and by revealing the Islamic undercurrents in the ‘Green Movement’, his book provides a new and more appropriate picture of protest and religion in Iran.


In The Conspiracy of Modern Art the Brazilian critic and art-historian Luiz Renato Martins presents a new account of modern art from David to Abstract Expressionism. The once vibrant debate on these touchstones of modernism has gone stale. Viewed from the Sao Paulo megalopolis the art of Paris and New York - embodying Revolution, Thermidor, Bonapartistm and Bourgeois ‘Triumph' - once more pulsates in tragic key.
Equally attentive to form and politics, Martins invites us to look again at familiar pictures. In the process, modern art appears in a new light. These essays, largely unknown to an English-speaking audience, may be the most important contribution to the account of modern painting since the important debates of the 1980s.
Marxist Essays on British Art and Art Theory, 1750–1850
At a time of growing interest in relations between Marxism and Romanticism, Andrew Hemingway’s essays on British art and art theory reopen the question of Romantic painting’s ideological functions and, in some cases, its critical purchase. Half the volume exposes the voices of competing class interests in aesthetics and art theory in the tumultuous years of British history between the American Revolution and the 1832 Parliamentary Reform Act. Half offers new perspectives on works by some of the most important landscape painters of the time: John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, John Crome, and John Sell Cotman. Four essays are hitherto unpublished, and the remainder have been updated and in several cases substantially rewritten for this volume.