Martha Rosler book launch in Berlin and New York

Martha Rosler book launch in Berlin and New York

cover image: John Sloan, Sun and Wind on the Roof, 1915; cover design: Liam Gillick.

Martha Rosler book launch in Berlin and New York
Date
September 10, 2013

What makes a city successful today? Over the past few decades, artists—and more broadly, clusters of creative people—have become central to narratives of urban revitalization and civic growth in cities around the world.

In many locales, artists in search of cheap rent constitute the vanguard wedge of gentrification. Yet the so-called creative class includes whole categories of knowledge workers enjoying far less precarious conditions than artists, and it is their affluence that continually displaces both working-class residents and artists alike. In the creative city, the branding of subcultural movements, the translation of the gritty into the quaint, and the professionalization of the arts combine to produce a user-friendly social interface dressed in the trappings of former bohemian artistic milieus.

How do we confront the soft violence of an urban landscape that adapts itself to successive booms and busts by dissolving or willfully suppressing class distinctions to the point of amnesia? Has a contradiction emerged between the declared politics of artists and their actual role in flows of global capital that course through biennials and art fairs? Can we take the broad commitment of so many artists to the Occupy movement as a signal of their desire to mobilize and redirect their energies back toward social justice?

This collection of essays written between 2010 and 2012 presents Martha Rosler’s most extensive update to her consideration of the role of artists in world culture and in urban gentrification since her landmark 1989 project If You Lived Here….

Martha Rosler, Culture Class
With an introduction by Stephen Squibb.
Series editors: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle
Design by Jeff Ramsey, cover design by Liam Gillick,
Cover image: John Sloan, Sun and Wind on the Roof, 1915.

September 2013, English
10.8 x 17.8 cm, 256 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-934105-81-8

See here for more info on the book

e-flux would like to thank AA Bronson, Galerie Nagel Draxler, and Sternberg Press.

Category
Urbanism
Subject
Gentrification

Martha Rosler utilizes various media in her work, primarily video and photography, and also installation and sculpture; she also writes about art and culture. Her work has for decades considered matters of the public sphere and mass culture; war and geopolitical conflict; housing, urbanism, and the built environment, and systems of transportation—especially as these affect women. Many of her projects have been extrainstitutional or developed and enacted with groups of people. Rosler sees her work, her teaching, and her writing as continuations of a broader engagement with the currents of cultural critique and social and political change. Her work may best be summed up as both a conceptual art and an activist practice—focused on questions of representational form but joined, however uneasily, to a commitment to political agitation. Video, which she adopted in its infancy, presented itself as at the crossroads of both. Rosler spent the 1970s in California and Canada. In 1980, she returned to her native Brooklyn, where she lives and works.

Pelin Tan is a Professor in Film at the Fine Arts Academy, Batman University, Turkey. She is the 6th recipient of the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism (2019). Tan was a fellow at the Human Rights Program and the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS), Bard College, New York, and she is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research, Boston. Tan is a board member of the IMECE Solidarity Association, Cesme/Izmir, and a member of the spatial research collective Arazi Assembly, Mardin, Turkey.

Julieta Aranda is an artist and an editor of e-flux journal.

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