Practice

The first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads

“Practice” is one of the key words of contemporary art, used in contexts ranging from artists’ descriptions of their practice to curatorial practice, from social practice to practice-based research. This is the first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads.

Reframing the question of practice offers new ways of reading the history of art and of evaluating particular forms of practice-based art. Once used to denote “doing,” as distinct from thinking and making, today the term can convey associations of political action (praxis), professional activity, discipline, or rehearsal, and signal a shift away from the self-enclosed artwork or medium to open-ended actions, series, processes, and projects. Although the turn to practice might promise freedom from finality or eventfulness, it also reflects the neoliberal pressures to train oneself, to perform, and to rehearse a marketable set of skills. This book offers an indispensible guide to the art history and theoretical framework of art-as-practice, clarifying the complex issues at stake in thinking about and enacting practice.

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The first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads

“Practice” is one of the key words of contemporary art, used in contexts ranging from artists’ descriptions of their practice to curatorial practice, from social practice to practice-based research. This is the first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads.

Reframing the question of practice offers new ways of reading the history of art and of evaluating particular forms of practice-based art. Once used to denote “doing,” as distinct from thinking and making, today the term can convey associations of political action (praxis), professional activity, discipline, or rehearsal, and signal a shift away from the self-enclosed artwork or medium to open-ended actions, series, processes, and projects. Although the turn to practice might promise freedom from finality or eventfulness, it also reflects the neoliberal pressures to train oneself, to perform, and to rehearse a marketable set of skills. This book offers an indispensible guide to the art history and theoretical framework of art-as-practice, clarifying the complex issues at stake in thinking about and enacting practice.

 

Publisher: The MIT Press

Paperback

2018

ISBN: 9780262535397