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Double Launch: Who Cares? X 'Conflictual Aesthetics'

AWC Issue 9 and Oliver Marchart

Moderated by Joanna Warsza

A new book by Oliver Marchart and items for a cold season and a warm heart from our people’s print workshop. A new wave of artistic activism has emerged in recent years in response to the ever-increasing dominance of authoritarian neoliberalism. Activist practices in the art field, however, have been around much longer. As Oliver Marchart claims, there has always been an activist undercurrent in art. In this book he traces trajectories of artistic activism in theater, dance, performance, and public art, and investigates the political potential of urbanism, curating, and “biennials of resistance.” What emerges is a conflictual aesthetics that does not conform with traditional approaches to the field and that activates the political potential of artistic practice.

Oliver Marchart is a political theorist and philosopher. He is currently professor of political theory at the University of Vienna. His books include Post-foundational Political Thought:
Political Difference in Nancy, Lefort, Badiou and Laclau
(2007), Thinking Antagonism: Political Ontology after Laclau (2018), and the forthcoming Post-foundational Theories of Democracy: Reclaiming Freedom, Equality, Solidarity.

Sternberg Press, July 2019, English / 11.1×17.8 cm, 192 pages, softcover / ISBN 978-3-95679-204-5

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Who Cares ?

Our method of argumentation within AWC’s 9th Issue— bridging winter and the new year— longingly asks:
Who Cares?
Observations from around the world evolved into a general search for care that transcends a discourse and empowers the very selves that we are. Poetically, and politically speaking.

Arts of the Working Class is a collective tool that re-thinks,
re-understands and re-defines aspects of art workers’ social lives. From the (art world's) care crisis over the use of creativity and imagination for collective care towards conserving, restoring, (an)archiving neglected histories, taking the labour of love to the streets, acting upon the term care
as a social concept, breaking with capitalism’s utilization & abuse of the ideas and processes of
care, well-being and awareness. Here, these issues are considered with an eye on class, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and other aspects of identity.

But let's be cognizant: This place is an ambivalent one. A dangerous one, as we can’t fulfill everyone’s needs, wishes, desires and demands. A self-destructive one, as we declare ourselves against the system we work within.

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