Tactical Irrelevance: Art and Politics at Play

Sarah Kanouse


Questions about the relation of art and politics often become more urgent in moments of political turmoil and crisis. The present-day context of neoliberal globalization and militaristic neoconservativism has prompted many artists to abandon representational politics and the fostering of dialog in favor of intervening more directly in social relations. In this paper, an artist discusses her own work through the lens of Jacques Ranciere's philosophical writings on aesthetics and politics. The question of artistic autonomy-long considered antithetical to radical or committed art-s-is reframed as a privileged position from which foundational assumptions about what the political field is can be challenged and reformulated.

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