Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Collectivism after Modernism

The Art of Social Imagination after 1945

2006

Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette, editors

Collectivism after Modernism

Analyzes collective artistic practice from the Cold War to the global present

Organized around case studies spanning the globe from Europe, Japan, and the United States to Africa, Cuba, and Mexico, Collectivism after Modernism covers such renowned collectives as the Guerrilla Girls and the Yes Men, as well as lesser-known groups.

Contributors: Irina Aristarkhova, Jesse Drew, Okwui Enwezor, Rubén Gallo, Chris Gilbert, Brian Holmes, Alan Moore, Jelena Stojanovi´c; Reiko Tomii, Rachel Weiss.


Don't start an art collective until you read this book.

Guerrilla Girls

The desire to speak in a collective voice has long fueled social imagination and artistic production. Prior to the Second World War, artists understood collectivization as an expression of the promise or failure of industrial and political modernity envisioned as a mass phenomenon. After the war, artists moved beyond the old ideal of progress by tying the radicalism of their political dreams to the free play of differences.

Organized around a series of case studies spanning the globe from Europe, Japan, and the United States to Africa, Cuba, and Mexico, Collectivism after Modernism covers such renowned collectives as the Guerrilla Girls and the Yes Men, as well as lesser-known groups. Contributors explore the ways in which collectives function within cultural norms, social conventions, and corporate or state-sanctioned art. They examine the impact of new technologies on artistic practice, the emergence of networked group identity, and the common characteristic of collective production to blur the typical separations between artists, activists, service workers, and communities in need.

Together, these essays demonstrate that collectivism survives as an influential and increasingly visible artistic practice despite the art world’s star system of individuality. Collectivism after Modernism provides the historical understanding necessary for thinking through postmodern collective practice, now and into the future.

Contributors: Irina Aristarkhova, National U of Singapore; Jesse Drew, San Francisco Art Institute; Okwui Enwezor, U of Pittsburgh; Rubén Gallo, Princeton U; Chris Gilbert, Baltimore Museum of Art; Brian Holmes; Alan Moore; Jelena Stojanovi´c; Reiko Tomii; Rachel Weiss, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Collectivism after Modernism

Blake Stimson is associate professor of art history at the University of California Davis, the author of The Pivot of the World: Photography and Its Nation, and coeditor of Visual Worlds and Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology.

Gregory Sholette is an artist, writer, and cofounder of collectives Political Art Documentation/Distribution and REPOhistory. He is coeditor of The Interventionists: Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life.

Collectivism after Modernism

Don't start an art collective until you read this book.

Guerrilla Girls

Ever since Web 2.0 with its wikis, blogs and social networks, the art of collaboration is back on the agenda. Collectivism after Modernism shows that cooperation amongst artists, activists, and designers has a rich history. Showcasing examples from around the world, this anthology maps group work throughout the 20th century. This collection convincingly proves that art collectives did not stop after the proclaimed death of the historical avant-gardes. Like never before technology reinvents the social and artists claim the steering wheel!

Geert Lovink, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam

Blake Stimson and Gregory Shollete skillfully utilize collectivism’s inherent ambiguities and contradictions to open a book that examines collectively produced art across many cultural divides and political contexts.

Artforum

Stimson [and Sholette]’s project is one to be engaged with, as it wreaks necessary havoc with that dominant reductive perspective that too easily casts consumerism versus idealism, Postmodernism versus Modernism.

Art Monthly

Collectivism After Modernism, The Art of Social Imagination after 1945 provides us with a new ‘map’ of Modernism since World War II. A very challenging and exciting map, since it is one that is not compatible with any dominant paradigm or conceptualization of what Modernism used to be and could become once again in the near future.

Leonardo

Collectivism After Modernism crucially helps us understand what artists and others can do in mushy, stinky times like ours. How can we maintain hope amid hopeless stupidity, and what can the seemingly powerless do in the face of mighty forces that seem to have their act really together? Here, Stimson and Sholette put forth many good answers.

The Yes Men