Gregg Bordowitz

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QUEER
edited by David J. Getsy

Historically, “queer” was the slur used against those who were perceived to be or made to feel abnormal. Beginning in the 1980s, “queer” was reappropriated and embraced as a badge of honor. While queer draws its politics and affective force from the history of non-normative, gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities, it is not equivalent to these categories, nor is it an identity. Rather, it offers a strategic undercutting of the stability of identity and of the dispensation of power that shadows the assignment of categories and taxonomies. Artists who identify their practices as queer today call forth utopian and dystopian alternatives to the ordinary, adopt outlaw stances, embrace criminality and opacity, and forge unprecedented kinships, relationships, loves, and communities.

Rather than a book of queer theory for artists, this is a book of artists’ queer tactics and infectious concepts. By definition, there can be no singular “queer art.” Here, in the first Documents of Contemporary Art anthology to be centered on artists’ writings, numerous conversations about queer practice are brought together from diverse individual, social and cultural contexts. Together these texts describe and examine the ways in which artists have used the concept of queer as a site of political and institutional critique, as a framework to develop new families and histories, as a spur to action, and as a basis from which to declare inassimilable difference.

Artists and writers include
Nayland Blake, Gregg Bordowitz, Leigh Bowery, AA Bronson, A. K. Burns, Giuseppe Campuzano, Tee Corinne, Barbara DeGenevieve, Dyke Action Machine!, Elmgreen & Dragset, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Simon Fujiwara, Malik Gaines, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Gran Fury, Sunil Gupta, Hahn Thi Pham, Harmony Hammond, Sharon Hayes, Hudson, Roberto Jacoby, Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien, Mahmoud Khaled, Zoe Leonard, Lesbian Avengers, Catherine Lord, Ma Liuming, LTTR, Allyson Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Carlos Motta, Ocaña, Hélio Oiticica, Catherine Opie, Ridykeulous (Nicole Eisenman & A.L. Steiner), Marlon Riggs, Emily Roysdon, Prem Sahib, Assoto Saint, Tejal Shah, Amy Sillman, Jack Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Toxic Titties, Danh Vo, David Wojnarowicz, Wu Tsang, Yan Xing, Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis, Akram Zaatari, Sergio Zevallos

About the Editor

David J. Getsy is Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His books include Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender, Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance, and Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture.

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This Will Have Been
Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s

Helen Molesworth; With essays by Johanna Burton, William Horrigan, Elisabeth Lebovici, Kobena Mercer, Sarah Schulman, and Frazer Ward.

Art of the 1980s oscillated between radical and conservative, capricious and political, socially engaged and art historically aware. Published in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, this fascinating book chronicles canonical as well as nearly forgotten works of the 1980s, arguing that what has often been dismissed as cynical or ironic should be viewed as a struggle on the part of artists to articulate their needs and desires in an increasingly commodified world. The major developments of the decade—the rise of the commercial art market, the politicization of the AIDS crisis, the increased visibility of women and gay artists and artists of color, and the ascension of new media—are illuminated in works by Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Jeff Koons, Lorna Simpson, Leigh Bowery, Jimmy De Sana, Carroll Dunham, Jimmie Durham, Alex Garry, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Annette Messager, Cady Noland, Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Julian Schnabel, Rosemarie Trockel, Jeff Wall, Charlie Ahearn, Gretchen Bender, Black Audio Film Collective, Jennifer Bolande, Gregg Bordowitz, Eugenio Dittborn, Gran Fury, Group Material, Guerrilla Girls, Hans Haacke, David Hammons, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Donald Moffett, Lorraine O’Grady, Paper Tiger Television, Adrian Piper, Lari Pittman, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Christy Rupp, Doris Salcedo, Juan Sánchez, Tseng Kwong Chi and Keith Haring, Carrie Mae Weems, Christopher Williams, Krzystof Wodiczko, Judith Barry, Ashley Bickerton, Deborah Bright, Marlene Dumas, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Peter Hujar, G. B. Jones, Isaac Julian, Rotimi Fani Kayode, Mary Kelly, Silvia Kolbowski, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Jack Leirner, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Prince, Marlon Riggs, David Robbins, Laurie Simmons, Haim Steinbach, David Wojnarowicz, Dotty Attie, Robert Colescott, General Idea, Robert Gober, Jack Goldstein, Pater Halley, Mary Heilmann, Candy Jernigan, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Christian Marclay, Allan McCollum, Peter Nagy, Raymond Pettibon, Stephen Prina, Martin Puryear, Gerhard Richter, David Salle, Doug + Mike Starn, Tony Tasset, James Welling, and Christopher Wool, among others. Essays by leading scholars provide unique perspectives on the decade’s competing factions and seemingly contradictory elements, from counterculture to the mainstream, radicalism to democracy and historical awareness, conservatism to feminist politics.

Complete with critical texts on each work, This Will Have Been brings into focus the full impact of the art, artists, and political and cultural ruptures of this paradigm-shifting decade. More than 200 full-color reproductions of works in a range of media, including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture, illustrate this ambitious guide to a period of artistic transformation.

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This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s
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