Events > Book Launch

30 Nov. 2019

Art, Protest and Cultures of Resistance: Double Book Launch


What are the possibilities of artistic and institutional resistance in a time of intensified capitalist crisis?

Art Metropole is pleased to host the launch of TEAR GAS EPIPHANIES by Kirsty Robertson and PLASTIC CAPITALISM by Amanda Boetzkes, two books that investigate that question.

Please join us for a double book launch and panel discussion with Kirsty Robertson and Amanda Boetzkes.

Doors 1pm
Panel Discussion at 1:30pm
Refreshments will be available

TEAR GAS EPIPHANIES: Protest, Culture Museums traces the as-yet-untold story of political action at museums in Canada from the early twentieth century to the present. The book looks at how museums do or do not archive protest ephemera, examining a range of responses to actions taking place at their thresholds, from active encouragement to belligerent dismissal. Drawing together extensive primary-source research and analysis, Robertson questions widespread perceptions of museums, strongly arguing for a reconsideration of their role in contemporary society that takes into account political conflict and protest as key ingredients in museum life.

PLASTIC CAPITALISM: Contemporary Art and the Drive to Waste links the increasing visualization of waste in contemporary art to the rise of the global oil economy and the emergence of ecological thinking. Often, when art is analyzed in relation to the political, scientific, or ecological climate, it is considered merely illustrative. Boetzkes argues that art is constitutive of an ecological consciousness, not simply an extension of it. The visual culture of waste is central to the study of the ecological condition. The book explores the ambivalent relationship between waste (both aestheticized and reviled) and a global economic regime that curbs energy expenditure while promoting profitable forms of resource consumption.

Kirsty Robertson is Associate Professor of Museum Studies and Contemporary Art at Western University. She has published widely on activism, visual culture, and museums culminating in her book Tear Gas Epiphanies: Protest, Museums, Culture (2019). She is co-author of Putting Intellectual Property in its Place (2014), and co-editor of Negotiations in a Vacant Lot: Studying the Visual in Canada (2014) and Imagining Resistance: Visual Culture and Activism in Canada (2011).

Amanda Boetzkes is Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at Guelph University. Her research focuses on the aesthetics and ethics of art as these intersect with ecology and techniques of visualization in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. She is the author of Plastic Capitalism: Contemporary Art and the Drive to Waste (2019), The Ethics of Earth Art (2010), and co-editor of Heidegger and the Work of Art History (2014). She has published in the journals Polygraph, Postmodern Culture; The New Large Glass, Art Journal; Art History; e-flux, Mediations, Weber-The Contemporary West, Reconstruction, and Antennae: The Journal of Nature and Visual Culture among others.

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