Gregory Sholette, MFA
Artist, Associate Professor,
Queens College, The City University of New York

Is “Another Art Work” Possible?

In the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent political shifts towards nationalism, xenophobia and the far Right, the liberal world of high art is being confronted by an unprecedented challenge from both within, and from without its institutional networks. First, there is a revolt by those systematically underdeveloped and marginalized artists who openly reject their assigned role as an undervalued and mute apparatus of creative reproduction. Second, thanks to the rise of new media and the demands of neoliberal ideology, we now witness a vast cohort of previously ignored social imagination and dissent involving artist-led boycotts and interventions that actively confront the art world’s status as a privileged empire for the world’s “1%.” The aim of my keynote presentation is to explore these evolving developments as they impact to the recent (though selective) embrace of socially engaged art practices by the mainstream culture industry in order to ask the question: is another art world possible?