Radical History and the Politics of Art by Gabriel Rockhill (review)


Gabriel Rockhill’s ambitious book responds to an acute need to re-think the relationships between aesthetics and politics. Radical History and the Politics of Art is an innovative, interdisciplinary attempt at stepping out of discontinuist models of the history of art and ontological approaches to understanding art’s ties with the sociopolitical. It challenges theorists and critics alike to abandon the “classic, common sense trinity—what is art? what is politics? what is their relation?” and accept fully the idea that these concepts have no determinable, transhistorical essence (3). They are always in flux, always a matter of renegotiation, and their relations defy the binary logic that still dominates aesthetic debates (complicity vs. resistance; authentic vs. inauthentic; form vs. context; causality vs. indeterminacy; consubstantiality vs. opposition, etc.).

Read Article On Muse