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Not-Forgetting: Contemporary Art and the Interrogation of Mastery
by Rosalyn Deutsche
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-226-81960-0 | Paper: 978-0-226-81959-4 | eISBN: 978-0-226-81961-7
Library of Congress Classification N7445.2.D48 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 709.04

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Explores contemporary art that challenges deadly desires for mastery and dominion.
 
Amid times of emboldened cruelty and perpetual war, Rosalyn Deutsche links contemporary art to three practices that counter the prevailing destructiveness: psychoanalytic feminism, radical democracy, and war resistance. Deutsche considers how art joins these radical practices to challenge desires for mastery and dominion, which are encapsulated in the Eurocentric conception of the human that goes under the name “Man” and is driven by deadly inclinations that Deutsche calls masculinist. The masculinist subject—as an individual or a group—universalizes itself, claims to speak on behalf of humanity, and meets differences with conquest.
 
Analyzing artworks by Christopher D’Arcangelo, Robert Filliou, Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly, Silvia Kolbowski, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Martha Rosler, James Welling, and Krzysztof Wodiczko, Deutsche illuminates the diverse ways in which they expose, question, and trouble the visual fantasies that express masculinist desire. Undermining the mastering subject, these artworks invite viewers to question the positions they assume in relation to others. Together, the essays in Not-Forgetting, written between 1999 and 2020, argue that this art offers a unique contribution to building a less cruel and violent society.

 

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