New Book “An Incomplete Archive of Activist Art” Now Available for Purchase
An Incomplete Archive of Activist Art
Published by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
On stands February 15, 2022
Available for purchase on Amazon February 24, 2022
In this enlightening and empowering book, the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation underscores its commitment to social justice issues, global equity, and its history in promoting art’s role in the formation of both community empowerment and justice.
Reflecting on the Rubin Foundation’s art and social justice initiatives over the last six years, An Incomplete Archive of Activist Art includes thematic essays, roundtable discussions, newly commissioned artworks and documentation of visual art exhibitions organized by the Foundation.
Consisting of two volumes, the publication highlights the emergence of a cultural shift, addressing art’s role in the formation of community and advocacy for justice. ‘Discourse’ features essays, thematic roundtables with cultural producers, and newly commissioned text based projects. ‘Art’ documents exhibitions at The 8th Floor, the Foundation’s gallery and event space, as well as selections from the Rubins’ private collection. This compendium is conceived to be a critical resource for education and those interested in socially-engaged art, and includes contributions from leading artists, scholars, critics and activists.
The first volume features essays by André Lepecki and Lucy Lippard; newly commissioned artwork by Hock E Aye I Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Dread Scott, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles; and roundtables on accessibility in the cultural sector, visibility in the digital age, and the role of art in this current moment. The second features newly commissioned poems by Mel Chin and Claudia Rankine, and documents exhibitions at The 8th Floor such as In the Power of Your Care, Enacting Stillness, The Intersectional Self, and the exhibition series Revolutionary Cycles.
Social justice and ideas surrounding art’s ability to be an instrument for change has shifted considerably in relation to the cannon of contemporary art. This publication highlights and centers artist/activists who are at the vanguard of this movement. As Martha Wilson said “The big difference in my view between art making in the last 100 years and art making in the last couple of decades is that artists are now engaged in both the protest and the solution.” Collectively artists need to see art as a democratic tool, and their process is addressed throughout the documentation of their activities by this artist-centered organization, as Sean Leonardo put it “…artists have become more attuned to the inherent power dynamics at play in works that involve cooperation versus participation forwarding a particular agenda meant to be fulfilled by “actors,” rather than a framework that allows for co-design and co-authorship.”