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'Ethics' edited by Walead Beshty is part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies. The boundary of a contemporary art object or project is no longer thought of solely in physical terms but rather in relation to the specific social field it creates. Art is thus increasingly implicated in questions of ethics. [expand title="more"]This collection evaluates the relation of ethics to aesthetics, an encounter central to the contested space of much recent practice. It brings together theoretical foundations for an ethics of aesthetics; appraisals of art that engages with ethical issues; statements and examples of methodologies adopted by a diverse range of artists; and examination of artworks that question the ethical conditions in which contemporary art is produced and experienced. Artists surveyed include Michael Asher, Tania Bruguera, Christoph Büchel, Merlin Carpenter, Paul Chan, Lygia Clark, Dexter Sinister, Fischli & Weiss, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, David Hammons, Sharon Hayes, Thomas Hirschhorn, Khaled Hourani, Martin Kippenberger, Sharon Lockhart, Renzo Martens, Hélio Oiticica, Seth Price, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Writers include Giorgio Agamben, Ariella Azoulay, Alain Badiou, Roland Barthes, Claire Bishop, Nicolas Bourriaud, Simon Critchley, Keller Easterling, Isabelle Graw, Jean-François Lyotard, Scorched Earth, Susan Sontag, Hito Steyerl, Triple Candie, Jan Verwoert and Eyal Weizman.[/expand] read Review

With the rise of New Tyrants who likely pervert the law for their own interests, each of us is affected when it comes to advocate our seemingly not-that-self-evident democratic values. As a result, artists and art institutions started to – voluntary or not – rethink their role, responsibility and power within the cultural ecosystem. But what exactly is hidden behind buzzwords as activism, political art and artistic protest? Two recently published books by Sternberg Press will bring certainly more light into this complex and versatile discourse – without diluting it. While ‘What about activism’ is both an open call for action and a critical intervention of what curatorial activism can mean in the broadest sense as well as in a most practical way, Oliver Marchant’s ‘Conflictual Aesthetics’ argues why art is per se political, going through different arts genres and their inherent potential for reactionary protest. So whether you need a tool kit coming along as a compendium of more than 20 manifestos written by Steven Henry Madoff, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Nicolas Bourriaud and plenty more or an overview of the political within arts, embedded in a broader and different geared art history, which goes hand in hand with the political realms, you will definitely find in both Sternberg publications some answers, ideas and projects on how to do anything – but remain silent! Buy ‘What about activism?’ Buy ‘Conflictual Aesthetics’