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REPRODUCING AUTONOMY | Work, Money, Crisis and Contemporary Art

Termin Label
Book presentation
Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften
Ort, Adresse (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Ort, PLZ und/oder Ort (1)
1010 Wien
Ort, Raum (1)

by Kerstin Stakemeier & Marina Vishmidt.

Progress in autonomy cannot be – nor historically has it ever been – measured in quantitative units. Rather, the need for autonomy is repositioned in relation to society’s political, economic, and cultural developments on an ongoing basis. What do we mean when we speak of ‘autonomy’ and ‘reproduction’ in the field of contemporary art? What kind of objects do these terms encompass, what are their histories, and what internal logical relations can we identify between these concepts? How do they operate in a philosophical discourse about art and in political theory and practice?

In this book, Marina Vishmidt and Kerstin Stakemeier analyse ‘autonomy’ and then ‘reproduction’, in the understanding that this method of categorical isolation must be overcome if we are to reach towards the relationship of the two terms. These three essays establish a new framework to locate notions of artistic autonomy and autonomies of art. The texts not only offer an entrance into thinking about the role that autonomy has occupied in modern European intellectual history; they also put forward an original thesis.

"Whereas classical positions of the Left oscillate between a total rejection and an unconditional embrace of the concept of autonomy in Art, Kerstin Stakemeier and Marina Vishmidt do both at the same time. Within a strictly materialist approach they reconstruct the function of the concept within the transition from formal to real subsumption under Capital, thus showing its intrinsic conjuncture with the reproduction of social relations. As such, however, the concept is not rejected completely, but appropriated as a horizon for practices of change in terms of an ongoing autonomisation in politics and in art."
– Helmut Draxler