Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency

The Kitchen is pleased to present Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency; a reading and book signing by Hal Foster with interlocutor Tim Griffin.

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Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency by Hal Foster examines the evolution of art and criticism in Western Europe and North America over the last 25 years, and their dynamic relation to the general condition of emergency instilled by neoliberalism and the war on terror. Considering the work of artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tacita Dean, and Isa Genzken, and the writing of thinkers like Jacques Rancière, Bruno Latour, and Giorgio Agamben, Hal Foster shows the ways in which art has anticipated this condition, at times resisting the collapse of the social contract or gesturing toward its repair; at other times burlesquing it. Against the claim that art making has become so heterogeneous as to defy historical analysis, Foster argues that the critic must still articulate a clear account of the contemporary in all its complexity. To that end, he offers several paradigms for the art of recent years, which he terms “abject,” “archival,” “mimetic,” and “precarious.”

Hal Foster is Townsend Martin Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and a 2014–15 fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. A co-editor of October magazine and books, he is the editor of The Anti-Aesthetic and the author of Design and Crime, Recodings, The Return of the Real, Compulsive Beauty and The Art-Architecture Complex.

Verso Books—the left-hand page—was launched as a paperback imprint of New Left Books at the end of the seventies. Since becoming NLB’s sole imprint, Verso Books has grown to be the largest independent, radical publishing house in the English-speaking world, publishing one hundred books a year.

September 16, 7pm

Hal Foster: Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency is made possible with support from Axe-Houghton Foundation and Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Photo: Isa Genzken. X-Ray. 1991

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