Sociopolitical Aesthetics argues for a new interpretation of the relationship between socially-engaged art and neoliberalism. Kim Charnley explores the possibility that neoliberalism has destabilized the art system so that it is no longer able to absorb and neutralize dissent. As a result, the relationship between aesthetics and politics is experienced with fresh urgency and militancy.
It is almost twenty years since contemporary art took a ‘participation turn’. How can we reconcile the somewhat forgotten history – and ongoing practice – of the community arts with the recent rise of participatory art, social practice, or outreach and engagement?