Summary

Contemporary art has never been so popular - but what is 'contemporary' about contemporary art? What is its role today, and who is controlling its future? Bloody toy soldiers, gilded shopping carts, and embroidered tents. Contemporary art is supposed to be a realm of freedom where artists shock, break taboos, flout generally received ideas, and switch between confronting viewers with works of great emotional profundity and jaw-dropping triviality. But away from shock tactics in the gallery, there are many unanswered questions. Who is really running the art world? What effect has America's growing political and cultural dominance had on art?
Julian Stallabrass takes us inside the international art world to answer these and other controversial questions, and to argue that behind contemporary art's variety and apparent unpredictability lies a grim uniformity. Its mysteries are all too easily explained, its depths much shallower than they seem. Contemporary art seeks to bamboozle its viewers while being the willing slave of business and government. This audiobook is your antidote and will change the way you see contemporary art.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These audiobooks are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly listenable.
©2004 Julian Stallabrass (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By John W on 06-05-18

Interesting, brief, but bland recitation

Quite a good listen, with dense subject matter being well explained, only brought low by a monotone narrator who pushed too quickly through every line, with little interest in how characterless he sounded. You end up having to relisten to whole sections because it was so quickly and summarily skimmed through.

I couldn't help feeling that Stallabrass has something of a weakness for utopian liberalism as he tends to associate everything in the art world with it. He recognises that it is trendy to make art that promotes liberal agendas, but stops coyly short of actually confirming that this is generally to guarantee financial return, not out of any ideological allegiance.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jaded Buddha on 12-11-13

art historical Marxist criticism

Perhaps it is fitting that Stallabrass's book Art Incorporated is here rebranded and retitled for the Short Introduction series.

I'm not sure this approach is what people will expect who are looking for an intro to contemporary art, but it actually makes a lot of sense because as disparate as 'contemporary art' is, there is a common thread running throughout: the relation of art to capital. The essays in this book are brilliantly written and insightful on this point.

Regarding the reading - it's professional but uninterested. Not bad.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Jean Payens on 30-07-17

Would not waste your money

Was expecting a focus on contemporary art what it is and what it isn't; in a little bit of the history behind it but way too much of this book is simply on the historicity and politics of selling artwork, how today's politics have affected these poor artist, etc. etc. very disappointed because most of these Oxford sure histories are pretty good this one is not one of them.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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