Publications

Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity | Johanna Drucker

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Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity | Johanna Drucker

75.00

Published by University of Chicago Press, 2005

230 x 150 mm, paperback, 264 pages

ISBN 9780226165042

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Johanna Drucker's ''sweet dream'' is for a new and more positive approach to contemporary art. Calling for a revamping of the academic critical vocabulary used to discuss art into one more befitting current creative practices, Drucker argues that contemporary art is fully engaged with material culture—yet still struggling to escape the oppositional legacy of the early twentieth-century avant-garde. Drucker shows that artists today are aware of working within the ideologies of mainstream culture and have replaced avant-garde defiance with eager complicity. Finding their materials at flea markets or exploring celebrity culture, contemporary artists have created a vibrantly participatory movement that exudes enthusiasm and affirmation—all while critics continue to cling to an outmoded vocabulary of opposition and radical negativity that defined modernism's avant-garde. At the cutting edge of new media research, Drucker surveys a wide range of exciting contemporary artists, demonstrating their clear departure from the past and petitioning viewers and critics to shift their terms and sensibilities as well. Sweet Dreams is a testament to the creative processes and self-conscious heterogeneity of art today as well as a revolutionary effort to solicit collaboration that will encourage the production of imaginative thought and contribute to contemporary life.

Johanna Drucker is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies in the Department of English at the University of Virginia. She is the author of several books, including: The Visible Word, The Alphabetic Labyrinth, The Century of Artists' Books, and Figuring the Word.