Liverpool University Press
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The fascination with Pop culture and commodity aesthetics has a long history within art practice. While much of this art has concerned itself with a celebration of commodities as desirable objects, relatively little attention has been afforded the critical examination of the processes by which they are produced and consumed. This specially commissioned and designed book counters this trend by critically examining artists who have looked past the seductive allure of the commodity to linger with the rituals of exploitation and alienation underpinning such cultures of excess. Artists discussed include Andy Warhol, Larry Sultan, Santiago Sierra, Louise Lawler, Edward Burtynsky, Melanie Jackson, Common Culture, Julian Rosefeldt, Wang Qingsong, Alexnader Gerdel, Richard Hughes, Op de Beeck. A major exhibition of these artists, curated by Campbell and Durden, will take place at the newly refurbished Bluecoat, Liverpool in April 2008. The book is authored by Mark Durden and David Campbell, who work collaboratively as part of the artists’ group, Common Culture. The book emerged from debates arising out of Common Culture’s involvement in Tate Liverpool’s Shopping exhibition, 2002/3, and provides both an important historical critical context for their practice as well as a detailed and substantial text on relationships between art and commodity aesthetics from New York’s Neo Geo artists to the Venezualan artist, Alexander Gerdel. Aspects of the book’s text stem from a series of writings on consumerism, class and art by Durden— essays on Tracey Emin and John Goto (the latter with David Campbell) for the Canadian journal, Parachute, Nos. 105, 2002, and 115, 2004; an essay on Razvan Ion for his book, Visual_Witness, New York and Bucharest: artphoto, 2004 and essays and reviews on Philip Lorca diCorcia and Boris Mikhailov, published in Portfolio Magazine.
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