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The beauty of a social problem : photography, autonomy, economy

Author: Walter Benn Michaels
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : The University of Chicago Press, 2015. ©2015
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Bertolt Brecht once worried that our sympathy for the victims of a social problem can make the problem's 'beauty and attraction' invisible. In 'The Beauty of a Social Problem, ' Walter Benn Michaels explores the effort to overcome this difficulty through a study of several contemporary artist photographers whose work speaks to questions of political economy. Although he discusses well known figures like Walker  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Walter Benn Michaels
ISBN: 022621026X 9780226210261
OCLC Number: 913880703
Notes: Graphs. The top decile income share, 1917-2012 ; Net productivity and real hourly compensation of production/nonsupervisory workers, 1948-2012 ; Median family net worth in dollars ; Economy-wide returns on invested capital (ROIC), 1965-2009.
Description: xiii, 230 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits ; 21 cm
Contents: Formal feelings --
Neoliberal aesthetics --
The experience of meaning --
The art of inequality: then and now --
Never again, or nevermore.
Responsibility: Walter Benn Michaels.
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Abstract:

Bertolt Brecht once worried that our sympathy for the victims of a social problem can make the problem's "beauty and attraction" invisible. The author explores the effort to overcome this difficulty  Read more...

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Primary Entity

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    schema:description "Formal feelings -- Neoliberal aesthetics -- The experience of meaning -- The art of inequality: then and now -- Never again, or nevermore."@en ;
    schema:description ""Bertolt Brecht once worried that our sympathy for the victims of a social problem can make the problem's 'beauty and attraction' invisible. In 'The Beauty of a Social Problem, ' Walter Benn Michaels explores the effort to overcome this difficulty through a study of several contemporary artist photographers whose work speaks to questions of political economy. Although he discusses well known figures like Walker Evans and Jeff Wall, Michaels's focus is on a group of younger artists, including Viktoria Binschtok, Phil Chang, Liz Deschenes, and Arthur Ou. All born after 1965, they have always lived in a world where, on the one hand, artistic ambition has been synonymous with the critique of autonomous form and intentional meaning, while, on the other, the struggle between capital and labor has essentially been won by capital. Contending that the aesthetic and political conditions are connected, Michaels argues that these artists' new commitment to form and meaning is a way for them to depict the conditions that have taken the U., S. economic inequality from its lowest level, in 1968, to its highest level today. As Michaels demonstrates, these works of art, unimaginable without the postmodern critique of autonomy and intentionality, end up departing and dissenting from that critique in continually interesting and innovative ways"--Amazon.com."@en ;
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