Entry Points

The Vera List Center Field Guide on Art and Social Justice No. 1

Entry Points

Book Pages: 288 Illustrations: 153 illustrations Published: November 2015

Activism, Art and Visual Culture > Art History, Cultural Studies

Providing a lively snapshot of the state of art and social justice today on a global level, Entry Points accompanies the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, launched at The New School on the occasion of the center’s twentieth anniversary. This book captures some of the most significant worldwide examples of art and social justice and introduces an interested audience of artists, policy makers, scholars, and writers to new ways of thinking about how justice is defined, advanced, and practiced through the arts. In so doing, it assembles some of the latest scholarship in this field while refining our vocabulary for speaking about social justice, social engagement, community enhancement, empowerment, and even art itself.
The book's first half contains three essays by Thomas Keenan, João Ribas, and Sharon Sliwinski that map the field of art and social justice. These essays are accompanied by more than twenty profiles of recent artist projects that consist of brief essays and artist pages. This curated and carefully considered map of artists and projects identifies key moments in art and social justice.
The book's second half consists of an in-depth analysis of Theaster Gates's The Dorchester Projects, which won the inaugural Vera List Prize for Art and Politics. Produced to complement the project’s exhibition at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Design in September 2013, this analysis illuminates Gates's rich, complex, and exemplary work. This section includes an interview between Gates and Vera List Center director Carin Kuoni; essays by Horace D. Ballard Jr., Romi N. Crawford, Shannon Jackson, and Mabel O. Wilson; and a number of responses to The Dorchester Projects by faculty in departments across The New School.

Published by Duke University Press and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School


"Anybody that has an ambition of practicing political mass art should read the stories in this book for inspiration and ideas. The design is unique, but this helps the text become a work of art in its turn, allowing its owner to acquire not only information, but also a piece of art to display predominantly on a shelf." — Anna Faktorovich, Pennsylvania Literary Journal

"These projects are without fear, full of courage, and ethical commitment. Different from traditional activist practices, they are acts of civic engagement. Rather than occupying space they are about producing contexts that enable assembly, where the artists re-insert themselves, often without resources or infrastructures. But they have a democratic element to them that other people can draw from. This work aspires to create an analytical context. It is not about bringing a solution. We are doing the work together. The book in particular is a teaching project tying the values of education and social justice. Connecting those pedagogical values and ideas with the production of artists is invaluable." — Okwui Enwezor


Availability: In stock
Price: $25.00

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Carin Kuoni is Director and Curator of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School and the editor of several books, most recently Speculation, Now.

Chelsea Haines is an art historian, curator, and writer based in New York.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Carin Kuoni  7

The Field


That Incorribible Disturber of the Peace / Sharon Sliwinski  14

On Dirt / João Ribas  23

The Political in and of Art / Thomas Keenan in conversation with Carin Kuoni  36


Ai Weiwei / Chen Tamir  48

Shahidul Alam / Bisi Silva  54

Karen Andreassian / Susanna Gyulamiryan  60

Amy Balkin / T. J. Demos  66

Bibliothèques San Frontières / Omar Berrada  72

Giuseppe Campuzano / Ana Longoni  78

Chto Delat / What, How & for Whom/WHW  86

DABATEATR / Omar Berrada  92

Etcétera / Galit Eilat  98

Gugulective / Kathryn Smith

Hans Haacke / Chen Tamir  112

Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti / Galit Eilat  118

Interference Archive / Gregory Sholette  124

Sanja Ivekovic / What, How & for Whom/WHW  130

Amar Kanwar / Pooja Sood  136

Faustin Linyekula / Shannon Jackson  142

Mosireen / Negar Azimi  148

Marina Naprushkina / Gregory Sholette  154

Tenzing Rigdol / H. G. Masters  160

Issa Samb / Koyo Kouch  164

Christoph Schäfer / CAMP  170

Take to the Sea / Jenifer Evans  176

Dorchester Projects


Theaster Gates  186

Theaster Gates: A Way of Working (Installation Images)  207


"Some Kind of Work Simply Needs to Happen": Theaster Gates in conversation with Carin Kuoni  198

Utopian Operating Systems: Theaster's Way of Working / Shannon Jackson  214

Collecting Publics: The Spatial Politics of Dorchester Projects / Mabel O. Wilson  230

Gauging the Racial Times of the Work of Theaster Gates / Romi N. Crawford  240

Neither "Black Church" nor "White Cube" / Horace D. Ballard Jr.  246

Learning from Chicago: Responses to Dorchester Projects from The New School Faculty / Katayoun Chamany, Julia Foules, Andrea Geyer, Richard Harper, Carin Kuoni, Mark Larrimore, Lydia Matthews, Kevin McQueen, Jasmine Rault Radhika Subramaniam  263

Theaster Gates: A Way of Reception / Chelsea Haines and Jocelyn Edens  272

Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics  276

Nominated Projects  278

Vera List Center  279

Book Contributors  280

Index  284

Image Credits  288
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6200-5