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From Diversion to Subversion
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Games and play occupied a central, if misunderstood, role in modern art in the twentieth century. Many art-historical narratives have downplayed the ways in which artists returned to play and to games as analogues to art practice, as metaphors for creativity, or as models for art criticism. The essays collected in this volume investigate the fundamental importance of supposedly nonserious activity and attend to the ways in which artists used play and games in order to reconsider their practice and to expand their critical strategies. With subjects ranging from early twentieth-century manifestations of games and play in Surrealism, Duchamp, Picasso, and Bauhaus photography to their repercussions in Fluxus, performance, public practice, and new media, these essays establish the diversity and potential of games and play and point toward an alternate trajectory in the development of modern art.Aside from the editor, the contributors are Florencia Bazzano-Nelson, Jon Cates, Mary Ann Caws, Susan Laxton, Claudia Mesch, Kevin Moore, Gavin Parkinson, Anne-Marie Schleiner, Owen F. Smith, Ellen Handler Spitz, Stephanie L. Taylor, and Debra Wacks.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Contents List of Illustrations Introduction David J. Getsy Part I: Games and Play in Twentieth-Century Art History From Judgment to Process: The Modern Ludic Field Susan Laxton The Duchamp Code Gavin Parkinson My Utopia: Play in Bauhaus Photography Kevin Moore Serious Play: Games and Early Twentieth-Century Modernism Claudia Mesch Surrealist Gaming: Rules and the Rest Mary Ann Caws Playing in the Sand with Picasso: Relief Sculpture as Game in the Summer of 1930 David J. Getsy Joseph Cornell's Dangerous Games Stephanie L. Taylor Playing with Dada: Hannah Wilke's Irreverent Artistic Discourse with Duchamp Debra Wacks Dick Higgins, Fluxus, and Infinite Play: An "Amodernist" Worldview Owen F. Smith 1Subversive Toys: The Art of Liliana Porter Florencia Bazzano-Nelson Part II: Contemporary Artists' Views on Play and Games in New Media and Public Practices Dissolving the Magic Circle of Play: Lessons from Situationist Gaming Anne-Marie Schleiner Running and Gunning in the Gallery: Art Mods, Art Institutions, and the Artists Who Destroy Them Jon Cates Coda: Distinguishing Art from Play Zigzagging with Full Stops from Play to Art Ellen Handler Spitz List of Contributors Index

About the Author

David J. Getsy is Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Chair in Art History and Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Reviews

"Getsy's anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities."--Jed Perl, The New Republic "Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art's sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy's From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research."--Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University Getsy s anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities. Jed Perl, The New Republic" Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art s sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy s From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research. Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University" "The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task." --A. J. Wharton, Choice "Getsy's anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities." --Jed Perl, The New Republic "Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art's sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy's From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research." --Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task. A. J. Wharton, Choice " Getsy s anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities. Jed Perl, The New Republic " Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art s sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy s From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research. Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University " The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task. A. J. Wharton, Choice" Getsy s anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities. Jed Perl, The New Republic" Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art s sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy s From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research. Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University" "The book's project is a worthy one; play as a source for the creative imagination has too long been secondary. One hopes that this slender volume of well-researched essays succeeds in its task." --A. J. Wharton, Choice "Getsy's anthology is a strong piece of work, with older theories of play marshaled not to justify the fun house that the art world has become in our day, but to remind us of how deeply modernists have engaged with a range of ludic possibilities." --Jed Perl, The New Republic "Far too often the seriousness of high art has been invoked at the expense of compelling art's sheer gratuitousness, irrepressible impertinence, and spontaneous playfulness. A welcome and particularly bracing overturning of this staid approach is David J. Getsy's From Diversion to Subversion, a collection of lucid essays by established and emerging scholars, which focuses insightfully on the oxymoronic turns of serious humor, games played in earnest, and ludic research." --Robert Hobbs, Virginia Commonwealth University

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