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Book Review: TJ Demos, The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis

Ramos Martinez, Manuel. 2015. Book Review: TJ Demos, The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis. Journal of Visual Cultures, 14(1), pp. 116-118. ISSN 14704129 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

TJ Demos makes a compelling contribution with this book to the discussion within contemporary visual studies that seeks to re-think the political significance of art for the struggles of our post-2001 present. These pages are best read as an anti-scepticism manual of contemporary art. Against swift dismissals of art practices and institutions as unavoidably complicit with the neoliberal system, Demos insists throughout his analysis on treating art as a complex site of negotiation between aesthetics and politics. Proceeding case by case, he assembles an impressive array of artistic evidence not simply to examine but rather to affirm the capacity of the arts to ‘inflect meanings’, ‘contest formulations’, ‘shift perspectives’ and ‘invite collaborative and creative interpretation’ (pp. 32, 209). The exploration of critical modes of documentary representation delineates a common field for the artworks gathered here from film, photography, video and other media. Furthermore, in this affirmative intervention that is The Migrant Image, each case operates as a critical representational player within the arena of globalisation.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1177/1470412914562468

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures

Dates:

DateEvent
April 2015Published

Item ID:

17400

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2016 11:11

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 14:36

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/17400

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