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Art and Labour
On the Hostility to Handicraft, Aesthetic Labour and the Politics of Work in Art

Deutscher Prize winning artist and writer Dave Beech turns his attention to what it means to view Art as work.

This book provides a ground breaking re-examination of the changing relationship between art, craft, and industry focusing on the transition from workshop to studio, apprentice to pupil, guild to gallery and artisan to artist. Responding to the question whether the artist is a relic of the feudal mode of production or is a commodity producer corresponding to the capitalist mode of cultural production, Beech reveals, instead, that the history of the formation of art as distinct from handicraft, commerce, and industry can be traced back to the dissolution of the dual system of guild and court. This essential history needs to be revisited in order to rethink the categories of aesthetic labour, attractive labour, alienated labour, nonalienated labour and unwaged labour that shape the modern and contemporary politics of work in art.

Series

Other books by Dave Beech

  • Art and Value

    Art and Value is the first comprehensive analysis of art's political economy throughout classical, neoclassical and Marxist economics.