"The One and the Many is brilliant, innovative, and brave, offering important insight on the intersection of art and politics. It complements the growing research into situational, collaborative, 'global' art projects but offers something new and stimulating by considering these works in relation to a loosely Marxian understanding of labor relations and through close readings of how they actually function over time. It develops new ways of thinking that should have a huge impact on debates in the field." Amelia Jones, author of Self Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject "In this comprehensive study, Grant H. Kester reminds us that the role of the avant-garde is always to question the nature of art's identity and that that identity is also always in-process. Within this evolving continuum, many contemporary artists now define their work collaboratively. The One and the Many examines this phenomenon, providing the necessary philosophical, theoretical, and historical depth to position such practice as the essential art 'work' of the twenty-first century." Carol Becker, author of Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production "This engaging, intelligent, and timely book is the next salvo in an ongoing debate about the way 'collaboration' is understood in contemporary art. Grant H. Kester's provocative arguments take the debate in new directions, transforming its focus and quality." Jennifer Gonzalez, author of Subject to Display: Reframing Race in Contemporary Installation Art "Artists these days are more likely to work like rock bands, taking collective decisions and creating everything from social sculpture to fictional identities. This book brings us right up to date on the subject, and for me has served to highlight a missing link in the documentation of these tendencies... In The One and the Many, Grant Kester pays tribute to Green's research, but mostly targets the here and now, the very contemporary practices of groups such as Park Fiction in Hamburg, Ala Plastica in Argentina, Huit Facettes in Senegal, and the group Dialogue, which brings hand pumps and fresh water to Indian villages as a form of creative intervention. Importantly, he also looks at the work of solo artists, including Francis Alys and Santiago Sierra, who collaborate with members of the public or particular societal groupings. In doing so he succeeds splendidly in delivering to us the promise of the book's subtitle: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context." Peter Hill, The Times Higher Education, 9th February 2012
About the Author
Grant H. Kester is Professor of Art History and Chair of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of "Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art" and the editor of "Art, Activism, and Oppositionality: Essays from "Afterimage, also published by Duke University Press.