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9780949004017: Specialism
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It is widely assumed that everyone is interdisciplinary nowadays, that we all work in the intersections of specialised disciplines. But if being flexible, multi-skilled and polymathic are the prerequisites to survival in todays world, why do educators and art marketeers still find it imperative to maintain conditions of production that advocate specialist forms? The aim of this new anthology in the Occasional Table series is to critically reflect upon the role of specialism in art and society and to understand better how the claim of those who seek to transcend the parameters of specialisation contrasts to others who maintain that deep levels of achievement can only be attained within highly focused methods and forms.

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Review:
Should the artist aspire to be the Universal Man or Woman of the Italian Renaissance, or bow to the division of labor like those painters of the Dutch Golden age who specialised in cows, or peeled lemons, or crafty swindlers picking pockets? But then if everyone is an artist, as Joseph Beuys liked to say, then isn t it an impudent usurpation to lay particular claim to the label 'artist' at all? No definitive answers are in the cards, but the clash of opinions is lively in this eye-opening set of essays and conversations by a broad range of art makers, writers, academics and other interested parties. By the time you have read all of them you may find yourself both more expert and more of a generalist, which is why I recommend reading this book with one of my favorite records playing softly in the background; the 2005 comeback album by the great Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab, 'Specialist in All Styles'. --Barry Schwabsky

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  • PublisherOpen Editions
  • Publication date2016
  • ISBN 10 0949004014
  • ISBN 13 9780949004017
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages164
  • EditorDavid Blamey
  • Rating
    4.5 avg rating
    ( 4 ratings by Goodreads )

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