A new reality for the art object has emerged in the world of contemporary art: it is now experienced less as an autonomous, inanimate form and more as an active material agent. In this book, Kaira M. Cabañas describes how such a shift in conceptions of art’s materiality came to occur, exploring key artistic practices in Venezuela, Brazil, and Western Europe from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Immanent Vitalities expands the discourse of new materialisms by charting how artists, ranging from Gego to Laura Lima, distance themselves from dualisms such as mind-matter, culture-nature, human-nonhuman, and even Western–non-Western in order to impact our understanding of what is animate. Tracing migrations of people, objects, and ideas between South America and Europe, Cabañas historicizes changing perceptions about art’s agency while prompting readers to remain attentive to the ethical dimensions of materiality and of social difference and lived experience.
By Kaira M. Cabañas, author of Immanent Vitalities: Meaning and Materiality in Modern and Contemporary Art This guest post is part of our #CAA2021 conference series. Visit our virtual exhibit to learn …Read More >