There is Always an Alternative

There is Always an Alternative
Library Shelf Location 17.THER
Publication Date 2005
Description There Is Always an Alternative articulates an alternative history of art practice and a history of alternative art practices around the early 1990s based on a political understanding of the position of the artist. The title derives from an inversion of one of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite ideological phrases, “there is no alternative”. This is a phrase used by people attempting to undermine whatever alternative there is and in that sense is always false and falsifying. On the contrary, there is always an alternative. There Is Always an Alternative explores models and possibilities for artistic practice that resist, undermine or otherwise oppose the closures, absences and exclusions in dominant art discourse and practice. It puts forward an alternative history of British art in the early 1990s and in so doing, provide a resource for all those practices seeking to confront the limitations, both arbitrary and ideological, upon what can be done now. The artists shown are committed to a theoretical and political understanding of art practice and, on the whole, to a form of collectivity: conceiving of their individual practices in relation to the practices of others. This was a time when the possibility of forging alternative co-ordinates for art practice seemed a practical as well as theoretical possibility. The constellation of practices gathered together in this exhibition, informed by political analysis as well as aesthetic theory, presented a different model of artistic practice than that which came to be seen as dominant in Britain and elsewhere in the 90s. As always, things could have been different and still could be different. One of the techniques available to the status quo is to minimize or eliminate the sense of any alternative in the present or immediate future by obliterating the alternatives that existed in the past. The market is a very good mechanism for this sort of institutionalised selectivity. It is through recovering alternatives in the past, therefore, that we will inform and spur on alternatives in the future. There is Always an Alternative documents an under-represented array of radical practices from the early-90s in order to provide potential models of radical individual and collective art practice now and to come.
Quantity 1
Format Paperback
Publisher Arts Council England
Related Artists Chad McCail, Hayley Newman, Jeremy Deller, Martin Vincent, Ward Shelley, Lindsay Seers, Adam Dant, David Burrows, David Mabb, John Timberlake, Cornford & Cross, Giorgio Sadotti, Gillian Dyson, Laurence Lane, Gareth James, Clive Sall / f.a.t., Deborah Holland, Dean Brannigan, Laura Emsley, Alison Marchant, Dan Mitchell, Billy McCall, Brian Dawn Chalkley, Nick Crowe, Tim Brennan, John Beagles, Graham Ramsay, Shaheen Merali, Dave Beech & Mark Hutchinson, Florian Zeyfang
Keywords Political art, Politics, Marxism
Language English

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