Rebels Rebel. Aids, Art and Activism in New York, 1979-1989, Tommaso Speretta

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Rebels Rebel tracks a movement that has as yet not been historicized in Europe on the subject of AIDS activism by various artistic collectives in New York in the 1980s. The approach is historic, yet activist-based, and combines a look at graphic design, with social, political, art historical, and curatorial reflections. Rebels Rebel analyzes some of the activist art experiences born in New York between 1979 and 1989, when in response to a conservative political and cultural climate artists began to work in groups and to realize projects concretely addressed to the problems of society. The book is conceived as a tribute to all those activist art collectives born in New York City at the beginning of the 1980s, united by a common refusal of traditional aesthetic criteria, the synthesis of artistic strategies and commercial advertising for political propagandistic ends, and by a willingness to take direct action to end the AIDS crisis. Rebels Rebel aims at demonstrating that art can play a crucial role in social and political change, when artists gather in groups, or collectives, in order to cooperate with other communities and pursue a common goal.


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Rebels Rebel tracks a movement that has as yet not been historicized in Europe on the subject of AIDS activism by various artistic collectives in New York in the 1980s. The approach is historic, yet activist-based, and combines a look at graphic design, with social, political, art historical, and curatorial reflections. Rebels Rebel analyzes some of the activist art experiences born in New York between 1979 and 1989, when in response to a conservative political and cultural climate artists began to work in groups and to realize projects concretely addressed to the problems of society. The book is conceived as a tribute to all those activist art collectives born in New York City at the beginning of the 1980s, united by a common refusal of traditional aesthetic criteria, the synthesis of artistic strategies and commercial advertising for political propagandistic ends, and by a willingness to take direct action to end the AIDS crisis. Rebels Rebel aims at demonstrating that art can play a crucial role in social and political change, when artists gather in groups, or collectives, in order to cooperate with other communities and pursue a common goal.

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Available? Sold out
Publication date Jul 7, 2014