Gender, artWork and the global imperative

A materialist feminist critique

By Angela Dimitrakaki

Gender, artWork and the global imperative


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9294-1
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies, ART / Criticism & Theory, ART / History / Contemporary (1945-), Society & social sciences / Gender studies, gender groups, The arts / History of art / art & design styles, Art History, History of art
  • Series: Rethinking Art's Histories


Is gender implicated in how art does its work in the world created by global capital? Is a global imperative exclusive to capital's planetary expansion or also witnessed in oppositional practices in art and curating? And what is new in the gendered paradigms of art after the fall of the Berlin Wall?

Angela Dimitrakaki addresses these questions in an insightful and highly original analysis of travel as artistic labour, the sexualisation of migration as a relationship between Eastern and Western Europe, the rise of female collectives, masculinity and globalisation's 'bad boys', the emergence of a gendered economic subject that has dethroned postmodernism, and the need for a renewed materialist feminism.

Now available in paperback, this is a theoretically astute overview of developments in art and its contexts since the 1990s and the first study to attempt a critical refocusing of feminist politics in art history in the wake of globalisation. It will be essential reading in art history, gender, feminist and globalisation studies, curatorial theory, cultural studies and beyond.


'Angela Dimitrakaki is a writer and researcher who is not afraid to ask challenging questions and grapple with difficult and important issues in contemporary culture. Based on extensive and probing research, her work prompts us to join her inquiring mind in investigating areas beyond the usual well-trodden paths and familiar names.'
Gen Doy, Professor Emerita, Faculty of Art and Design at De Montfort University|'Dimitrakaki's study reinvigorates and tests the theoretical and moral articulation of Marxism and feminism most vividly developed in Griselda Pollock's writings of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Critically acute, persistent in its interrogations and varied in its discussions of art by women, and some men, the book combines a 'pessimism of the intellect' with an 'optimism of the will' (and good humour) that ameliorates the social and political crisis at the centre of her concerns.'
Jonathan Harris, Professor of Global Art and Design Studies at Winchester School of Art, author of The New Art History: A Critical Introduction and editor of Globalization and Contemporary Art


Introduction: Capital, gender and the work of art: an intervention of, and in, materialist feminism
1. Feminist politics and art history: from 'postmodernism' to 'global capitalism'
2. The gender issue: lessons from post-socialist Europe
3. Travel as (gendered) work: global space, mobility and the 'woman artist'
4. Gendered economies and knowledge production: Ursula Biemann's video essays and materialist feminism for the twenty-first century
5. Masculinity and the economic subject in contemporary art
6. Acting on power: critical collectives, curatorial visions and art as life
Postscript: what is a feminist beginning?


Angela Dimitrakaki is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Edinburgh

Gender, artWork and the global imperative

By Angela Dimitrakaki

Paperback £19.99 / $29.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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