The Political Space of Art: The Dardenne Brothers, Ai Weiwei, Arundhati Roy and Burial

Benoit Dillet, Tara Puri

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book


This book studies the tension between arts and politics in four contemporary artists from different countries, working with different media. The film directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne film parts of their natal city to refer to specific political problems in interpersonal relations. Ai Weiwei uses references to Chinese history to give consistency to its economic miracle . Burial s electronic music is firmly rooted in a living, breathing London; built to create a sound that is entirely new, and yet hauntingly familiar. Finally, the novelist Arundhati Roy uses her poetic language to make room for people s desires; her fiction is utterly political and her political essays make place for the role of narratives and poetic language.These artists create in their own way a space for politics in their works and their oeuvre but their singularity comes together as a desire to reconstruct the political space within art from its ruins. These ruins were brought by the disenchantment of 1970s: the end of art, postmodernism, and the rise of design, marketing and communication. Each artwork bears the mark of the resistance against the depoliticisation of society and the arts, at once rejecting cynicism and idealism, referring to themes and political concepts that are larger than their own domain. This book focuses on these productive tensions.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRowman and Littlefield International
Number of pages160
ISBN (Print)9781783485673
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


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