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Jan Verwoert
Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want

This first compilation of writings by art critic Jan Verwoert galvanizes central themes he has been developing in pursuit of a language to describe art’s transformative potential in conceptual, performative and emotional terms. He analyzes the power of public gestures to constitute communities as well as the pressure to perform that governs the sphere of creative labor, in order to show how particular artists perform gestures and invoke community differently. Exploring the emotional power games that shape social relations, Verwoert looks for an alternative ethos of action and feeling, asking: How can a modernist approach to artistic form as a means of social critique be expanded to fully avow its subliminal affective undercurrents, and produce a pleasurably crooked form of criticality in art and writing?
Hardcover, 4.75" x 7", 312 pp, 20 b&w illus, 2011.