Amna Malik

Amna Malik is a Lecturer in Art History and Theory at the Slade School of Fine Art, London.

  • Sarah Lucas

    Sarah Lucas

    Au Naturel

    Amna Malik

    Does art have a sex? A study of Sarah Lucas's famous assemblage of objects that suggest male and female body parts.

    Amna Malik opens her study of Sarah Lucas's Au Naturel (1994) by asking “Does art have a sex? And if so, what does it look like?” Au Naturel is an assemblage of objects—a mattress, a bucket, a pair of melons, oranges and a cucumber—that suggest male and female body parts. Through much of Lucas's work, and particularly through Au Naturel, Malik argues, we are placed in a position of spectatorship that makes us see “sex” as so many dismembered parts, with no apparent morality attached—no implication of guilt, shame, or embarrassment. The sardonic and irreverent nature of Lucas's observations, moreover, violates certain assumptions about what kind of art women artists make. This, Malik proposes, is the significance of Lucas's work for a later generation of artists who are unburdened by the need to insist on questions of gender and sexual politics as a necessary subject for the woman artist. Lucas's shift between high and low art and culture operates as a shift between “high” aesthetic ideas about the art object as a metaphoric play of meaning and its “low” associations with the materiality of the literal object and its allusions to the genitals and sex. Au Naturel creates a series of associations that bring the ideal into collision with a base materialism emphasizing desire as a condition of the meaning of the object.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $19.95

Contributor

  • The Place Is Here

    The Place Is Here

    The Work of Black Artists in 1980s Britain

    Nick Aikens and Elizabeth Robles

    A richly illustrated collection of artworks, essays, and conversations that offer a range of perspectives on black art in Thatcherite Britain.

    The Place Is Here begins to write a missing chapter in British art history: work by black artists in the Thatcherite 1980s. Richly illustrated, with more than two hundred color images, it brings together artworks, essays, archives, and conversations that map the varying perspectives and approaches of a group of artists who challenged the dominance of white heterosexual men in the canon of contemporary art. The many artists discussed and displayed here do not make up a “movement” or a school or a chronological progression, but represent the diverse interests and activities of artists across a decade and beyond. They grapple with black nationalism, anti-colonialism and postcolonialism, anti-Thatcherism, black feminism, black queer subjectivity, psychoanalysis, forms of narrative and documentary image-making, in different ways and through different modes of representation across a range of media.

    The book, which grows out of a series of exhibitions that began in 2014, offers essays, close readings of selected works, panel discussions, and archival presentations, bringing together different voices and generational perspectives. Contributions come from the artists themselves, established scholars, and younger practitioners, critics, and art historians. They discuss the exhibitions, call for a reappraisal of dominant art historical approaches, and consider the use and role of the archive in artworks; look at works by Mona Hatoum, Martina Atille, Said Adrus, Chila Kumari Burman, and Pratibha Parmar; and present key documents and other material.

    Contributors

    Nick Aikens, Sonia Boyce, Laura Castagnini, Deborah Cherry, Alice Correia, Chandra Frank, June Givanni, Sunil Gupta, Evan Ifekoya, Claudette Johnson, Raisa Kabir, Gail Lewis, Amna Malik, Samia Malik, Priyesh Mistry, Dorothy Price, susan pui san lok,  Raju Rage, Elizabeth Robles, Ashwani Sharma, Marlene Smith, Leon Wainwright, Michelle Williams Gamaker, Rehana Zaman

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Exiles, Diasporas and Strangers

    Exiles, Diasporas and Strangers

    Kobena Mercer

    The first thematic and cross-cultural overview of the experiences of migration and displacement that characterize so much of twentieth-century art.

    Migration, whether freely chosen or forcibly imposed, has been a defining feature of twentieth-century modernity—and much of twentieth-century art. Exiles, Diasporas & Strangers examines life-changing journeys that transplanted artists and intellectuals from one cultural context to another, making clear the critical and creative role that migration, exile, and displacement have played in shaping the story of modern art. Whether manifested in the striking architectural innovations of Nigerian modernism in the 1920s or postmodern works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and black British filmmakers in the 1980s, the multidirectional appropriation and borrowing described in these essays give us new perspectives on twentieth-century art and modernity. Distinguishing between exile and diaspora, emigration and immigration, and “the stranger” and “the other,” the book examines the different conditions that structure the artist's experience and aesthetic strategies. From indigenous artists and the question of authorship to the influence of émigré art historians on art history, from the aesthetics of the African diaspora to Adrian Piper's metaphorical exile between philosophy and art, these connections and disconnections in a network of traveling cultures continue art history's efforts to come to terms with the postcolonial turn.

    • Paperback $35.95