Gabriel Levine

Gabriel Levine is an artist whose object-theater shows have toured North America, Europe, and the Middle East. An Assistant Professor of Drama Studies at Glendon College of York University in Toronto, he coedited Practice, copublished by the MIT Press and Whitechapel Gallery.

  • Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings

    Art and Tradition in a Time of Uprisings

    Gabriel Levine

    Examining radical reinventions of traditional practices, ranging from a queer reclamation of the Jewish festival of Purim to an Indigenous remixing of musical traditions.

    Supposedly outmoded modes of doing and making—from music and religious rituals to crafting and cooking—are flourishing, both artistically and politically, in the digital age. In this book, Gabriel Levine examines collective projects that reclaim and reinvent tradition in contemporary North America, both within and beyond the frames of art. Levine argues that, in a time of political reaction and mass uprisings, the subversion of the traditional is galvanizing artists, activists, musicians, and people in everyday life. He shows that this takes place in strikingly different ways for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in settler colonies. Paradoxically, experimenting with practices that have been abandoned or suppressed can offer powerful resources for creation and struggle in the present.

    Levine shows that, in projects that span “the discontinuum of tradition,” strange encounters take place across the lines of class, Indigeneity, race, and generations. These encounters spark alliance and appropriation, desire and misunderstanding, creative (mis)translation and radical revisionism. He describes the yearly Purim Extravaganza, which gathers queer, leftist, and Yiddishist New Yorkers in a profane reappropriation of the springtime Jewish festival; the Ottawa-based Indigenous DJ collective A Tribe Called Red, who combine traditional powwow drumming and singing with electronic dance music; and the revival of home fermentation practices—considering it from microbiological, philosophical, aesthetic, and political angles.Projects that take back the vernacular in this way, Levine argues, not only develop innovative forms of practice for a time of uprisings; they can also work toward collectively reclaiming, remaking, and repairing a damaged world.

    • Hardcover $39.95 £32.00
  • Practice

    Practice

    Marcus Boon and Gabriel Levine

    The first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads.

    “Practice” is one of the key words of contemporary art, used in contexts ranging from artists' descriptions of their practice to curatorial practice, from social practice to practice-based research. This is the first anthology to investigate what contemporary notions of practice mean for art, tracing their development and speculating on where this leads.

    Reframing the question of practice offers new ways of reading the history of art and of evaluating particular forms of practice-based art. Once used to denote “doing,” as distinct from thinking and making, today the term can convey associations of political action (praxis), professional activity, discipline, or rehearsal, and signal a shift away from the self-enclosed artwork or medium to open-ended actions, series, processes, and projects. Although the turn to practice might promise freedom from finality or eventfulness, it also reflects the neoliberal pressures to train oneself, to perform, and to rehearse a marketable set of skills. This book offers an indispensible guide to the art history and theoretical framework of art-as-practice, clarifying the complex issues at stake in thinking about and enacting practice.

    Artists surveyed include Arakawa, Rebecca Belmore, AA Bronson, Judy Chicago, Lygia Clark, Andrea Fraser, Madeline Gins, Tehching Hsieh, Mary Kelly, Henri Michaux, Linda M. Montano, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, Raivo Puusemp, Rammellzee, Gerhard Richter, Miriam Schapiro, Carolee Schneemann, Gregory Sholette, Aliza Shvarts, Situationist International, Jonas Staal, Stelarc, Fiona Tan, Min Tanaka, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Cecilia Vicuña

    Writers include Kathy Acker, Giorgio Agamben, Louis Althusser, Hannah Arendt, Alain Badiou, Lauren Berlant, Gregg Bordowitz, Pierre Bourdieu, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Judith Butler, Jennifer Doyle, Okwui Enwezor, Saidiya V. Hartman, Maulana Karenga, Julia Kristeva, Saba Mahmood, Viktor Misiano, Fred Moten, Paul B. Preciado, Lane Relyea, Suely Rolnik, Peter Sloterdijk, Isabelle Stengers, Winnie Won Yin Wong

    • Paperback $24.95