On the aesthetic and intellectual affinities between recent art and conspiracy.
Written in the wake of the far-right populist turn in Europe, the US, and beyond, Art and the Antinomies of Conspiracy addresses aesthetic and intellectual affinities between recent art and conspiracy, proposing a theory of conspiracy that is not primarily concerned with conspiracy theory. Here, conspiracy is not used pejoratively but is instead examined as an accusation leveled at varying modes of political thought and action, from often opposing quarters, because it is seen as undermining “common sense” and reasonable behavior. This inquiry takes shape across chapters on the politics of post-internet art aesthetics; the sublime and possessive individualism in recent “critical” art; Cady Noland's security fences and silkscreens of the Symbionese Liberation Army; mutuality, secrecy, and improvisation in the work of Ima Abasi Okon; and identity, narrative, and recent figurative painting. Across these chapters, Larne Abse Gogarty discusses the relationship between culture and contemporary liberalism, following on from David Lloyd's proposition that through its compensatory qualities, the aesthetic sphere naturalizes forms of life lived under the rule of property. What kind of art can work against this? Can art exist as a conspiracy capable of corroding that rule?