There exists a series of contemporary artists who continually defy the traditional role of the artist/author, including Art & Language, Guerrilla Girls, Bob and Roberta Smith, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Lucky PDF. In Death of the Artist, Nicola McCartney explores their work and uses previously unpublished interviews to provoke a vital and nuanced discussion about contemporary artistic authorship.
How do emerging artists navigate intellectual property or work collectively and share the recognition? How might a pseudonym aid 'artivism'? Most strikingly, she demonstrates how an alternative identity can challenge the art market and is symptomatic of greater cultural and political rebellion. As such, this book exposes the art world's financially incentivised infrastructures, but also examines how they might be reshaped from within. In an age of cuts to arts funding and forced self-promotion, this offers an important analysis of the pressing need for the artistic community to construct new ways to reinvent itself and incite fresh responses to its work.
Nicola McCartney is an artist and educator. She is a lecturer in Cultural Studies at Central St Martins, University of the Arts London. She was previously Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and has taught fine art and critical theory at The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University. She is also a practising artist and has exhibited throughout London and the UK, received public commissions and undertaken residencies.