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What Comes After Farce by Hal Foster
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What Comes After Farce

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What Comes After Farce by Hal Foster
Hardcover $24.95
May 19, 2020 | ISBN 9781788738118

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  • May 19, 2020 | ISBN 9781788738118

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  • May 05, 2020 | ISBN 9781788738132

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“These essays, mostly on art (and culture and politics and violence and technology) read as one seamless and disturbing account of a catastrophic historical epoch: our own. Hal Foster offers no solace but instead his deft and trenchant wisdom on how we got here.”
—Rachel Kushner

“Every word cuts to the quick in this extraordinary book. Foster shows that true criticism must be swift and surgical, but it must also hurt. He casts his relentless and unflinching gaze on the crises of our time, from new fundamentalisms to alternative facts, from cultural imperialism to perpetual war. And yet these essays do not pose the twenty-first century as a cycle of tragedy and farce, doomed to repeat itself, but as a threshold—through which art can, and perhaps must, take us.”
—Michelle Kuo

What Comes After Farce confirms what many have known for a long time: Hal Foster is indisputably the most important cultural critic writing in English today. No one else consistently offers such nuanced and cogent analyses of the tangled trajectories of the arts and media in this era of globalized financial capitalism. At the same time, few come close to Foster’s discerning familiarity with the work of the most venturesome artists, novelists, filmmakers, and architects or to his critical understanding of the difficulties and challenges now facing them in our current state of emergency.”
—Jonathan Crary, author of 24/7

“Illuminating, theoretically informed criticism of contemporary art.”
—Kevin Brazil, art-agenda

“The rapid pace of Foster’s prose captures the frenzied historical moment he is exploring, and his reluctance to offer simple answers acknowledges that multiple possibilities for reshaping our culture are currently ranged against each other … [this] lively and eloquent book convinces us that provocative artistic interventions remain possible.”
—Oliver Eagleton, Guardian

“Foster traces how artists have responded to the political situation, while also asking how art criticism should respond to artworks and, through them, the broader moment … The title is apt, not only because it invokes a great problem facing the left—how to imagine a future amid this mess—but also because it reflects the interrogative quality of the book’s texts.”
—Erika Balsom, Art in America

“The clarity of his prose is satisfying in itself … While I was reading What Comes After Farce? I felt that I was in the hands of one of the most skillful critics at work today.”
—Barry Schwabsky, The Nation

“Foster’s various texts move smartly and broadly across spheres ranging from sculpture and painting to cinema and literature, but most consistently he choreographs a dance between art and the larger culture that is its cradle. The articulation of one always imprints the other. Time and again in this respect, Foster is a pleasure to read for his sweeping statements that are still earned in their matter-of-factness, as when he makes short work of the contemporary art world’s spiraling expansion in tandem with shifting economic structures.”
—Tim Griffin, Artforum

“Magisterial … [Foster possesses] a breathtaking erudition that he wears lightly.”
—Vince Carducci, PopMatters

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