Decentring the Genealogies of Art Activism

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

2 Citations (Scopus)


The main objective of this article is to call into question the critical purchase and universal validity of the vocabulary used in discussions on art activism. Through an examination of what Charles Mills calls ‘Ideal Theory’, I argue that a new lexicon for socially transformative creativity is all the more urgent. Such a new lexicon would help in articulating alternative genealogies and histories of radical aesthetics. The task of provincialising and historicising the genealogies of art arises as a crucial tool to challenge the increasing specialisation and institutionalisation of socially transformative creative practices. This article identifies in Rasheed Araeen’s conceptualisation of collaborative aesthetic as a strategic task a valuable alternative to this normalised use of a lexicon for art activism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-447
Number of pages11
JournalThird Text
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • art activism
  • Carlos Garrido Castellano
  • collaborative art
  • ideal theory
  • institutionalisation of social practice art
  • radical aesthetics
  • Rasheed Araeen
  • socially engaged art
  • universalism (art aesthetics)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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