Global Financial Crisis in Art and Theory

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  • Book: It’s the Political Economy, Stupid. The Global Financial Crisis in Art and Theory. Edited by: Gregory Sholette, Oliver Ressler. Pluto Press, 2013



"It’s the Political Economy, Stupid brings together internationally acclaimed artists and thinkers, including Slavoj Žižek, David Graeber, Judith Butler and Brian Holmes, to focus on the current economic crisis in a sustained and critical manner.

Following a unique format, images and text are integrated in a visually stunning bespoke production by activist designer Noel Douglas. What emerges is a powerful critique of the current capitalist crisis through an analytical and theoretical response and an aesthetic-cultural rejoinder. By combining artistic responses with the analysis of leading radical theorists, the book expands the boundaries of critique beyond the usual discourse.

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid argues that it is time to push back against the dictates of the capitalist logic and, by use of both theoretical and artistic means, launch a rescue of the very notion of the social." (


"Foreword by Pia Hovi-Assad, Pori Art Museum, Finland

1. “Unspeaking the Grammar of Finance” by Gregory Sholette & Oliver Ressler

2. “It’s The Political Economy, Stupid!” by Slavoj Žižek

3. “The Political Economization of Art” by John Roberts

4. “Derivative Days: Notes on Art, Finance and the Un-Productive Forces” by Melanie Gilligan

5. “Occupational Realism” by Julia Bryan Wilson

6. “Occupy Wall Street’s Anarchist Roots” by David Graeber

7. “Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street” (excerpts) by Judith Butler

8. “Sick Sad Life: On the Artistic Reproduction of Capital” by Kerstin Stakemeier

9. “Art after Capitalism,” a final word by Brian Holmes

Author Info

"Gregory Sholette is an artist, activist and author based in New York. He co-founded two artists’ collectives: Political Art Documentation and Distribution (1980-88) and REPOhistory (1989-2000). He is the author of Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto, 2010) and co-editor of Collectivism after Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945 (2007) and The Interventionists: Users’ Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life (2004).

Oliver Ressler is an artist and filmmaker based in Vienna. His work has been exhibited across the world including at the Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul and the Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt. He is the editor of Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies (2007)." (