Anxiety Aesthetics: Maoist Legacies in China, 1978–1985 (Paperback)

Anxiety Aesthetics: Maoist Legacies in China, 1978–1985 By Jennifer Dorothy Lee Cover Image

Anxiety Aesthetics: Maoist Legacies in China, 1978–1985 (Paperback)

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Anxiety Aesthetics is the first book to consider a prehistory of contemporaneity in China through the emergent creative practices in the aftermath of the Mao era. Arguing that socialist residues underwrite contemporary Chinese art, complicating its theorization through Maoism, Jennifer Dorothy Lee traces a selection of historical events and controversies in late 1970s and early 1980s Beijing. Lee offers a fresh critical frame for doing symptomatic readings of protest ephemera and artistic interventions in the Beijing Spring social movement of 1978–80, while exploring the rhetoric of heated debates waged in institutional contexts prior to the '85 New Wave. Lee demonstrates how socialist aesthetic theories and structures continued to shape young artists' engagement with both space and selfhood and occupied the minds of figures looking to reform the nation. In magnifying this fleeting moment, Lee provides a new historical foundation for the unprecedented global exposure of contemporary Chinese art today.
Jennifer Dorothy Lee is Associate Professor of East Asian Art in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Product Details ISBN: 9780520393783
ISBN-10: 0520393783
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English