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Apr 14, 2022 at 7:30 pm

Art in the After-Culture: Capitalist Crisis and Cultural Strategy

With Ben Davis, Marianela D’Aprile & Naeem Mohaiemen. Presented with Haymarket Books.

UnionDocs is delighted to host a book launch in partnership with Haymarket Books for art critic Ben Davis’ latest book of essays Art in the After-Culture! “This kaleidoscopic collection will help you see and comprehend the world anew—which is, in my book, what good art should do,” writes Astra Taylor.

Davis along with artist and writer Naeem Mohaiemen and writer Marianela D’Aprile will be in attendance to share in a conversation that explores the role of art, activism, technology and media as we live through a time shaped by cataclysmic events.

Artist Trevor Paglen wrote: “Following in the footsteps of theorists like John Berger, Stuart Hall, and Lucy Lippard, Ben Davis is an essential guide to the politics of culture in the 21st Century.”

We are thrilled to support such a vital voice and hope you will join us to celebrate the release of this important work!


Art in the After-Culture by Ben Davis

It is a scary and disorienting time for art, as it is a scary and disorienting time in general. Aesthetic experience is both overshadowed by the spectacle of current events and pressed into new connection with them. The self-image of art as a social good is collapsing under the weight of capitalism’s dysfunction.

In these incisive essays, art critic Ben Davis makes sense of our extreme present as an emerging “after-culture”—a culture whose forms and functions are being radically reshaped by cataclysmic events. In the face of catastrophe, he holds out hope that reckoning with the new realities of art, technology, activism, and the media, can help us weather the super-storms of the future.

Ben Davis is the author of 9.5 Theses on Art and Class, which ARTnews named one of the best art books of the decade in 2019. He has been Artnet News’s National Art Critic since 2016. His writings have also been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Baffler, Jacobin, Slate, Salvage, e-Flux Journal, Frieze, and many other venues. In 2019, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab reported that he was one of the five most influential art critics in the United States. He lives in Brooklyn.

Marianela D’Aprile is a writer in Brooklyn. She is the deputy editor of the New York Review of Architecture. Her work on architecture, art, and culture has been published in The Nation, Metropolis, Jacobin, Artnet News, and elsewhere.

Naeem Mohaiemen is associate professor of visual arts at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. His work combines photography, films, archives, and essays to research the many forms of utopia-dystopia (families, borders, architecture, and uprisings)– beginning from Bangladesh’s two postcolonial markers (1947, 1971) and then radiating outward to unlikely, and unstable, transnational alliances and collisions.

Background Image: Sarah Cwynar

Presented in Partnership with Haymarket Books

Presented With

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Apr 14, 2022
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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